All the discipline that God had brought upon Jonah—the storm, being cast into the sea with anticipation of death, dark isolation inside the fish—brought about God’s intended work in Jonah. From the belly of the fish, Jonah cried out to his God and acknowledged that salvation belongs to Him. Hardhearted and rebellious Jonah had been the recipient of great mercy and grace from the Lord. What better way to prepare the heart of a person to go and deliver God’s word to hardhearted and rebellious people!
Before these events, Jonah refused to deliver a message to Nineveh because he judged them to be great sinners. But here, God reminded Jonah that he too was a sinner and that he needed exactly what the Ninevites needed—the great mercy of God. A man who deserved to be dead at the bottom of the sea for his disobedience instead received mercy. Consequently, Jonah opened his mouth in prayers of praise and thanksgiving to his God from inside a fish.
When has God used His perfect and loving discipline to reveal sin that was in your heart?