Jonah 2:9 (NIV84)
9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.”
Getting thrown off a boat into the sea would put a damper on your day. Getting swallowed by a fish after getting thrown overboard would make your day even worse. You might not feel like singing praises to God at that moment. However, the prophet Jonah thanked and praised God as he lay in the cramped, slimy, smelly stomach of a fish. He realized that God had saved him from drowning at sea. More than that, Jonah realized that God had decided to spare him even after he ran away from his calling.
As Jonah lay inside the nasty stomach of that fish, he was he was already making plans for the future. In verse 4 he says, “I will look again toward your holy temple.” In verse 9 he says, “I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good.” What made Jonah so optimistic? What made him already start planning for the future?
Jonah trusted that God saved him from the sea because God is gracious. He trusted in the God who saves him from when God wasn’t first in his own heart. And the God who saved him from sin, death, and despair saved him to serve in his original calling. And now the rebellious prophet was motivated to take up his calling and bring God’s message to the city of Nineveh.
The salvation that comes from our Lord allows us to have an optimism no matter what situation we find ourselves in. We know the Lord has already saved us from the worst threats we face. He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, knowing that he would face hatred, unfairness, murder, and, worse yet, hell. Our sin has been buried in the tomb with Christ. Death has been swallowed up in victory. A heavenly mansion is waiting for us in God’s presence in heaven. We get to plan for a future with the Lord who saved us.
Like Jonah, we are also motivated into action by the Lord’s salvation. We take up our individual callings in life to serve our Lord and love our neighbor. We take up our most important calling as we share the good news of Jesus with those walking in darkness. We join Jonah in shouting our grateful praise. Salvation comes from the Lord!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, our salvation comes from you. You give us optimism for this life and hope for a future life with you. Allow your salvation to motivate us in living our callings to your glory. Amen.