The Second Time
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.’”
By Jill Briscoe
I can’t help feeling encouraged when I read that the Lord came to Jonah a second time.
Like Jonah, I have often run away from my God-given responsibilities, trying to hide from God and His demands on my life. But the Lord has given me many a second chance, forgiving my ineptitude, picking me up, dusting me off, and setting me out in the right direction again.
I have observed, however, that when the second message comes it is usually the same as the first! God had nothing new to say to Jonah until the rebellious prophet heeded what had been said already. We should not expect some new word from the Lord if we have journeyed to Tarshish in disobedience and are sleeping our way through the resultant storm!
Have you ever told a child to do something and then discovered he or she had disobeyed? How hard it is to give the child a second chance to patiently repeat the instructions, as God did with Jonah. Have you ever trusted your husband to remember something that is really important to you, only to have it slip his mind? Have you ever expected a word of appreciation, only to be ignored? Are we good at giving others a second chance? Do we come to those we love “a second time,” trust them twice, and risk yet another disappointment? God risked all of that with Jonah. Should we, His followers, do less?