Jonah 2 – Break Out of the Cocoon
Wednesday, 1st March 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-2 Back to the Relationship
V1 ‘Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly.’ Why did Jonah go to Tarshish? He was from the desert, and Tarshish was a city by the sea. It was a place he was unfamiliar with, but he wanted to go there to run away from God. When he experienced the storm and was thrown off the ship, God sent a fish to swallow him to save him from drowning. When Jonah was running to Tarshish, he wanted to run away from God and to hide from Him. But when Jonah was in the fish, he started to pray to God and had interactions with God.
A lot of times, when we want to run away from someone, we will not want to see them, talk to them, or have any interactions with them. We want to break the relationship with them and have nothing to do with them. When we run away from God, we will also cut off anything we have to do with God, but then we will come to know that God will always be there, He is always waiting for us to open up to Him. Running away is never the solution, because at the end, we are the only ones, who will be hurt if we run away from God.
V2 ‘And he said: I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice.’ Jonah was determined to talk to God and to hear God’s voice. When we are in a complete darkness, do we believe that God can hear our voice and He can also talk to us? We must believe that God can hear our voice, and we will no longer live in the depression and the darkness of death. Let us be bold to go back to the relationship, don’t run away but hold onto God tightly.
Section Two V3-6 Back to the Faith
V3 ‘For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me.’ It was Jonah’s decision to be thrown into the sea, not God. If Jonah humbled himself and prayed on the ship, would God not listen? But when he decided to tell people to throw him into the sea, he came back and blamed God. Jonah turned back to God by his physical action, but what about his faith? When we decide to come back to the relationship, is our heart also there in the relationship?
V4 ‘Then I said, I have been cast out of Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ Jonah’s heart gradually changed, he still thought he was casted out from God’s sight, but he changed his attention to God’s temple instead of his own problems. We often thought that we need to first deal with all our problems before following God, but God is always with us, and He is always waiting for us to respond to Him. Our problems in life will never be resolved completely, but do we have this faith to respond to God straight away?
V5 ‘The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; weeds were wrapped around my head.’ Jonah experienced the waters, the storms, but he also experienced God’s salvation. He believed God was with him and would save him. V6 ‘I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; yet You have brought up my life from the pit, o Lord, my God.’ God is not only the God in the desert but also the God of the sea, He created the Heaven and Earth, even the fish had to listen to God. Let us go back to the faith, when we are surrounded by darkness, can we see God by faith?
Section Three V7-10 Back to the Way of God
V7 ‘When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple.’ It was not an easy experience for Jonah, but also a life lesson to teach him that he should never run away from his problems. Finally, Jonah admitted his own problem, he realised that everything happened was because of his rebellious and stubbornness. Do we see the path of God is the path of blessings? All the darkness we are experiencing is due to our sinful nature, but God is still there for us, He has always been there for us, waiting for us to turn back.
V8-9 ‘Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy. But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.’ Jonah humbled himself and was willing to follow God again. When he went back to the way of God, he will no longer be deserted and he will no longer be a foreigner. He knew God’s way is the best way, and he was willing to surrender.
V10 ‘So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.’ Let us also receive strength from God, when we humble ourselves, come back to the relationship, the faith, and the path of God, then He will guide us to the way we should go!
约拿书 2 – 破茧而出
V5-6 神没有把那些让约拿感受死亡、恐惧的东西拿走。约拿在鱼腹中经历这一切，同时也相信神是拯救他的神 – 神不仅是旱地的神，也是沧海的神。当我们被周围的幽暗或自己里面的负面情绪淹没的时候，也要像约拿这样选择回到对神的相信里。
三、 v.7-10 回到神的道路