“I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever. Yet you brought up my life from the pit oh Lord, my God.”
What a prayer, prayed from the belly of a fish. Jonah has been disobedient to God, is now experiencing the consequences of his sin in a way I’m quite certain he never could have imagined, and he cries out to the Lord from the belly of a fish. This whole prayer, it’s so powerful as Jonah cries out to God for salvation.
When Jonah is in the belly of the whale, he calls out to God and cries out for salvation.
The last words he says in the belly of that fish, Jonah Chapter 2, Verse 9, “Salvation belongs to the Lord.” That’s when the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
But the reason I read Verse 6 in particular, I want to lead us to pray according to it. Listened to it again. Jonah prays, “I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever. Yet you brought up my life from the pit oh Lord, my God.” Is that not exactly the story that every single person has who has experienced salvation from the Lord? He brought up my life from the pit, oh Lord, my God. I shutter to think where I would be right now if God had not brought my life up from the pit, had not saved me from my sin.
It’s really easy to harp on Jonah and his sin in this book. But part of the intent of this book is to open our own eyes to our own sinfulness, to the reality of disobedience in our own lives, to see ourselves as in the pit where it not for the mercy of God. That’s the beauty of this whole chapter, Jonah Chapter 2, that God’s capacity to save is greater than our capacity to sin.
I’m just going to say that one more time, be encouraged with this reality. God’s capacity to save is greater than our capacity to sin. God’s capacity to save, to forgive, is greater than our capacity to sin, to disobey him. God brings sinners up out of the pit and he saves them from their sin and from the consequences of their sin.
So in a fresh way today, let’s glorify God for his salvation in our lives. We pause right now and just reflect on, shutter at the thought of where we would be were it not for your mercy in our lives. God, where I would be. We deserve to be in hell right now, and here we are in communion with you, in prayer, having experienced your salvation for all of us who’ve trusted in Jesus.
God, I pray that if there’s anyone listening to this right now, who’s never trusted in Jesus that this would be the moment, that today would be the day when they cry out, salvation belongs to the Lord and they experienced your salvation from sin, that you draw them up out of the pit. And God, for all of us who have put our faith in Jesus, we praise you for that day when you drew us up out of the pit, when you saved us from our sin and your forgiveness covered over all of our rebellion, all of our disobedience.
All glory be to your name, Jesus, for paying the price for our sin, for enduring the judgment we deserve, for going down into the pit on our behalf, for dying on a cross in our place that we might say, salvation belongs to the Lord, that we might be brought up out of the pit to enjoy communion with you, relationship with you, eternal life with you. Now and forever all glory be to your name. We say together today, salvation belongs to the Lord, and we pray that you would give us boldness to proclaim that to others today, that you would give us an opportunity at some point today to share our story of how you brought our life up out of the pit with somebody else.
We pray that you would use our story and the gospel story in it to draw somebody up out of the pit today, to save someone from their sin today. All glory be to your name, oh God, salvation belongs to you. You brought our lives up from the pit oh Lord, our God. We praise you, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.