Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,…
This has been called a "Song of deliverance." It suggests —
1. The moral significance of adverse circumstances. Circumstances make or unmake, mould or mar us for future usefulness and distinction, according to the spirit in which they are received and utilised. Adverse circumstances are morally advantageous when rightly understood, patiently borne, and rightly used. Adversity ever has a spiritual significance. Whether it be guidance judicial or disciplinary, we cannot do better than acknowledge with reverence the hand that strikes, and supplicate His mercy.
2. The important part prayer plays in the adversities of life. It is indispensable in the trying and troublous experiences of our moral and physical being. Jonah's prayer was a necessity. He was borne on the wings of strong moral impulses.
3. That the hearer or receiver of prayer is always within reach and approachable. Time, circumstances, con dition, place are no hindrances in themselves to drawing near to God. From every point in the compass of life He is accessible.
(1) Jonah's prayer was a personal recognition of God.
(2) He was earnest in supplication. Importunity is never unsuccessful.
4. That our prayers to a great extent are moulded by our experience. As the countenance indexes the mind, the eye, the health, so prayer is a pretty sure indicator of the soul's attitude Godward, its condition in grace, its experience in the faith-life. This chapter teaches the prevalency of prayer. It was answered in complete salvation. Note here, amazing Divine condescension. Great deviation from the Divine habitude. Prompt and perfect deliverance. Prayer is omnipotent, for it prevails with, it conquers God. There is no dilemma in Christian experience that prayer cannot deliver from.
(J. O. Keen, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,