Pamphlet 1604 Jonah kc 4-1
What is the worse predicament you have ever been in?
Have you ever considered what would happen if we all sat around in a big circle and threw our problems into the center of the ring? The fact is that after seeing what others are going through most of us would end up taking back our own problems. Actually, that is the basis of what Paul explains in Hebrew 12:3 when he instructs us to look to the affliction of Jesus Christ lest we become weary or faint in our minds. In other words, when things are not going so well would you rather be in the situation you are in or suffer unto death as did our Lord upon the cross?
What is the worse predicament you have ever been in? Or what is the lowest state of helplessness or even depression that you have ever experienced? Perhaps you are even feeling pretty "down in the dumps" at this very moment and feel like you are all alone and that you have been cast out of His good graces. If that is the case, or if it ever becomes the case, then today's study of Jonah's prayer from the "belly of hell" (vs. 2) should give you strength and hope and encouragement to know that He has not only promised that He will "never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5), but no matter how "bad" things get He always hears your prayers and supplication. Always! So from the womb even to the tomb there is NEVER a time you cannot turn to Him and be delivered.
We begin today's study at the point where Jonah, the prophet of God whose name means "Dove", has just been cast forth into the sea and has now been swallowed up by a great big "Fish" who was prepared and ordained by God for that very purpose and to provide Jonah with transportation back to work to finish the job he was told to do in the first place. Isn't it interesting that both the Dove and the Fish, along with the Cross, would eventually become the symbols of Christianity .
Jonah would be in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights even "as" (Mat. 12:40) the Son of man would be three days and three nights "in the heart of the earth", which is equivalent to "in the midst of the seas" (vs. 3). So don't believe any of those Friday afternoon to Sunday morning sunrise traditions. (Read appendix 144 in the Companion Bible and begin to mature in the Word of God by growing in grace and in knowledge). Jonah would then be resurrected, as a sign, a miracle indeed, that which the Savior Himself would accomplish, and then Jonah would go offer salvation to the wicked city of Nineveh, even as Christ would offer salvation unto all nations and kindreds and tongues.Jonah 2:1
Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
And during those few minutes just prior to Jonah's death, perhaps as he was holding his breath while he was being swallowed alive, while at the same time the seaweed was encompassed about his head (vs. 5), he would turn to His Father and "cry out" to the LORD, never having lost his faith nor sight of the fact that He was there to deliver him.
Therefore, in as much as Jonah was a type of the Savior who died to bring salvation to the "world", this prayer of Jonah's just before his death is very similar to the words Jesus Christ would say just prior to His death, which are the words of the 22nd Psalm.
Here are Christ's words on the cross:Jonah 2:2
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
Even in the most dire hour of distress, even in the face of death, our heavenly Father hears the voice of His beloved children. And so from this Book of Jonah alone we can know that the words "fear none of those things which you shall suffer (endure)" and "be thou faithful unto death", given by Jesus Christ to the sons and daughters of the Church of Smyrna (Rev. 2:10) in this final generation, who will also come face to face with Dagon in that great spiritual battle of the end times, are faithful and true, which if you will recall is precisely what Jonah's father's name "Amittai" means. The apostle John also writes in Rev. 22:6 "And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done."Psalm 22:24
For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid his face from him; but when he cried unto Him, He heard.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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