“For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and your waves passed over me. Then I said, “I have been cast out of your sight; yet I will look again toward Your Holy Temple” (Jonah 2:2-4)
After a stunning statement from Jonah that he was in the “abode of the dead” (Sheol), he goes on to give the graphic description of his drowning! Notice Jonah did not say “the sailors on the Tarshish-bound ship who I asked to throw me overboard (Chapter 1, verse 15). Jonah spoke truth – it was GOD Who cast him into the very middle of a roaring turbulent sea!
There are an entire flood of truths which stand out here. The word “CAST” is very fearful, scary and prophetic. This is the same “casting” that God Himself does at the Final Judgment with Jesus sitting on the Great White Throne looking at the “Books” of all who have lived. Revelation 20:14-15 says “…and death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” This is God, in the form of Jesus, dispatching the lost and disobedient away from Him for eternity....casting them away, if you will, as it is twice written here. So how did Jonah survive this?!
The only answer could be that Jonah was a chosen instrument of God to take the Repentance and Salvation message to Nineveh. The thriving Christian community which was destroyed in 2014, by hordes from the religion of peace in the Mosul/Nineveh/Assyrian region has its biblical roots in Jonah’s evangelism and discipleship training there. The fact that they destroyed his tomb to remove any vestige of Judeo-Christian timeless history is all the necessary proof we need.
Jonah knows he has been weighed in the scales and found wanting, but look at the rest of verse 4 "...yet I will look again toward Your Holy Temple". A couple more noteworthy things here are first, in death, he was aware of his separation from Holy God but secondly, there is a hope within him, which cannot be ignored. This again harkens back to Jesus quoting Jonah about Himself. Jesus Himself suffered a brief separation from the Father on the Cross, when the Almighty turns His Righteous Face from the ugliness of our sin which Christ bore on that Cross. Remember this prompted the Lord to say "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" However, even on in that famous dark moment on Good Friday, Sunday was coming and the same Holy Spirit Who lives in us believers, raised Jesus from the dead to assume His Role in the Holy Temple, as High Priest of heaven!
Here the great, once disobedient (but anointed) prophet knows that though he be in the land of the dead, it is a temporary state as Sunday is coming for him too - he too shall live again to see the abode of the Living - in God's Temple! This is the hope of the Christian, who is passing from this life to the next. Whether it be through persecution in most of the countries of this planet, or through human diseases (cancer, heart failure etc.), death for the follower of Jesus Christ is but a conscious transition to glory. We too have that hope such as Jonah has in these two stunning verses of his prayer.
This fact, of the coming hope of abiding in our future home of God's Temple, in the Presence of the Holy One, is the underlying truth of my life verse for over a decade now from Psalm 27:4 "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. (Emphasis mine).Jonah, in his prayer, and us, through the Word of God in our bibles, now possess this eternal truth, as well.
NEXT: JONAH DELIVERED