Scripture Reading: Jonah 2:1-10
“When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to You into Your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:7)
Jonah had to hit rock bottom before he regained his perspective. In the belly of the fish, at the bottom of the sea, Jonah remembered the Lord. Many of us can relate to Jonah. We get careless spiritually or even worse we attempt to run from God. But He loves us too much to let us go. He will deal with us and His hand may have to be heavy upon us to get our attention.
Twice in Jonah’s prayer he speaks of God’s holy temple (vs. 4,7). In verse 4 he says, “Yet I shall again look upon Your holy temple.” Why was Jonah thinking about God’s temple? Jonah knew that the mercy seat was in the temple. The mercy seat sat on top of the Ark of the Covenant. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest sprinkled the blood of an atoning sacrifice on the mercy seat for the sins of the people. This is where sin was dealt with. Jonah knew he had been in sin and he now turned to God for forgiveness. Jonah ended his prayer with these words — “Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
When we sin we must look at the cross. The cross is the place where God’s justice and His mercy come together. Jesus bore God’s wrath in our place to satisfy God’s justice. Because of this God can grant mercy to us. Jesus redeemed us with His precious blood. When we remember Him and repent of our sins, we find God’s mercy at work in us. Then with Jonah we joyfully proclaim — “Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
Lord Jesus, thank You for not giving up on me. Even in my rebellion, You love me and You will not let me go. Thank You for the supreme sacrifice You made on my behalf. Thank You for suffering God’s wrath in my place so that I could receive His mercy. I know that salvation belongs to the Lord!
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