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Jonah 2-3 (NIV)
2 1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said: “In my distress, I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. 3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. 4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight, yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ 5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains, I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. 7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8 “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. 9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” 10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Jonah Goes to Nineveh
3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
When have you felt like Jonah, far from God and in a situation beyond your control?
Precious Lord, I have found that being a follower of Yours does not guarantee that I will always live in the mountain top experiences. I have found myself in deep valleys, depressed, sick, angry, and alone. I hate those places. They disrupt my daily life and challenge my faith. What I do appreciate about those times is that it drives me back to You in big ways. My priorities are reset and I find more time to read Your Word and Pray out to You. I rediscover what is most important in my life and I actively search You out; God, I’m falling short, I need your help. I hold on to the promise that You are my Father and that You are working even when I don’t feel it. And when You help me to climb out of that valley, my faith will be strengthened and my hope renewed. Thank You for Your love, Your forgiveness, and Your faithfulness. Amen