(Part 2 of 3)
Jonah 2:8-9… Jonah in this verse was in the belly of the whale. He says, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD” (KJV). Jonah confesses his sin of following “lying vanities” (the NIV calls it “worthless idols”). He thought he could run from the Lord, but his rebellion put him in the whale’s belly. Sin will put you in an inescapable situation too. When Jonah thought he was out of God’s sight, he said, “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple” (v. 7). As soon as Jonah confessed his sin, he began to praise the Lord, and the whale got rid of Jonah. When Jonah was on the point of caving in, repentance came back into his heart. Confession came back in when he said “Salvation is of the LORD” (v. 9). Praise came back into his heart, and God heard his praise. He saw a soul in need. He spoke to the big fish, “Okay, fish, you can throw him out now.” Have you got a habit that you have been trying to get rid of? God can speak to it and that habit will let go of you. When you are in negative situations, take a look. Was it some sin that put you there? Confess it, repent, and begin to praise the Lord… then watch God work.
Isaiah 38:1… “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.” God sent Isaiah to tell Hezekiah to set his house in order because he was going to die. When the Lord says this, you are fatally sick. It seems that praying is no more use. But Hezekiah does pray (v. 3) and God adds fifteen more years to his life. In verses 9-22, Hezekiah testifies to his healing. In verse 14, he mentions his depression and oppression. In verses 18-20, Hezekiah begins to praise the Lord. “For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.” Praise had prepared a way for God to work. How did God do it? He sent the prophet with a word (v. 21). Hezekiah was to put a plaster on the boils and it would do the healing. In the midst of praise, God listened to a life in need. Notice also in verse 19, “the father to the children shall make known thy truth.” What truth? The truth that it’s the living that need to praise the Lord. The Father is telling us that He works in the midst of your praise. Your praise can bring a word from God that will give you directions for your healing…
Other examples… Romans 4:19-20… Abraham praises the Lord. When both Abraham’s and Sarah’s bodies were as good as dead, Abraham began to praise the Lord. God listened and renewed their physical bodies, and a son was born. No unbelief made Abraham waver. He was empowered by faith as he gave praise to God. In Acts 1:11, the angels came and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (KJV). The place of Jesus’ ascension was Bethany. Bethany means “the house of unripe fruit.”
Often in our daily walk, we feel like unripe fruit; that is, we are not fulfilled. Begin to praise, and as you do, the Lord will listen to a life in need. Praise is a prelude to being filled with the Holy Spirit. Notice that in the atmosphere of praise in Acts 2:41-47, God added to the church. In Psalm 40:3, praising God drew sinners and many turned to God. In Psalm 126:2, when the tongue and the mouth were filled with praise unto God, the heathen knew that God did great things. In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas sang praises while in prison. God listened and in their time of need, they were set free.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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