“Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But Thou hast brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.” Jonah 2:5-6
Each of us languish in different “pits” at various life stages. Yet God possesses an unfathomable power to deliver. He “is to us a God of deliverances” (Psalm 68:20).
Let’s consider Jonah, a man who knew God and served Him. The LORD instructed Jonah to preach to the Ninevites, but he refused. He ran away. Caring more about his preferences than God’s will, he boarded a ship and sailed in the opposite direction of Nineveh.
A raging storm arose. Terrified, the sailors questioned which of their gods caused the seas to churn so violently. A sleepy-eyed Jonah realized immediately that his God, the only true God, incited the storm due to his disobedience.
Jonah urged his fellow shipmates to throw him overboard, so they complied. His attempt to flee from God’s will landed him in tumultuous waters and into a fish’s foul-smelling stomach. Surely this wasn’t the destination he planned.
As horrifying as it was, the pit was a place of mercy.God provided it so Jonah could come to his senses. When he breathed in his surroundings and felt the suffocating results of his choice to disobey, Jonah changed his mind—he repented. Before the fish spit Jonah onto the shore, God led Jonah to repentance and delivered him from his sin.
We all have some “Jonah” in us.
Though we know God and serve Him, we still wrestle with a sinful nature. Sometimes, we don’t even wrestle. We yield to our sinful tendencies and desires. Like Jonah, our sin can land us in a pit, yet we don’t have to remain there. Let’s ask ourselves some searching questions as we seek deliverance:
What besetting sin has mired me down and left me hopeless?
How is my attempt to live life my way working out?
When will I stop trying to run away and instead run into God’s arms?
God’s deliverance at the point of our salvation is complete. At the same time, He continues to deliver us over and over throughout the sanctification process. He’s a God of mercy and grace who extends His hand to us. Even in the darkest pit where we can’t see His hand, it’s there.
“There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty. The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!'” (Deut. 33:26-27).
JESUS came to give us abundant life. He came to destroy the works of the devil and to free us from the chains of sin. JESUS came to deliver us.