Jonah 1:1-3; 3:1-2a The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. … Then 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 you.”
What a wonderful reminder this is that our God is the God of a second chance.
I wonder if Jonah was the Apostle Peter’s favourite book of the Bible? Peter, too, had been miraculously rescued from a watery grave by his Lord’s gracious intervention (Luke 8:23-24). Peter, too, had witnessed an amazing large-scale turning to God when he preached about the need for repentance on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38-41). And Peter, too, had experienced the giving of a gracious ‘second chance’ when he had failed his Lord so miserably (John 21:15-19).
I must admit that I think Jonah and Peter are among my favourite Bible characters because of their experiences. I want to be faithful to my calling, but too easily I find excuses to get out of a challenging assignment that seems too difficult for me, instead of trusting the Sovereign Lord who specialises in giving me strength equal to the task he sets, rather than setting tasks equal to my strength.
And after more than 65 years of trusting in Jesus as my Lord and Saviour I still find myself to be a very slow learner. I am so thankful that the Lord I serve continues to be a God of a second (third, fourth, fifth …) chance!
– Bruce Christian