Jonah’s Leftovers // Jonah 2:8-10
Sovereign To SAVE // Praise
"8Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” 10And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land." ~Jonah 2:8-10 ESV
3 effects in the conclusion of Jonah’s prayer:
"When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple."
We are to similarly do this as we come before the Lord Jesus with a spirit of brokenness, even when we don’t have it all figured out. Ultimately that’s what faith is, faith is predicated on trust, and not understanding. So we just let go and we let God worry about the outcome.
~Martin Luther says on worrying,- “Pray, and let God worry.”
— Kevin Deyoung says in the remember, it’s, “The promises of God are more reliable than our eyes, more sure than our senses, and more dependable than our past and present experience.”
Often in our lives it’s in the “wait,” that working to develop us into the person God has created us to be – – just as the fish serves as a proverbial “pressure-cooker,” for Jonah’s sanctification.
Q1 – What would the spiritual symbols read out on your divine dashboard today? (Low on prayer + Church attendance? Full in faith? Have you remembered how God has saved you? How He’s come through for you in the past? —-Are you remembering to be ready?
Q2 – How has those tough circumstances around you shaped you more into the image of Christ? How has God’s past faithfulness over past circumstances, proved God to be worthy over your present one?—-How are these truths setting the tone for your worship?
"Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love."
Jonah Renewal - Part I
From Jonah this is both a warning and a confession, as the language he uses is really interesting here, where he said, “those who PAY regard to.” If you’ll remember back w/me in Jonah C.1:3 that he’s already “paid,” a fare before – he’s already purchased a ticket to board a boat at Joppa in this attempt to run away from God’s will.
Even though, “pay regard to,” isn’t monetarily centered here, it is associated with a cost. Because to “pay regard to,” means to give great attention toward. It’s to send some devotion, care, concern or endorsement behind…and when you do that to your “idols”, it always comes with a cost.
Jonah then reveals to us the cost on this, in saying that it “forsake(s),” or it brings you to abandon, or reject or trade in your “HOPE,” “of (God’s) steadfast love.”
Jonah’s speaking candidly from personal experience, he’s talking about himself in his own worship of himself as a “vain idol,” or at a bare minimum he’s alluding to “his preferences,” above “God’s preferences.” But, what exactly is a “vain idol?”
The Ten Commandments shows us a clear picture of “vain,” that heavily ties back into verse 8 of Jonah: Exodus 20:7, “Don’t take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” The Hebrew here carries a connotation of “don’t “shav” or empty the name of Yeshua Elohim, the LORD your God.”
Notice further the parallels from the Big 10 to Jonah’s language here (the “idol-ism,” the “cost”, and the “steadfast love.” “4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:4-6
So “vain,” doesn’t just refer to a certain tone of voice or a certain usage of word’s. But, it’s dealing with God and speaking of God in a way that empties God of His significance. “Vain,” treats God in cheap ways, in low ways, in ways that make God some sort of commodity to us; this is what a “vain idol,” does to God.
#1 – Jonah’s renewal by recognition.
There are all sorts of ways you can translate this original language from Jonah 2:8, but another way it’s translated is to look at these as, “WORTH-LESS IDOLS.”
In Jonah’s day, w/idolatry —polytheistic idol worship was the normative in the ancient world. So when Jonah would think of these “little statues,” that people would make with their own hands– that they’d literally bow down to and worship and pray to…..Jonah’d figured out that in his own heart there was a stack of statues he’d created that he gave shelf-space to for his idols to live in.
Jonah knew (as we know), that people ‘reflect the “god,” that they worship’. Or, in other words you will do whatever you have to do in order to serve and make your empty/worthless “idols,” happy. One of Jonah’s idols was ethnocentrism and nationality. Jonah hated the wicked people of Nineveh and didn’t see them as “worthy,” of God’s mercy and grace.
What Jonah’s teaching us is that when we worship empty idols, what always happens in that pursuit is that we “forsake the hope of God’s steadfast love.” The language here is a rejection or abandonment of God’s love. –This would be like you going and physically picking up Gods love in your arms and as you inspected it and examined it and experience it, you ultimately came to the decision to reject it. You’d then set it down, and walk away because in your mind you don’t need it. What you’ll come to discover (if that is you) is that no idol can ever sustain you. It’s as if you are drinking from a salt water well that’s only making your more thirsty. (cf. John 4:13)
Yet God, in his steadfast love (a devoted, faithful, reliable and unwavering love) says to us, “I love you, come back. I want to show you mercy and I want to give you hope, I’ve got something better here for you that will fill you and it won’t leave you or Me empty….but you’re not letting me.”
