What I Have Vowed
November 26, 2022
Jonah 2:9 “But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
Most of us remember Jonah from the story of him being in the belly of a whale because he didn’t want to do something that God wanted him to do. Let me give you a little history on Jonah. Not long after the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, another prophet came to the northern kingdom of Israel. Jonah was from a city near Nazareth. And one night, the Lord spoke to Jonah and told him to go to the city of Nineveh because of their wickedness, but Jonah didn’t want to go. In fact he heads in the opposite direction, toward Tarshish, on the other side of the Mediterranean. But, the Lord had other plans and he cause a huge storm that threatened to destroy the ship. When the sailors realized Jonah was fleeing from God, Jonah tells them to throw him out to the sea because he knows that God is angry at him. And they threw him over.
Then God appointed a great fish to swallow him up, and he did. From inside the belly of the fish, Jonah pleads for his life. He calls out to God for help and admits what he has done wrong and tells God that he remembers all that he has done for him and then he praises God. He vows that if he is saved, he will make good, and the Lord commanded the fish to spit out Jonah onto dry land. There’s so much more to this book and I urge you today to take a few minutes to read the whole book.
The point of verse 9 today is that God does answer our cries of distress, even when we are guilty when we ask for forgiveness and give thanks to God. Jonah was running away from God. But he cried out to God and God delivered him after he praised God and vowed to change. The answer to Jonah’s prayer had the proper effect. God taught Jonah that God answers prayers so that thanksgiving will give Him honor. Philippians 4:6 tells us do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 1:11, "You must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessings granted us in answer to many prayers."