"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,
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...
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
Come Lord Jesus...