Summary: Three Things Jonah found out about God… 1. Jonah Found out God Gives Second 2. Jonah Found Out God Still Had A Plan For His Life 3. Jonah Found Out How Much God Can Do With One Person.

A Study of Book of Jonah

Sermon # 4

“The God of the Second Chance”

Jonah 3:1-4

The last time we were with Jonah he was deep in prayer deep in the fish’s belly. In that prayer he finally got things right with God. It is almost as if we can hear the prayer of repentant Jonah, “Alright who am I fooling? You and You alone are God. My fight with you is fruitless. My stubbornness has become an idol I’ve clung to, separating me from your grace. You alone have the power to save even me, O Lord. Here I sit with no power to redeem myself. Only You can do it. I was foolish to withhold my obedience from You; instead I should be offering You a song of thanksgiving for the privilege of being able to serve You.” [Michelle McKinney Hammond. His Love Always Finds Me. (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1999) pp. 79-80]

The last thing that happened was the Jonah was vomited up on dry land (2:10).

Now what is Jonah to do? Does God ever stoop to use those who have rejected his calling, turned a deaf ear to His word or pursued a course of their own choosing?

Have you ever longed for an opportunity to undo some of the mistakes you have made in your life? We have all made mistakes in our finances, our careers, our parenting, our marriages… which lead us to wish we could have one more chance, an opportunity to begin again. Louisa Tarkington wrote it for us in a poem entitled “The Land of Begin Again”

“I wish that I there were some wonderful place called the land of Begin Again, where all our mistakes and all our heartaches and all our poor selfish grief…. Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door and never be put on again. I wish that there were some wonderful place called The Land Of Begin Again.”

Well Jonah’s experiences remind us that there is such a place, and we serve God who will use those who repent and turn to Him.

Tonight I want you to see with me Three Things Jonah found out about God…

First, Jonah Found out God Gives Second Chances (v. 1)

“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time….”

Jonah found out that God gives second chances.

“On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played University of California in the Rose Bowl. In that game a man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for California. Somehow, he became confused and started running 65 yards in the wrong direction. One of his teammates, Benny Lom, outdistanced him and downed him just before he scored for the opposing team. When California attempted to punt, Tech blocked the kick and scored a safety which was the ultimate margin of victory.

That strange play came in the first half, and everyone who was watching the game was asking the same question: “What will Coach Nibbs Price do with Roy Riegels in the second half?” The men filed off the field and went into the dressing room. They sat down on the benches and on the floor, all but Riegels. He put his blanket around his shoulders, sat down in a corner, put his face in his hands, and cried like a baby. If you have played football, you know that a coach usually has a great deal to say to his team during half time. That day Coach Price was quiet. No doubt he was trying to decide what to do with Riegels. Then the timekeeper came in and announced that there were three minutes before playing time. Coach Price looked at the team and said simply, “Men the same team that played the first half will start the second.” The players got up and started out, all but Riegels. He did not budge. the coach looked back and called to him again; still he didn’t move. Coach Price went over to where Riegels sat and said, “Roy, didn’t you hear me? The same team that played the first half will start the second.” Then Roy Riegels looked up and his cheeks were wet with a strong man’s tears. “Coach,” he said, “I can’t do it to save my life. I’ve ruined you, I’ve ruined the University of California, I’ve ruined myself. I couldn’t face that crowd in the stadium to save my life.” Then Coach Price reached out and put his hand on Riegel’s shoulder and said to him: “Roy, get up and go on back; the game is only half over.” And Roy Riegels went back, and those Tech men will tell you that they have never seen a man play football as Roy Riegels played that second half.” [Haddon W. Robinson, Christian Medical Society Journal]

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