Jonah is a unique person, I posted about him twice; here and here. When I wrote about him earlier, I mainly focused on his anger, and how he wanted to end his life. This time I want to focus more on one verse of his beautiful prayer in the whale’s belly.
When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. (Jonah 2:7)
There are two lessons that we can learn from this simple verse:
1. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord
Many times we keep God as our last resort, we only call Him when everything else fails. The bible teaches us the complete opposite.
Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. Psalm 146:3
2. My prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.
Jonah’s prophetic eyes widened up, he understood the meaning of confessing his sin; he understood God’s mercy. Repentance and confession of sins will let our prayers enter into the Father’s presence through Jesus Christ His only-begotten Son.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
PS. In the Coptic Orthodox Church, we fast 3 days, which actually start today, to commemorate Jonah’s repentance during the 3 days he spent in the whale’s belly, and also Nineveh‘s fasting and repentance.