Taking It In
As we start chapter three, we see that Jonah is getting a second chance. As a Prophet of the Lord, Jonah has now received a word from God twice, and he is ready to listen. This second call from God is directing Jonah to go to Nineveh to share God’s message. It’s almost like a reset button has been pushed and we’re taken back to the beginning where Jonah has the opportunity again to be obedient to the Lord. This time around Jonah actually obeys the Lord and makes a 500-mile trip to Nineveh. Even in Jonah’s reluctance, God intends to use Jonah for a very specific purpose of saving over 100,000 Assyrians. Where Jonah was once disobedient because he was filled with so much hate and pride towards the people of Nineveh, Jonah has now become obedient to God’s directions. He is definitely unhappy, angry and feeling obligated to deliver God’s message and is simply doing what he has been told and doing it with very little joy. However, Jonah’s unique deliverance for a second chance is ironically the same deliverance that the Ninevites will soon come to experience as well.
Working It Out
In these three verses, that appear to be quite simple to read, there’s really more going on in between the lines. We’re basically told that Jonah heard from God twice and he finally obeyed and made his way to Nineveh. However, there’s some spiritual intervention taking place. We have witnessed God’s mercy for 2nd chances, God’s commitment and love for the people of Nineveh, and his grace for him and even the Ninevites. Just like Jonah, we are unable to hide from God and His will. Despite our objections, our personal desires, and our foot-dragging disobedience He has a plan for us and will see that it comes to pass. Have you ever been given a second chance? Where have you procrastinated in life or have chosen to completely ignore a call from God? Can you recall a lesson in life that you learned after running away from something? Are you currently avoiding something that needs to be addressed? How much easier would it be if we, unlike Jonah, would submit to Him without delay! God’s mercy and love for Jonah is available for us too if we simply take the time to invite God into our situation and seek His will.