“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD; and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine Holy temple.” Jonah 2:7
There are three overriding themes that may be seen in the book of Jonah. First, is the truth that God has purposed salvation for sinners in the world, not just the Jew, but also the Gentiles, that God has chosen from eternity, for whom Christ has paid the debt, and the Spirit of God does call to Him in repentance (Revelation 5:9, 7:9). Second, is the truth that Jonah in the belly of the whale, three days and three nights has its parallel in Matthew 12:40 as a type of the death, burial, and resurrection of the LORD Jesus. Even as Jonah was preserved in the grave and ‘raised’ to go preach the Gospel to the Ninevites, so our LORD’s soul through His death, was not allowed to see corruption, and He came forth from the grave, and ever lives now in glory, to intercede for every one for whom He paid the debt. Third, is the truth that where God has purposed to save sinners, He grants them grace to repent and turn to the LORD for mercy Matthew 12:41. Such was the Spirit’s work in and to the Ninevites.
Although, Jonah was the LORD’s, yet His rebellion is a reminder of the sin nature that is in us all. No child of God is exempt from sin. In fact, to say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is NOT in us (1 John 1:8). However, any who are the LORD’s the Spirit of God does continue to show them their sin, and cause them to turn again and again to the LORD, as was the case with Jonah. If he was to preach to these Gentile sinners, it would be after God had shown him his own desperate state before God. The evidence of the Spirit’s work in him is four-fold, as seen in Jonah 2:7.
1. Made to despair of any good in himself- “When my soul fainted within me.”
2. Cause to turn to the LORD- “I remembered the LORD”
3. Given a cry of need to the LORD- “and my prayer came in unto Thee.”
4. Brought to rest in Christ and His sacrificial death alone- “into thine holy temple.” What was in the temple? The High Priest, the sacrifices, and the altar and mercy seat, all fulfilled in Christ the sinner’s Substitute.
There are no cases too difficult for the LORD. Knowing ourselves to be sinners, and trusting that it was for such as we are that Christ died, shall we not rest in who He is and what He has accomplished?