Second Chances Series: Jonah and the Whale

Recently, I heard a sermon on Second Chances.  This really touched me, because God has given me a second chance in life, as well as to serve and love him.  I was intrigued by the stories of the men and women in the Bible, to whom God gave a second chance.  For the next few months I want to explore some of these stories and God’s reason behind his decisions.

We all know the story of Jonah and the whale.  For three days Jonah lived in the belly of the whale.

However, what got him to the point that he ended up in the belly of the whale?  And more importantly, what happened to him after the whale spit him out? jonah and whale

Jonah is an amazing story of God’s second chances.

The book of Jonah, tells the entire story.  God tells Jonah to go to Ninevah and preach, but Jonah runs away.  When a storm causes the sea to grow rough, the men on ship realize Jonah is the cause of the storm and throw him overboard.  This is when the whale swallows Jonah.  While in the belly of the whale, Jonah prays to the Lord.  God told Jonah to go to Ninevah a second time and this time he went and preached as commanded.  However, when the people repented and God saved them, Jonah became angry with God.  The Lord used a plant to remind Jonah that He cares for all people.

 

" For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."   Jeremiah 29:11

” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

So what can we learn from the story of Jonah?  Why was he given a second chance?

  1. God has a plan for our lives. He wants to see that plan accomplished and is willing to do whatever is necessary to get us to this point.
  2. We can run, but we cannot hide. God will chase after us and use whatever means necessary to bring us to the point of submission to His will.
  3. Sometimes things have to get messy before they can be cleaned up. Have you ever thought of how smelly Jonah must have been after spending 3 days in the whale?
  4. God wants us to be honest with Him about how we feel and why we feel this way. Jonah told God he was angry with Him and why He was angry.
  5. God wants us to obey His command and step out in faith. He wanted Jonah to obey Him by going to Ninevah to preach.
  6. God can provide protection and He can remove it, as He did with the leafy plant in the 4th Chapter of Jonah. However, he can also remove that protection, as He did the next morning.
  7. We are not always meant to understand God’s ways. He just wants us to take the next step possible.

Have you run from God’s plan for your life?  How have you stepped out in faith to His command?