Scripture from the ESV
2 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying…
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish,
In his grace and mercy, God condescends to hear our prayers wherever we are, however far we have strayed from Him.
In his mercy, he will lead us into the belly of the beast if it is there that we will finally call upon his name.
“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
In more remarkable humility, God answers us even when we have not answered Him.
He is ready to answer us even before we know that we shall call upon Him: God had prepared a fish. He was waiting, longing to minister to Jonah’s need.
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
He is the Lord of all and can answer us from wherever we might call upon Him.
3 For you cast me into the deep
Jonah recognizes that God has been sovereign over his journey and suffering. He recognizes that God’s mercies can be terrible…that He may wound us in order to heal.
As Nate points out, Jonah seems not to attribute these terrors to himself. This is not simply a matter of giving God the glory, but of leaving out his own rebellion from the prayer.
all your waves and your billows
Again, is this Jonah recognizing the sovereignty of God, or something like “the woman who You gave me”?
‘I am driven away
from your sight;
Curious. It is the Lord who has watched over Jonah throughout. Does he mean that he cannot see God as in the next verse? Or does this refer to God’s displeasure?
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
He has faith in further deliverance, and this may even prophecy Jonah’s eventual return to Jerusalem.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
Jonah is convinced of God’s unwavering love, even for him.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
What will Jonah’s sacrifice be? Will it please the Lord? Is it to carry out God’s command, and if so, does he perform it in a manner pleasing to the Lord? Is Jonah’s fulfillment of his vows any more pleasing to God than that of the men who did so aboard the ship (Jonah 1:16)?