Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. Jonah 2:8
The ESV says it this way: “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.”
In my chronic illness journey, I have worshipped the idol of self-sufficiency. I thought if I couldn’t serve in ways I had before when I was able-bodied, the season was wasted and I was rendered purposeless. I bowed at the altar of a Life of Ease. I thought the best life would be pain-free. I believed I could earn the Good Life with good works.
There were times when I would not let God’s mercy break through my own exalted Life Plan. There were times where I outright rejected God’s hope and steadfast love.
But hear Jonah’s prayer in the belly of the whale:
“I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.
For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’
The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped
about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.
When my life was fainting away, I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD!”
It’s as simple as remembering God is with us in the pit. With prayer and gratitude, we can grasp His mercy and steadfast love. Let’s lay down our idols and embrace His greatness and His goodness.