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September 15 – Out of the depths

“The Lord provided a great fish to swallow up Jonah.” – Jonah 1:17 

Scripture reading: Jonah 1:17-2:2

The Lord does something remarkable and miraculous. When Jonah has literally hit “rock bottom” lying on the seafloor with seaweed grabbing for his throat, he feels something enclose his body. The Lord executes an extraordinary rescue mission by appointing a fish to pick up Jonah from the murky seaweed at the bottom of the ocean. The appointment of the fish was an act of divine grace. It is a means of deliverance and saves Jonah from drowning.

“And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.” The fish is Jonah’s classroom. It is a horrible place to live but a great place to learn. Jonah needs to learn some lessons. The fish is also Jonah’s hospital room: he must heal and recover from the consequences of his sin.

What does Jonah do when he feels the discipline of the Lord’s hand against him in the belly of the fish? He prays! And he knows that God hears his prayer. For all his sin, for all the Lord’s anger against him, Jonah knows that he can still pray. “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me.” And Jonah’s prayer is not even a prayer of petition, a “get-me-out-of-this mess” prayer. No, Jonah prays a prayer of thanksgiving.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would know the privilege of prayer and that you would know the Lord Jesus better as you commune with Him in prayer.

Pastor Jeremy Veldman is the co-pastor at Rehoboth United Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, serving as Minister of Congregational Life. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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