“When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple.”
The story of Jonah is an intriguing one. Jonah had enjoyed giving good news about Israel’s success in battle (2 Kings 14:25). But when God asked this patriotic Israelite to go to a powerful enemy of Israel, He did not want to go! He tried to head the opposite direction in a ship to Tarshish, believed by some scholars to be a port city in faraway Spain.
Surely Jonah couldn’t have believed that the Creator God would not be able to find him there, but likely he figured God would give up on sending the unwilling prophet.
But God did not give up. He sent a terrible storm and prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. When the sailors finally believed and threw Jonah overboard, he sank into the deep until the fish swallowed him. Jonah 2 records Jonah’s heartfelt prayer to God. In the throes of death, he remembered God’s power and His mercy. Jonah cried out to God, and God heard and rescued him.
For more about the story of Jonah and the lessons it teaches us, see our article “Purpose of Prophecy.”