“He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God.’” (Jonah2:2, 6)
Temporal destruction faced Jonah in the fish’s belling. In this context, the “grave” (Hebrew – She’ol) was the sea or the fish’s belly where he faced certain death.
The idea of the grave is parallel to that of the “pit,” generally a deep place. Figuratively, it stands for death, as id does grave and Sheol. From this it leads to the New Testament revelation about the abyss or pit.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, no matter where we are; depth, height, pit, or grave, You can still hear us, and You know your people’s call for help. It is this that provides comfort and peace to us and when it is our time to pass from this world, we can depend upon You to still hear our praises for you. It is in Jesus’ precious name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Only a Risen Savior can save a dying world.”
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for the righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—-if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.” (2nd Peter2:4–9)
Beloved Hell is not the intended abode of human beings. It was designed out of necessity for the devil and his associates (Revelations 20:7-10). It is the place of confinement for sinning angels awaiting future judgment (Jude 6). “Hell” here translates the Greek tartarus, not Gehenna (See note on Matthew 5:22). Tartarus appears only here in the New Testament. This term is commonly used in Greek thought to refer to the abode of the wicked dead.
The place of this angelic imprisonment is one of gloomy, dense darkness. Through a series of illustrations Peter emphasized that God will make no mistakes in separating the faithful from the wicked. The fate of the wicked is more fully described. The fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah serves as an example of the punishment of the wicked following the day of judgment.
“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into hell, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God without one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark9:43-48)
Nothing is valuable enough to cause us to miss the future consummation of God’s kingdom. The only alternative is hell. Surely, the actualization of hell is even worse than the visualization of it!
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” (Revelations20:14)
The second death is clearly identified with the lake of fire. It is thus a synonym for hell. It is second death in that it involves a final separation from God. All people die once. The wicked die a second time with no hope. This is about as sad a death as there can be, beloved, “no hope.”
To sin and move on is not to take the steps to sincerely address the sin in our lives, no matter what it is. To repent doesn’t just mean to say, “I’m sorry.” It means to get down on your knees with full and unrestrained commitment to not commit the sin again; it means to turn away from sin, and seek God’s forgiveness. He sees our hearts and minds, and knows us in a way that we cannot ever “fool Him.” So when we repent it is with our mind, our heart, and our soul, to not sin again. If your repentance is not like this, read this over and over, until you truly understand the significance of your words and that you are committed to not repeat your sins again.