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He Hears the Cry of Distress (Jonah 2)

Series: Jonah (Sovereign & Merciful God)

When God told Jonah to call out against Nineveh, Jonah fled on a boat in the opposite direction. But the Lord in his sovereignty sent a storm that showed Jonah his helplessness without the Lord and caused the men on the ship to fear and make sacrifice to the Lord. Though the men on the ship had been delivered by casting Jonah overboard, Jonah began drowning in the sea.

We are common people like Jonah and we find ourselves in not-so-extreme, but similar situations. There are times when we harden our will and flee God’s will. The consequences of sin catch up to us and bury us. We know God’s anger is hot against us. Jonah was buried in water because of his own sinful rebellion. But in 2:2 Jonah tells his readers that he cried to the Lord in his distress. When Jonah cried to the Lord, 1:17 says the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah to miraculously allow him to survive for three days and nights. In chapter 4 the Lord will appoint a plant that will both rescue Jonah from discomfort, and serve as a tool to teach Jonah about the Lord’s character. God appoints this fish for the same reason. Chapter 2 is Jonah’s prayer from the fish’s belly that declares what he has learned about the Lord because of this experience.

As people who become distressed by God’s hot anger in our sin, Jonah’s prayer in chapter 2 is a great comfort because after we learn that the Lord is sovereign in our opposition, we learn that the Lord still answers his children when they cry out to him in distress. This evening we will consider 4 ways God answered Jonah’s cry of distress and 2 purposes God had in answering Jonah’s cry of distress and how these apply to us today. The result will give us confidence in our prayers for deliverance.

  • How God Answered Jonah's Cry of Distress
    • God answers our cries of distress in spite of our guilt (2:2).
    • God answers our cries of distress in spite of his judgment upon us (2:3-4).
    • God answers our cries of distress and delivers from impossible circumstances in the nick of time (2:5-7; cf. Hab. 1:2)
    • God answers our cries of distress in stages, some of which are not comfortable (2:9).
  • Why God Answered Jonah's Cry of Distress
    • God answers our cries of distress to win our loyalty and fill us with thanksgiving (2:8-9).
    • God answered Jonah’s cry for physical salvation as a precursor to Christ who would raise from death to signal spiritual salvation (Jonah 1:17, 2:10; Matthew 12:38-40)‚Äč

God answers our cries of distress in spite of our guilt and his anger, even in impossible circumstances, and in sometimes uncomfortable stages to win our undivided loyalty and thankfulness to him.

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