Jonah 2:2 And he said: I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction , and He answered me.
Yesterday my 2 year old decided he wasn’t going to listen to me and ran from me in the other direction. I was furious. I immediately caught up with him and put him on time out. After his 2 mins on time out we talked about what had happened, hugged and moved on. He needed to learn that he couldn’t run away from me but also that no matter what I still love him, am not angry and will always be there for him.
I feel like this is what God was doing with Jonah in Jonah 2. He had Jonah swallowed by a giant fish and that fish sat at the bottom of the sea. Like a very intense time out. But it seemed to be the only way God was going to get Jonah to stop running from Him, was to place him in the depths. A place he could not escape without God.
When my son sits on timeout I am right there making sure he doesn’t move. The only way he can come off of time out is to wait the alloted time and through me.
Jonah 2:2-9 we see Jonah beg for God to save him. Jonah thought he was dead ( ..out of the belly of Sheol. Jonah 2:2 Sheol meaning dead realm; grave) The fishes stomach could be represented as a tomb/grave. But God was very much present in Sheol and received Jonah’s prayers. As we keep reading on, Jonah continues to pray asking God that if he shall live he will once again look towards His Holy Temple Jonah 2:3. Jonah expected to live again to be able to pray, worship and live for God. He even vows this in vs 2:8-9. Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice of you with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.
God was present with Jonah in the belly of the fish. He heard his cries and then in vs 10 God has the fish “vommit” Jonah onto dry land.
God may have to put us on “time outs” every so often, as we do with our own children. And just as we dont stop loving our children in those moments of disobedience, nither does God stop loving us. He will never forsake us or leave us. No matter how hard and fast we try to run from Him. He will always be there. He will always love us.
Please be with all those who are running. Those who are in the belly of the fish and those who are crying out to you. Thank you for loving us always. For never forsaking us. We are internally greatful. -Amen-