by: Timothy Vazquez
Jonah 2:9 (NLT) “But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”
It is an awesome privilege to be able to offer a sacrifice of praise to the Lord Jesus for all that He has done and for who He is: King of kings and Lord of lords! Jonah was doing just that in acknowledging the fact that his salvation was from God and from Him alone. This would seem to be another one of the many times that a man of God, a prophet, a Levitical priest or messenger of God was caught up in the beauty and the splendor of the glory of God that resulted in adoration and praise. But there is one fact that makes this instance of praise quite different. Jonah, God's prophet, was offering this praise while he was in the belly of a fish!
In the midst of his life being in the throes of darkness and death as he was sinking into the sea, God sent a huge fish to save him! We very often think that the fish was a punishment for Jonah but it was actually his salvation. It is the way that God chose to rescue him from certain death as he was sinking to the bottom of a raging sea, and Jonah knew it! He knew that God had spared him and even though he was in a predicament being inside the belly of a fish (which must have been a scary ordeal), Jonah found it within himself to offer a sacrifice of praise to the God that he was running away from. As soon as he submitted to the Lord and offered this praise offering, God ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto a beach. When God tells us that His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), He is not kidding!
Many times what we see as a punishment from God is actually His rescue plan for us. It's just that in the lost and confused state that we get into when we begin to run from God blinds us to the undeniable fact that God loves us beyond what we can comprehend and that He will do whatever it takes to save us from ourselves and to bring us back into the safety of His dwelling and covering. Whatever you may be going through, do what Jonah did in his time of need. Offer a sacrifice of praise to the Lord for all that He is and for all the mercies that He has shown you in your life. He will then do what He did for Jonah: He will open your eyes so that you can see His salvation and will give you a heart of thanksgiving that will lead you out of where you are and into God's perfect will and plan for your life. God is faithful to keep you until the end of your journey here on earth to be safely delivered into eternity and into the joy of being in the splendor of His presence forever and ever! Amen!
Pastor Joey Vazquez