Bryan Chappel on our sin states, “God might be angry at your rebellion, but He’s never angry with your return.”
Q1 – What sort of worth-less/or empty idols is your life reflecting right now?
"But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!"
Jonah's Renewal - Part II
#2 – Jonah’s renewal by response.
Jonah’s circumstance has helped mature Jonah and he has went from complaining to God, to now praising God in an attitude and ‘voice of thanksgiving’ (even though this attitude won’t last long for Jonah).
‘A voice of thanksgiving,’ is one of the greatest privileges given to God’s kids. To be able to go, “Can I just brag on how good God’s been to me?! Let me tell you what He’s doing in my life, you’ve gotta come and see this for yourself!!” Psalm 66:5 is a great example of this voice of thanksgiving, “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.” Our gratitude toward God should be a war-cry and not a whisper. Gratitude is a community event, where we are inviting everyone who might have ears to come and hear how amazing our God really is.–This attitude of gratitude will concurrently praise God for his goodness and also turn what we currently have into enough, even if it’s really not enough – because our God IS enough; that’s how our response can begin to renew us.
Luke Lezon (Your Mess Matters) once said, “It’s hard to throw stones when you’re busy washing feet.”
Q1: ~ Are your hands and mouths full of the renewed response of thanksgiving OR are they full of dissatisfaction and fault-finding and discontent?
Jonah’s response is a “sacrifice,” of praise to God. (cf. Romans 12:1-2). This is a fun scene to imagine in your mind, as Jonah is inside of the fish he is worshipping. As he’s singing these “psalms/songs of praise/songs of thanksgiving,” and worshiping…. he is renewing his faith WITH his worship.
Worship is logical and emotional. Worship creates a sense of honest desperation inside us.
As a result of Jonah’s worship we see him confess in V.9 say, “what I have vowed I will pay.” Again notice the language of “pay,” showing up again. Jonah’s gone from pay-ing a fare to board a ship, to pay-ing regard to some idol-ism – – to now “pay-ing,” what he’s vowed before God to pay.”
This is a promise fulfilled, as it’s a declaration and covenant coming from Jonah’s lips.
Q:1 ~ Think about the commitments that you’ve made to the Lord. The ones you’ve made on Sunday morning or Wednesday night or when you’ve met with your small group – – Are you holding up your end of the bargain? How are those, “vows,” holding up on Thursday and Saturday night for you?
Jonah lastly in v.9 now declares, “Salvation belongs to the LORD!” Jonah understands that his personal salvation (literally and phsyically) comes from the Lord, but he also finally understands that God’s global-game-plan of salvation isn’t a meritocracy.
For Jonah this whole scene hasn’t been a prayer FOR deliverance (out of the fish) that he was praying for, but it’s been a prayer FROM deliverance (as he’s being saved from himself by the fish). It’s a posture of praise as Jonah was declaring, “God, I’m grateful. And even though I’m not where I wanna be right now (in this fish), I’m gonna give you thanks anyway, as if I’m already out.”
"And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land."
God re-directs Jonah
Up-to this point in Jonah’s prayer he’s still been in a past reflection on his situation, in the belly of a fish. But now it moves back to the present and Jonah is vomited out onto dry land. –The easy takeaway on this for us is just that sometimes we don’t always get much of a choice about how we’re gonna be delivered by God.
But, here are 2 last things to point out in Jonah’s prayer:
#1 – (God redirects) – The fish was a sign for Jonah. The fish vomiting Jonah represented God’s grace and goodness of Jonah being made new. Whenever you vomit, things are getting “expelled,” from your system so-to-speak. And in the same way God in his goodness and grace has this unique way of yanking out the sin in our lives through our sanctification process. This was a physical picture of what God was doing inside of Jonah. But also, Jonah being vomited serves as this living reminder for us of Proverbs 26:11, “Like a dog returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” which we’ll find out more again with Jonah later in the book.
Jonah’s been in the “ish,” but in the “ish,” he’s remembered, he’s being renewed, and because of this God’s re-directed Him back on track.
As Jonah sits once again on the dry-land JONAH’S STILL HELPLESS, BUT HE’S CERTAINLY NOT HOPELESS!