Originally scheduled for February 7
The story of
Jonah, as recorded in the Old Testament, includes the prayer that
Jonah prayed upon being thrown overboard. We might take a short look
at that prayer, for its elements are much more common than we think.
If you recall, Jonah had been thrown overboard after he admitted
that he is the source of the problem. He’s been running away from
God. And yet the first thing he tells us in his prayer is this: “I
called… He answered me.”
He even recognizes (verse four) that he has been expelled from
God’s sight. It seems as if God has utterly and completely rejected
him. Then comes the word, “nevertheless.” Despite all that he has
done wrong, Jonah is appealing to God.
You will note too that everything in this prayer is written in the
past tense — until we get the verse nine. The point in that verse is
in the last sentence: “Salvation is from the LORD.”
Jonah with your heart. Have you ever been in a situation like that?
Your plight was so bad that you overcome your reluctance to admit
your own sin. You called out to him despite the fact that your
situation is rooted in your own fault.
You knew that your circumstances came from God’s justice and
discipline. In short, you’re getting what you deserved. But still,
So you said to yourself, “Salvation is from the LORD.” But how can
you be sure of that? How do you trust him to reverse his own
discipline for your sake? How do you know that God is willing to do
evidence that is being presented to you in Communion. It is a form
of evidence that he presents to you each week.
The Cross shows us his love towards us. Remember, many of the
people who were laughing at and sneering at Christ on the cross
would, about seven weeks later, become charter members of the First
Christian Church of Jerusalem. Did he threaten them? No, he asked
his Father to forgive them.
His death paid the atonement price. We have been redeemed; mercy
has triumphed over judgment. He will forgive.
It is a fact that human beings are much more in need of reminding
than they are of instruction. That’s why he asked us to take
Communion on a regular basis. One reason is so that we will never
forget that no matter how desperate our plight, no matter how much
it’s our fault, nevertheless he will still come to our aid. He only
asks that you remember the price he paid to do that.