When Our Praises Go Up – His Blessings Come Down

When Our Praises Go Up – His Blessings Come Down

WEEK 33:

Chapter 2:7-10 7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. 10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

Verses 7-8 – Jonah could feel the pressure increase inside the fish as it drove down deeply into the sea. And right at the point where he despaired of life, he realized that his still being alive was evidence that it was not too late to repent. At the time this was written, the presence of God dwelled in the temple in Jerusalem over the mercy seat. When Jonah looked to the temple, he was looking to God. There was no hope in the natural for Jonah. He fainted from fear of death in the fish. He couldn’t go to the temple and offer a sacrifice of atonement as the law required, but he could turn his heart back to the temple and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise to God. He did – and the moment he did, everything changed. For it is not the formality of going to the temple that moves God, it is the heart that surrender to Him completely that moves Him. This is the lesson Jonah came to realize – this is the defining truth this whole thing has taught him. Here prayer is personified, and is represented as a messenger going from the distressed, and entering into the temple of God, and standing before Him.

 “They that observe lying vanities” – Jonah is still praying poetically here.  They that trust in idols follow vain predictions, permit themselves to be influenced with foolish fears, so as to induce them to leave the path of obvious duty. In leaving the God who is the Fountain of mercy, they abandon that measure of mercy which He had treasured up for them. This is no time for pride. He would humble himself before God at this point. To observe other gods or idols, will get you no help at all.

Psalms 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

Verse 9 Jonah found himself in the same position as the mariners: offering sacrifices and making vows (Jonah 1:16). He had made a vow many years before to follow and serve the LORD, and though his recent adventure has taken him away from that vow, it’s not too late to repent and return to it. Now that Jonah’s rebellion has been forsaken and he’s returned in heart to the LORD, God moves to restore him. But that restoration is to his call to go to Nineveh. The proof of Jonah’s repentance will be his obedience. Jonah has nothing to sacrifice but his praise.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Salvation is of the LORD. Jonah knows that his only hope is in God.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Ephesian 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Verse 10 – Just as God calls the stars by name (Isaiah 40:26; Psalm 147:4), so He speaks to His creation in the animal world.

Numbers 22:28-30 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

Most likely, Jonah was vomited upon the shore near Joppa. This is undoubtedly the most humbling experience you could have. God has saved his life, and in the process taught him obedience. He is saved, because the fish obeyed God and spat him out.

If repentance is genuine and not merely feigned, then it will result in obedience to the call and command of God. From the boat to the belly from the burp to the beach – Jonah’s off and running on his way to preach.