Jonah (Part 3)

v. 17. A. God prepared a great fish to receive Jonah, even as He later prepared a grave for Christ. JOH 19:41. 1. 2. 3. B. This is 1. MAT 12:39-40; 1PE 1:3-4; ROM 4:25. 1. Mind that the whale was a tomb for Jonah yet also a place of salvation. 2. As the whale's belly could not consume nor continually hold Jonah, so the grave could not corrupt nor hold Jesus Christ. ACT 2:24-27. 3. Jonah's being cast into the sea should have been his death but that a prepared whale's mouth and belly received him for a season until his “resurrection” was a case of “...Death is swallowed up in victory” (1CO 15:54). Chapter 2 vs. 1-7. A. Jonah's choice of flesh over obedience had thrust him into a place of corruption (v. 6). Such is the lot of those who pursue the flesh. GAL 6:8. B. “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly” (v. 1). Jesus called it a whale. MAT 12:40. Worry not over the subjective scientific distinctions between fish and mammals; it was a big marine creature such as was created on the fifth day. GEN 1:20-23. If God equates a whale with a fish, so be it! ROM 3:4; MAT 11:19. the first of four things which God prepared for Jonah. JON 4:6-8. The Holy Spirit also revealed many heavenly things which God has prepared for us in Christ. 1CO 2:9-10; JOH 14:2; MAT 25:34; HEB 11:16. Others pertain to this life and they are not all gourds to shade us. PRO 19:29; HEB 12:6. 2. C. Jonah's burial and resurrection typify Christ's burial and resurrection to save us. Jonah 9-7-13 Page 4 1. This is the first record of Jonah praying. No such thing is said of him when the shipmaster said unto him, “...arise, call upon thy God...” (JON 1:6). 2. The first record of prayer unto the LORD is that of the heathen mariners (JON 1:14)! It is a curious reproof when heathen show more faith in God than do the covenant people. MAT 8:10. 3. Perhaps Jonah's knowledge of his own disobedience had smothered his confidence as it had for Adam. GEN 3:8-10 c/w 1JO 3:20-21. 4. The belly of a whale was not the most commodious place for offering prayer but difficult environs or circumstances should not prohibit it. 1TI 2:8; ACT 16:25. a. NOTE: Thick blubber is no barrier to prayer but should rather excite it. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden...” (MAT 11:28). b. Neither is our personal inadequacy a barrier to prayer since the Spirit has promised to help us in prayer. ROM 8:26. 5. Jonah cried unto God because of his affliction. v. 2 c/w JAM 5:13. a. Jonah had played the fool and won affliction which drove him to prayer. c/w PSA 107:17-19. b. God's chastening rebooted Jonah to duty and acting like a minister. PSA 119:67 c/w 2CO 6:4. c. Why do we neglect prayer until we are in trouble? It was when Jonah's soul fainted within him that he remembered the LORD (v. 7 c/w PSA 107:5-6). Rather, we should always pray and not faint. LUK 18:1. d. Sometimes it takes affliction to remind us of our dependency upon God. 2CO 1:8-10. 6. Jonah had been swallowed alive and was facing mortality, and thus he prayed for deliverance, “...that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (2CO 5:4). a. He longed for the redemption of his body from corruption. c/w ROM 8:21-23. b. He longed for deliverance from the power of the grave. c/w 1CO 15:54-55. c. The hope of resurrection power is everywhere in Scripture! 7. He cried “...out of the belly of hell...” (v. 2). This was a hell from which a man may pray and God hear him to deliver him. This cannot be said of the hell of torment after death. LUK 16:23-26. a. Jonah here experienced some of the horrors of hell itself. b. He was under God's judgment as are those in hell. c. He was cast out of God's sight and separated from Him as are those in hell. d. He was trapped in a deep place of darkness as are those in hell. e. These are sorrows, torments and horrors of the soul in which Jonah for his own sin formed a type of Christ who suffered similar soul distress (and more) because of our sins. ACT 2:31. f. Compare Jonah's description of his troubles here with PSA 88:7, 15-17. 8. Jonah deemed himself as cast out of God's sight. v. 4. a. But his faith overcame his perception: “...yet will I look again toward thy holy temple” (v. 4). b. A believer may, because of tribulation or persecution, be “...cast down, but not destroyed...” (2CO 4:8-9). c. A believer may, by not reining in bodily desires, be made a castaway (1CO 9:27) in that he loses his inheritance or office in God's kingdom. d. But thankfully, God's faithfulness to His covenant is such that His elect are not permanently cast away. ROM 11:1-2, 25-29. Jonah 9-7-13 Page 5 e. Faith in God's eternal covenant promises gives the believer hope that temporal separation from God is not permanent separation from God and that there is forgiveness with Him Who is ever faithful. PSA 130:1-5; LAM 3:18-24. f. Even though he was cast into the deep, he hoped for God's holy temple. Afflictions and chastening should not crush but enhance our longing and enthusiasm for God's house. ISA 38:22; PSA 27:4, 13. 9. NOTE: Jonah never died physically here and thus in that sense his flesh saw no corruption (the destruction of anything, esp. by disintegration or by decomposition.... decomposition as a consequence of death; dissolution). a. Yet he said, “...yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption...” (v. 6). b. This would seem to agree with what was said of Christ in ACT 13:34-37. c. Thus, “corruption” in JON 2:7 and ACT 13:34 must refer to the place of corruption, not the condition of corruption. d. The record does not indicate that Jonah's body was in any way digested by the whale's gastric juices. (1) Neither did Daniel's brethren's bodies bear any indication of the fire in which they were cast. DAN 3:27. (2) It is truly “...of the LORD'S mercies that we are not CONSUMED...” (LAM 3:22). vs. 8-10. A. vs. 8-9 imply that the idol-worshippers reneged on their vows or perhaps rendered their vows unto their idols. c/w JON 1:16. 1. God will hold accountable those who renege on their vows to Him. ECC 5:4-6. 2. Jonah, though, resolved to be faithful to his vow if God should save him. 3. “Salvation is of the LORD,” not of lying vanities or any other name. ACT 4:12. B. Jonah spoke to God but God spoke to the whale. Answers to prayers for deliverance may come from God speaking to nature. ACT 4:31; 16:25-26. C. The whale did not just vomit out Jonah into the sea to be swallowed again or destroyed some other way. It deposited him safely on dry land and had no more claim on him. v. 10. 1. The grave likewise could not hold Christ nor reclaim Him. ACT 2:24; 13:34. 2. In Christ's resurrection, believers have assurance of FULL deliverance to safety. JOH 6:40; 11:25-26; 1TH 4:14-18. D. This chapter, so richly figurative and prophetic of Christ's entombment and resurrection, has been relegated to the realm of fantasy and fable by many as has the account of Christ's entombment and resurrection. MAT 28:11-15.
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