Second Chances



Scripture: Jonah 3:1-10
February 25, 2015

God saw what they were doing – that they had ceased their evil behavior.  So God stopped planning to destroy them, and he didn’t do it.  Jonah 3:10

I simply love Jonah!  He reminds me of myself and of most people that I know.  He is called to go and be a prophet to Israel’s worst enemy and instead of obeying his call; he gets up and travels in the opposite direction. 

It doesn’t end well for Jonah, he gets aboard a ship that is tossed by the sea all night long and when he is woken from his sleep, he tells the sailors that it is all his fault, throw him over board and so they do.  In God’s infinite mercy he is swallowed by a large fish and resides in its belly for three days (an interesting form of time out).  Jonah is then vomited up onto dry land and receives a call for a second time. 

This time, a wiser Jonah agrees and is off to Nineveh.  The city is massive, a three days walk across.  Jonah goes just a day’s journey and in what I have to imagine a weak sort of voice says “repent or God will destroy you.”
Jonah then retreats and makes his way up a hill so he can watch God destroy the city.  And to his amazement it doesn’t happen.  The whole city repents, even down to the animals. 

Instead of rejoicing at how effective he was at being a prophet for God, Jonah sulks. 

It’s hard to hear that God loves those whom we despise.  God gives second chances to those we would never offer one to.

Prayer:  God help me to offer your grace and love to everyone I encounter, even those that I have written off.  May your grace and love guide my actions and words.  Amen.

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