Summary: This looks at JOnah’s second chance as a opportunity for us to live Wise by making the most of our second chances in life.
Make the Most of Your Second Chances
A. Some people as they read through Jonah think of it as just a “big Fish Story.” (You know people, how they often come back from fishing and talk about the one they caught “-----------“)
They seem to be unable to accept Jonah because of the part where Jonah is swallowed up by a Great Fish – 3 days later vomited up on the beach.
Yet, I think we can believe in the Book of Jonah just as God wanted it written for us today. Why?
1. God can do anything! Including sending a Great fish to swallow Jonah for 3 days and nights.
2. Jesus as Truth quotes from Jonah during His ministry.
Mt. 12:39-40; Jesus answered the Pharisees asking Jesus to show them miracles says, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sing of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.”
Luke 11:30; “For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.”
Because people often are quick to throw out Scripture because it contradicts their experience and understanding of life, they miss out on the Rich Message of Jonah.
A Message that we all can relate to: Living Wisely for the Lord is a Process, yet God is always Faithful!
B. That is what we have seen in Jonah 1 & 2
* Ch. 1 – Jonah is wise; a prophet, Messenger/son on of Truth; Belongs to God, worships God. But, when God calls him to go to Nineveh and preach against it because God knows their wickedness, Jonah tries to Run Away from God – hops a boat to Tarshish. Yet, God sends a great storm on the waters. Jonah has an AW-AH moment – realizing he was wrong in running away – so is thrown at the mercy of God – Literally as Jonah is thrown overboard. The Lord provides a Big Fish to swallow Jonah.
* Ch. 2 – Jonah, while in the belly of the Big Fish, prays to God to return by repenting.
C. Now let’s look at Jonah 3
Vs. 1-2; The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a 2nd Time. “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim the message I give you.” NOTICE: God doesn’t give Jonah the reason for sending him to Nineveh as he did in 1:2 “because its wickedness has come up before me.” Perhaps because God knows that Jonah understands that our wickedness is seen by God.
Vs. 3—4; Jonah Obeys (doesn’t run away from the Lord) and goes to proclaim from the Lord that Nineveh had 40 days and it would be overturned.
Vs. 5—9; The Ninevites believe God; declared a fast, put on Sackcloth (coarse cloth made from goats hair and was used for Mourning (Gen. 37:34; 2Sam. 3:31) as well as Repenting from sin (1Kings 21:27; Neh. 9:1, Matt. 11:21).
Vs. 6-9; The King himself tore off his royal robe, sackcloth and then issued a proclamation for all of Nineveh to call upon God, give up their evil ways.
Vs. 10; God saw this – had compassion and did not overturn Nineveh.
This same Jonah who was unwise and run away from God is now used by God to turn the Ninevites: who were violent and totally disobedient to God – but now are believers and Followers in the True God.
Body – so what do we learn from this passage?
A. We learn about True Repentance:
1. Repentance is literally is turning around. Doing a 180 turn. Oh, how we learn that from Jonah here. In 2 Jonah prayed to return to God by stating his situation Honestly – he was away from the Lord – but in vs. 9; “What I have vowed I will make good…” he does. Jonah runs away from God – repents – turns back to God. Jonah runs away from God’s call to Nineveh – Repents – turns around and goes to Nineveh. Jonah runs away from Obeying God – repents – turns around and now, vs. 3 “Obeyed…” God.
2. We see the process of repentance: Sorrow/Regret, Confession, Conviction, Behavior change.
But True Repentance always leads to a change of our Behavior. So often, we are more concerned with stopping the guilt, the regret – so we confess our sin/wrongdoing to God. Psalm 32 talks about when we don’t confess our sins, - instead being silent – we waste away.
But True Repentance goes on to Conviction – knowing the God is right and His ways are right to follow – and then to Behavior changes. 2Cor. 7:10; “Godly sorrow brings about repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret but worldly sorrow brings death.” Matt. 3:8; “Produce fruit in keeping with your repentance.”