|God Loves You|
"And the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give to you." Jonah 3:1-2, NIV.
Jonah was commanded by God to go to Nineveh and preach repentance, but the people of Nineveh were the enemy of Jonah's people, so he took a boat going in the opposite direction. A fierce storm threatened to sink the ship and he told the sailors to toss him overboard since it was God's judgment on him. In the sea God sent a great fish to swallow him; while in the fish, Jonah repents and worships the Lord. After three days the fish spews Jonah out on a beach, and there the Word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time.
Jonah had a clear instruction from the Lord. It was simple, "Go this way and say this thing." In the book of Jonah, his nationalistic pride is revealed as the reason he didn't to obey God; he ran in the other direction rather than preach the message to his enemies. In other words, God said go right and he went left.
Jonah's prayer of repentance is one of the most elegant and poetic chapters in the Bible,
* He confesses his sin.
* He avows his submission to God.
* He declares God right.
* He affirms his faith in God.
* He declares in faith that he will worship God at his temple.
After the fish vomits Jonah out on the beach God's word comes to Jonah a second time. It is the same commission; his opportunity is not lost, the task is still his; he is to go to Nineveh and proclaim the message.
God gave him the second chance even though he rebelled, fled, became the companion of unbelievers, even telling the sailors to throw him overboard. It is hard to find anybody who went more wrong; yet after he turns from his rebellion and seeks God he is recommissioned as a prophet. He was the prophet Jesus honored by identifying himself with more than once.*
For Jonah God was the God of the second chance; He is the same God today and offers a second chance to any who are willing to turn to him.
Matthew 12:40. Matthew 16:4.
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