When fear overwhelms you

Jonah Bible Background

12.18.2018 – Old Testament: Jon 2.5–7

To read the Bible in a year, read Jonah on December 18, In the year of our Lord Christ 2018

By Don Ruhl

The mariners had thrown Jonah overboard at his instructions to stop the storm that the Lord had sent against Jonah. Then the Lord sent a great fish to swallow Jonah and he pictured the horror of it when he wrote:

“The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
The deep closed around me;
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
O LORD, my God.”

Jonah saw his desperate situation and he knew that he was going to die, but then the Lord saved him. The Lord saved him when he finally turned to the Lord, as Jonah continued to write:

“When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the LORD;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple.”
(Jonah 2.5–7)

He was either fainting from fear or he was dying and finally the prophet remembered God, the very thing that a prophet was supposed to get others to do. When Jonah remembered God, he prayed to God. If you think that you do not pray enough, do you think of God enough?


  • Have you been in a frightening and desperate situation like Jonah in which you thought that you would die?
  • What drives you to pray to God?

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