Jonah 2:9 // But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!

This is one of the clearest statements of sound doctrine in all the Bible: “salvation belongs to the LORD!” From beginning to end, there is hardly a truth that is more plainly presented in the Scriptures. Who is the architect of our salvation? It is the Father who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the earth. Who is the accomplisher of our salvation? It is the Son who loved us and gave himself for us through his death and resurrection. Who is the one who applied our salvation to our souls and keeps us to the end? It is the Spirit who awakened us to respond with repentance and faith and sealed us with the assurance of eternal life. Our lot is hopeless and our own strength is insufficient to save us from sin and death. Beloved, “salvation belongs to the LORD!”

And as he fled from the LORD, this would be the lesson our brother Jonah would come to learn and be held out to us as illustrative evidence. He was hurled from the ship’s deck in a storm, only to be swallowed into the belly of a great fish in the heart of the sea. When he had counted his life as loss, when the buoyant ship of worldly hopes had given way to the flooding waters of despairing depths, it was only then that the soil of his heart might finally be prepared to cry out to Him who alone can deliver, “salvation belongs to the LORD!”

In the realm of grace, there is not a single square inch of salvation over which man may put his name. Our fall was too great a distance, our separation too great a chasm, our debt too great a price, our sin too powerful a slavemaster that anything other than the strong and saving arm of the Lord Jesus Christ might pull us up to resurrecting life. Only when Jonah was hopeless according to himself was he finally able to find hope according to Christ. Beloved, this is the gospel that we cherish, that buoys us from sinking in drowning despair, and that, with a sacrifice of thanksgiving, we praise and proclaim in our homes, community, and among the nations. “Salvation belongs to the LORD!”