Though we bring affliction upon ourselves by our sins,
yet if we pray in humility and godly sincerity,
we shall be heard at the throne of grace and God will speak the word of deliverance.
1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,
2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
10 ¶ And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Jonah 2:1-10 – A Prayer from the Depths
The psalm which follows is very helpful to those who have brought themselves into the depths by their wrongdoing. God will hear such out of the depths of Sheol. When you think you are cast out of His sight forever, if you will look toward His holy temple, you will find that His love is gradually extricating you from the pit. To trust in your own efforts and expedients is to regard lying vanities and to forsake your own mercy. “Salvation is of the LORD.” All nature waits upon His word. The big sharks and the tiny minnows are alike at the behest of God for the help of man. Only “look again” to God, and then be sure to pay your vows when delivered! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Jonah 2:4—I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
That is well, O truant soul. Look again from where thou art! Thou art in the heart of the seas; the flood of sorrow enwraps thee; storms of trouble are sweeping over thee—but look again toward his holy temple. All that sorrow has been sent to bring thee back from thy wanderings, and cause thee to look again. Thou couldest not look so long as thy back was towards the will of God, and thy face towards Tarshish; but now thou art turned again, and art on thy way back, thou mayest look again in the direction of the altar and its sacrifice, the High Priest and his mediation. Look again. Look off unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Faith. Do not wait till thou hast come into a better vantage-point for vision, but look again from thy position in the lowest depths.
Look again! God invites thee, too. Though thou hast turned thy back on Him these many years, He waits to be gracious; his face is wreathed in tenderest, yearning love. One look the least, the most abashed, from the greatest distance, will be eagerly noticed and instantly reciprocated. “They looked unto Him, and were lightened” (Psalm 34:5)—so wilt thou be. And He will bring up thy life from the pit. Does thy soul faint within thee?—then remember the Lord. Let there be but one yearning desire for Him, and it will come in unto Him as a prayer to his holy temple.
Look again! in spite of as remonstrances of thine heart. “I said.” The heart is always saying: I am too vile; I have sinned too deeply; I have gone too far; I have so often fallen and returned, I am ashamed to come again: besides, are there not texts about never forgiveness, and impossible to renew to repentance? I said: Yet, look again! – Our Daily Homily