5 : ‘I was almost drowned by the swirling waters that surrounded me. Seaweed had wrapped around my head.
6 : I had sunk down below the underwater mountains; I knew that forever, I would be a prisoner there. But You, Lord God, rescued me from that pit.
7 : When my life was slipping away, I remembered You – and in Your holy temple You heard my prayer.’
Quite literally, Jonah had almost drowned, but in that place of apparent ‘no return’, he ‘remembered God’, his rescuer, and his prayer reached the Almighty.
Now, contemplating all that has happened, during the three days inside the large fish, Jonah is able to thank God for that rescue, his salvation, but he still needs God to act, to free him from the fish, and give him ‘new life’, a second chance.
There is still, within Jonah, a desire to locate God in a particular place – ‘Your holy temple’ – rather than acknowledge that God is there with him – in every place at every time. But then the ‘Holy of Holies’ is still in place, and it’s only the death of Jesus and the temple curtain being torn from top to bottom which will make the point clear – you cannot flee from God’s presence; He is not to be located, boxed in, confined.
He’s our rescuer, our deliverer, our saviour.
‘There is good news for the captive
Good news for the shamed
There is good news for the one who walked away
There is good news for the doubter
The one religion failed
For the good lord has come to seek and save
He’s our rescuer
He’s our rescuer
We are free from sin forever more
Oh how sweet the sound
Oh how grace abounds
We will praise the lord, our rescuer’ (Rend Collective : Rescuer)