Jonah 2:9
Thankfulness opens the door of mercy, sets God's goodness free to be good to us, prepares us to receive blessing. It should be cultivated. It should be expressed. "The voice of thanksgiving." Jonah was thankful. He had strong reason indeed to be. He paid the vows he had made. "Be ye thankful." Every mercy is an incentive to thankfulness. And God's mercies, "new every morning and repeated every evening," and pauseless in their coming, "cannot be reckoned up." And all crowned by the gift of Christ. "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift." "Thanksgiving is thanksliving."

"Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done," G.T.C.

I will pay that that I have vowed.
I heard of a sea-captain who had been wrecked, and with whose ship most of the crew and passengers were lost. He himself had only saved his life by holding on to a plank, and had for a considerable time been completely at the mercy of the waves, but fortunately had been rescued, and was then travelling in the stage-coach to rejoin his family. He told his fellow-passengers his sad story, and all of them pitied him, but wondered why a man so recently saved from imminent danger should end almost every sentence with an oath. The coach stopped to change horses, and one of the passengers proposed to the captain that they should walk on and let the coach overtake them. As they walked together the gentleman said, "You said last night you lost your ship? Yes." "And your life was saved by clinging to a plank? When you were hanging on to that plank, did you not vow that if God delivered you, you would lead a very different life from that which you had formerly done?" "That is no concern of yours," angrily responded the captain. At the end of the day's journey, as the travellers were about to take supper together, the captain was obliged to decline, saying he had no money. The gentleman who had spoken to him on the way offered him a goodly sum. The captain refused it at first, but eventually, rather ungraciously, accepted the gift. Next morning the captain surprised the gentleman by holding out his hand and saying, "I did, while on that plank, promise God that I would lead a different life if He would, in His mercy, save me. I had forgotten my vow, but with God's help I shall keep it from this day forth!" Do not many sinners so treat God? They call upon Him in the day of trouble, but when they are delivered they forget all about Him.

(J. Hamilton.)

Salvation is of the Lord
In his words we have a particular favour acknowledged. Jonah evidently had an eye to the wonderful and extraordinary deliverance that God had wrought for him; and indeed the hand of God did so eminently appear in it, that it could not be ascribed to any other. And there is a general truth asserted, "Salvation is of the Lent." This is certainly true in the most extensive sense. Whether the salvation be of a temporal or spiritual nature, it is of the Lord.


1. The salvation of the soul, salvation from sin, and from all that misery which is consequential to it There is a salvation by purchase and a salvation by power, and both are of the Lord.

2. Temporal salvation is of the Lord. God Wrought a temporal as well as a spiritual deliverance for Jonah, and to Him Jonah ascribes the praise of both.


1. In what respects spiritual salvation is of the Lord.

(1)In respect of contrivance.

(2)In respect of purchase.

(3)In respect of the revelation, exhibition, and offer of it.

(4)In respect of the application of it.

(5)In respect of the progress of it.

(6)In respect of the consummation of it.

2. Temporal salvation, or deliverance from outward troubles and afflictions, is of the Lord, as it is He alone who works it; and whatever the distress is, He is able to work it.Learn —

1. Believers in the most afflicted condition have no reason to be cast down, as if their case were altogether hopeless.

2. Sinners, however guilty and wretched, have no reason to despair of salvation.

3. Believers are wholly indebted to the grace of God for their salvation, for every spiritual and every temporal deliverance wrought for them.

4. That when any deliverance wrought for persons has been wrought for them in mercy, they will eye and acknowledge the hand of God in it.

(D. Wilson.)

Observe what happens when the cry rises at sea, "A man overboard!" With others on deck, you rush to the side; and leaning over the bulwarks, with beating heart you watch the place where the rising air-bells and boiling deep tell that he has gone down. After some moments of breathless anxiety you see his head emerge from the wave. Now that man, I shall suppose, is no swimmer; he has never learnt to breast the billows; yet with 'the first breath he draws he begins to beat the water; with violent efforts he attempts to shake off the grasp of death, and by the play of limbs and arms to keep his head from sinking. It may be that these struggles but exhaust his strength, and sink him all the sooner; nevertheless, that drowning one makes instinctive and convulsive efforts to save himself. So, when first brought to feel and cry, "I perish!" when the horrible conviction rushes into the soul that we are lost, when we feel ourselves going down beneath a load of guilt into the depth of the wrath of God, our first effort is to save ourselves. Like a drowning man, who will clutch at straws and twigs, we seize on anything, however worthless, that promises salvation. Thus, alas! many poor souls toil, and spend weary, unprofitable years in the attempt to establish a righteousness of their own, and find in the deeds of the law protection from its curse. (J. Maclaurin.)

Take the word "salvation" in its highest and in its lower senses.

I. IN THE DELIVERANCE OF A SOUL. Comment upon our state of ruin. Salvation is —

1. Of the Father. In its origin proceeding from the eternal love of God, even before all time.

2. Of the Son. In its meritorious cause. An obstacle to be removed; justice to be satisfied; our need of an atoning sacrifice. Note the willingness of Christ to offer Himself; and the fulness and sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice.

3. Of the Spirit. In its personal application. Our aversion to God to be taken away — in conversion, sanctification, perseverance.


