Jonah's Psalm

I've always had a real love of the Book of Jonah... perhaps it's because he is such an appalling prophet - God uses him despite himself - giving hope to all of us preachers and pastors who are all too aware of our failings...I've preached my way through the book a couple of times and, way back when wrote a series of monologues based on the 4 chapters that I've performed in various settings (sometimes to the detriment of my health). But the mention of Jonah and the Whale in "Accentuate the Positive", which I posted yesterday, sent me scurrying back to Jonah chapter 2 where the prodigal prophet finds himself in the belly of the whale and composes a psalm - Is it genuine thankfulness for his strange salvation, or a piece of "cod" piety cobbled together from bits of various psalms? It is hard to say, indeed the whole book in places reads like a satire on hypocrisy. 
But here is my take on Jonah's psalm:

In deep distress I called to the Lord, 
and he answered me. 
From the depths of a watery grave I called for help, 
and you heard my cry. 
You hurled me into the ocean depths, 
into the swirling seas,
the currents pulled me here and there; 
the waves and breakers crashed down upon me. 
I said, 'I have been discarded, thrown away like rubbish; 
when will I see your holy temple again?' 
The engulfing waters grasped me and drew me down and down; 
seaweed twisted around my head. 
I sank down into the abyss; 
The gateway to life was slamming shut behind me. 
But you pulled me from the jaws of death, O Lord my God.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, O Lord, 
my prayer rose to you from the depths to your high and holy dwelling place.
Those who cling to man-made idols sink like stones 
rather than grasping the grace that is offered to them. 
But wherever I am I will sing a song of thanksgiving, 
I will bring you a sacrifice of praise. 
I will fulfil my promises:
Salvation comes from the Lord.
Jonah 2: 2-9

Salvation does come from the Lord, sometimes in the strangest of forms, Be it a big fish . Or a baby born in a byre... A baby called Jesus, meaning "God saves"... Iesus Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr, IChTHYS... the fish...
Come Lord Jesus...



Popular posts from this blog

A Woman of no Distinction

I am the True Vine

Psalm for Harvest Sunday