Daniel Agee

Jonah 2: Yonah’s messianic psalm on salvation for a righteous man

Daniel AgeeYeshua (Jesus) said that the “wicked generation” was going to be only given one sign which Yeshua called “the sign of Yonah (Jonah)” (Matt. 12:38–41; 16:1–4; Luke 11:29–32). This chapter is the key to the “sign of Jonah” that Yeshua lived. The sign of Yonah was how Yonah’s reluctance to perform the duty God had for him was transformed into acceptance of God’s task for Him. Yeti was also reluctant to accept the task God set out for Him. When Yonah accepted his duty, Nineveh was saved. When Yeshua accepted His duty, all mankind was saved.

“And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Yonah, and Yonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17 NASB)

We do not know how many days or weeks that Yonah was on the boat before he was thrown overboard. Once he was thrown overboard, that is not the end of Yonah. Yonah is a messianic figure in that his “death” saved the sailors from death.

What most people remember about Yonah’s story was the fish but the fish itself is only mentioned three times in the entire book. The topic of this book is not the fish. The fish was just the tool God used to save Yonah from drowning. 

We don’t know where the fished dumped Yonah but that is not relevant either. 

Yeshua said that the “wicked generation” was going to be only given one sign which Yeshua called “the sign of Yonah.” A lot of what Yeshua did and felt is buried in the book of Yonah. Jonah 2 gives us Yeshua’s state of mind as he was facing death. 

Normally when a human is swallowed by a large animal, the person does not survive it. But this is not an ordinary fish because it was appointed specifically to swallow Yonah. God did not want Yonah dead. God did not cause Yonah to die and resurrect him three days later, but is not what God did. 

God did not want Yonah to die because we would miss the lesson that Messiah’s would die. Yonah went through the experience of death without dying. When Yeshua died He was not asleep, just as Yonah was not dead and asleep. The grave did not hold Yeshua, the water and the fish did not hold Yonah. The book of Yonah is a literary tool and foreshadowing of the Messiah. 

Yonah’s prayer is in the style of a Psalm from someone who is very familiar with the Psalms. 

“So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.'” (Jonah 2:4 NASB)

God ordered Yeshua’s death and in a manner of speaking, God ordered Yonah’s “execution” because God is the one who required it, no one else. 

Yeshua was not happy to go through this. Remember Yeshua said “Take this from me” three times. Yeshua was reluctant to die, you wouldn’t ask God to take something away from you if you want it. Yonah’s reluctance is reflected in Yeshua’s reluctance. Yonah did not want to go overboard, he didn’t want to go to Nineveh. Yeshua didn’t want to be beaten, scourged, mocked and crucified. 

God is responsible for all of this. 

“The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.” (Psalms 11:4 NASB)

The Lord’s temple is in heaven and Yonah is calling out to heaven. In the belly of a fish, there would be no way for Yonah to direct his prayer to Jerusalem. In the grave, in death does not know what is north, east or south. The only direction you know is up. 

“I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:6–7 NASB)

At this point, Yonah is accepting his “death.” Yeshua also accepts His death. At the moment of death is when God brought them up. 

“Those who regard vain idols forsake their faithfulness.” (Jonah 2:8 NASB)

This verse seems to be very much out of place. What is the faithfulness they forsake? This comment comes from Psalm 144:

“Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle; My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.” (Psalms 144:1–2 NASB)

They are forsaking God. Sin is the idol, the worthless thing. We value our sins but God doesn’t. An idol is the work of human hands. We value things can’t hear, speak or feel and consider ourselves lesser than these things. 

Everything that we create is not greater than us, yet many people do value the things they make more than than they value themselves. God values us, not what we make because we can’t make anything of value to God. 

“But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD.”(Jonah 2:9 NASB)

What vow did Yonah and Messiah make? They both vowed that they would perform God’s duty. The point of Jonah 2 is to remind us that salvation is from God. 

God’s teachable moment to Yonah is to submit to God and God’s duty for him. At any moment, Yeshua could have said no. He could have quit but He chose not to. Yeshua showed true submission. 

Yeshua’s reward for His complete submission is new life, not only for Himself but for us. Yonah’s reward for his submission was his life as well. 

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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