May 14, 2017 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, Direction
God’s Love Preserved Jonah
Devotional Reading: Psalm 116:1-14 ; Highlighted Text – Jonah 2
Key Verse – “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9).
On this Mother’s Day, I pondered about how mothers can relate to the story of Jonah? As mothers, we can get so consumed in our daily responsibilities that also include the demands of others than our children that we do not foresee the wave of chaos coming towards us. Our attention can be so distracted that we fail to consistently set aside time to spend with God. Then when God sends something to hinder us from continuing our exhausting routines we take the time to pause and ask Him for help, healing and strength. Why? Because the thing that God sends is similar to what He used to get Jonah’s attention when he was abandoning his primary assignments and responsibilities. God knows how to abort our course and position us back in the right direction. Everyone and everything will try to pull us in different directions as mothers, but we must always remember that we can not accomplish anything without seeking after God first.
Jonah’s Predicament (Jonah 2:1)
The previous chapter consisted of Jonah running away from God and being held captive by a large fish that God sent. In the beginning of chapter two, Jonah’s situation is critical because he is trapped inside of the large fish. Have you ever found yourself suffocating in a dark and tight place with no possibility of escape? God will position us in situations where no one else can help us and we are forced to cry out to Him. This is what Jonah did. He prayed to God like never before.
Point to Ponder: Have you tried calling upon the name of the LORD in your current tight situation?
Jonah’s Prayer (Jonah 2:2-8)
These verses give us a description of Jonah’s prayer and his suffering. It is not easy and definitely not comfortable for Jonah to pray inside of the belly of the fish. He has to press beyond his fears, his entanglements and even his sins. He has to make a sacrifice unto God. But Jonah trusts that the LORD is hearing his prayers and that God will deliver him from the situation that he himself caused.
Point to Ponder: Do you trust that God hears your voice even in this situation?
Jonah’s Praise and Preservation (Jonah 2:9-10)
Jonah not only prays to God, but he also praises God in advance before God delivers him. He makes a vow, a promise to God to fulfill his obligation. Jonah repents. And remember that God knew the heart of Jonah; therefore, Jonah could not just say anything to get him out of his dark place. God knew that Jonah’s heart was repentant. God spoke to the fish and it released Jonah and God also delivered him out of his mental distress.
Point to Ponder: Is God waiting on you to fulfill a promise or obligation to Him?
Father God, we thank you for reminding us of your love that preserves us. As mothers, as fathers as leaders, as everyday people we can easily find ourselves running away from or becoming distant from our responsibility to you due to all the chaos we allow in our lives. God touch our hearts and remind us that the uncomfortable places we have found ourselves in is just you chasing after us to get our attention. Let us honestly repent and make a vow to complete the assignment you have given to us. And LORD, we thank you for also comforting every motherless person on today. Those that are heavily grieved remind them that you have not sent a fish to hold them captive in their grief, but you have sent your Son and the Holy Spirit to comfort any loneliness and heal any brokenness. It is in JESUS name we lift this prayer, Amen.
Commentary by, Minister Shulanda Hastings
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries