He ran away from God’s call on his life — disobeyed God’s command. He tried to hide, tried to flee, but the storm pressed in on him. His disobedience affected others, threatened their lives. So he was tossed into the sea.
Imagine the guilt Jonah felt as he was tossed overboard, sinking into the depths of the ocean. As he gasped for air, thinking he would be taking his last breath, what were his thoughts? He must have felt disappointment with himself. We get a sense of this in Jonah 2:5: “Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head (NASB).” Verse 3 expresses his feeling of being cast aside: “For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me.”
Have you ever felt like that? Full of regret for disobeying God. Feeling like a storm has over taken your life. Sorry that the storm is hurting others. Full of sorrow as others toss you aside into the depths of despair. But Jonah tells us not to give up. From the depths, he tells us in verse 4: “So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.” In verse 7 he said, “While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple.
No matter how deep your sorrow, God’s love and grace is deeper. Like Jonah, look up to God with fervent prayer. In your weakness and despair, let your prayers rise up to God to be heard. Humbly, let your words be filled with thanksgiving for “Salvation is from the LORD (9).”
© 2021, CGThelen
Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; May I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me Nor the deep swallow me up, Nor the pit shut its mouth on me. – Psalm 69:14-15 (NASB)