God of Second Chances
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” Jonah 3:1-2
It was not uncommon in the Old Testament for “the word of the Lord” to come to God’s prophets again and again. It happened to Samuel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Haggai, Zechariah, and others. And it also happened to Jonah: The word of the Lord came to Jonah the first time (Jonah 1:1) and then the second time (Jonah 3:1). With the other prophets, the “second time” meant additional prophetic utterances they were to deliver. But with Jonah, the “second time” was because Jonah had failed to speak God’s word the first time. Jonah was a disobedient prophet.
God commissioned Jonah to go east to Assyria, to the capital of Nineveh and deliver a message of judgment. But Jonah fled west toward Spain because he feared the Assyrians. You know the story—Jonah ended up in the sea where he was swallowed by a great fish. Jonah repented and called on the Lord and was delivered. God gave him a second chance.
Don’t let your past keep you from trusting God for a second (or third, or fourth) chance. The God of grace loves to forgive.
Forgiveness is to be set loose from sins. G. Campbell Morgan
Chuck Missler Jonah