“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” (Jonah 2:9)
These are the climactic words of Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the great fish that the LORD had appointed to rescue him despite his foolish and stubborn rebellion. What Jonah had surely known about the LORD in theory, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Exodus 33:19) he had just learned firsthand. Jonah’s “no” was no match for God’s, “yes.” In Isaiah’s words:
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.” (Isaiah 59:1)
The apostle Paul learned this same lesson on the road to Damascus as he ran headlong from the LORD, violently persecuting the early church. Like Jonah, God stopped him in his tracks and sent his feet in a new direction.
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)
“Salvation belongs to the LORD!”
As we’ll see in the coming weeks, Jonah turns and yields to the LORD’s calling to go to Nineveh, but unlike the apostle Paul, he won’t be happy about it. And we are meant to see the irony and hypocrisy. In his own case, “Salvation belongs to the LORD!” is good news. When it comes to the Ninevites, that will be another matter.
Every Sunday we gather to remind one another that salvation belongs to the LORD. He is mighty to save. We were also born running headlong away from God, but in his mercy He pursued us. When we were “dead in the trespasses and sins in which we once walked… God being rich in mercy, made us alive together with Christ – by grace we have been saved (Ephesians 2:1, 4).”
This Sunday Randy Gruendyke will be preaching Jonah 1:17-2:10 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Please pray for each as they prepare. And to prepare your own heart for Sunday, would you make time to read our passage and pray.
Ask the Lord to enlarge our gratitude for God’s sovereign grace in such a way that it overcomes any hardness of heart we may have toward our enemies.
Ask the Lord to increase in us the “found people find people” principle.
Ask the Lord to help us learn from Jonah’s bad example – that the lessons he had to learn so painfully, we would learn more eagerly.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
Thy Mercy, O God arrangement by The Worship Initiative feat. Davy Flowers
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last
Has won my affections, and bound my soul fast