1. From outward difficulties. Such as Jonah's case. Jonathan and the Philistines. Children of Israel in the wilderness. David overtaken by Saul. Asa and the Ethiopians. Jehoshaphat and the Moabites.

2. From bodily afflictions. Hezekiah's sickness. Psalm 102:17; Job 32:19.

3. From soul troubles. Temptation. Desertion. Backsliding. What are the legitimate deductions?

(1)The subject checks the pride and vainglory of man.

(2)Raises the hopes of the desponding.

(John D. Lawe, M. A.)

Let us try to see what salvation means. I take it to be summed up in four things. First, knowledge that God is our Father; second, knowledge of the kind of life we are expected to live; third, reconciliation with ourselves, with our own consciences; fourth, a sense of pardon and communion with God, and knowledge of eternal life within us. If you test these things you will find how true it is that they are not found in any other name or person than Jesus Christ.

(R. F. Horton, D. D.)

This text announces, in general terms, a truth encroached upon by almost all systems of false doctrine, and repugnant to the natural heart.


1. In the will and decree of the Father (see Ephesians 1:4).

2. The Father's purpose and decree can be referred to nothing but His sovereign pleasure (see Ephesians 1:11).

3. He was under no obligation to save man.

4. In order to receive salvation we must take the position in which it contemplates us. Condemned, as guilty. Hateful, through sin. The enemies of God, against whom sin is. Powerless to atone or obey.

5. We must further acknowledge God's absolute sovereignty in electing to salvation, and providing a Saviour, and in now saving us.


1. Had man been equal to his own salvation, then had Christ not come (Galatians 3:21).

2. Christ had to meet human opposition. Man opposed his own salvation, according to God's plan, as soon as practicable.

III. SALVATION IS WHOLLY OF GOD IN ITS APPLICATION BY THE SPIRIT. Man is dependent on the Spirit for having the truth presented; for being able to understand the truth; for rendering him willing; for faith to receive and rest on Christ; for regeneration; for sanctification; for perseverance unto the end of life in Divine grace. Learn to pray for and rely on the Spirit.

(James Stewart.)

In the former part of the verse the prophet expresses his determination to bless and praise the Lord. The ground of his doing so was what the Lord had done for him, notwithstanding his grievous crimes and rebellion. That again embraced a twofold mercy, namely, what had been done, or what was about to be done, for his body and for his soul. The prophet had now been taught a lesson which it would be his wisdom never to forget, and which would the better enable him for the arduous work he was called to perform. Some indisputable facts in Christian experience.

1. That no one knows what salvation means but they who have seen their need of it.

2. That no one can praise the Lord for salvation but they who have experienced its blessing and power.

3. That no one can be insensible to the holy feeling of gratitude and praise to whom the grace of God hath brought salvation.

4. That it is generally through a variety of humiliating and painful discipline we are conducted to such an experience, and formed to such a confession and acknowledgment. This then is the subject of our discourse. Considered in every possible point of view, in its origin, source, revelation, execution, grant, efficiency, continuance, and consummation, "Salvation is of the Lord."


1. What the Lord had done, or was about to do, for Jonah in respect of his body. In this Jonah was a striking type of Christ.

2. What the Lord had done for him in respect of his soul, in preserving him from hell, and granting him repentance unto life. The word salvation, as applied to souls, does not mean




(4)Names, sects, or parties.To see what it does mean we must ask, What is the state of man? He is lost, as being guilty, condemned, polluted, and depraved, exposed to many enemies, from which, by his own will and power, be can never escape. Salvation means deliverance from this state of wretchedness and misery, together with an investiture of all the blessings needful for his present peace and everlasting welfare.

II. WHENCE DOES THIS SALVATION FLOW, AND BY WHOM IS IT CARRIED INTO EFFECT? It does not originate with man. It is not effected by man. It is altogether of the Lord. Consider from Scripture —

1. The source of salvation.

2. The provision of the Saviour.

3. The assignment of His mediating work as the surety of His Church and people.

4. Look at the execution of this great work.So it is clear that salvation is altogether of the Lord. Consider how, and by whom, the time when, and the manner in which this gracious provision is carried into effect in the sinner's conversion.

1. The regeneration of the soul.

2. The sinner's pardon and justification.

3. The believer's sanctification and adoption.

4. The believer's succour, support, and safety.

5. The believer's perseverance unto the end, his safe death, and triumphant glory.


1. What hath the Lord spoken on this subject?

2. What does the state of the case absolutely require?

3. What does the experience of the people of God abundantly testify and confirm?

4. If salvation be not of the Lord, then how dark, how cheerless is the prospect set before us!(1) Take a word of instruction. Lay down this doctrine as a fundamental truth.(2) Take a word of discovery. How much error, delusion, and false doctrine does this subject bring to light!(3) Take a word of inquiry. In what way are you seeking your salvation?(4) Take a word of alarm. Is it not sad to consider how the Lord is slighted by some, and dishonoured by others, in this great work of salvation?(5) Take a word of encouragement. Can anything be more cheering than this assurance, "Salvation is of the Lord"?(6) Take a word of gratitude and joy. Is the Lord my Saviour?

(R. Shittler.)

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