There is something to be learned from Jonah. I’m sure more than one something but as I recently read the book named after him I couldn’t help but be reminded that God came around a second time to Jonah, like He does in our lives too.
“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD…” God clearly spoke to Jonah. Jonah knew what God was asking him to do but Jonah fled.
“And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” As a result God brought consequences into Jonah’s life to redirect his path. “ And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land”
Then God spoke to Jonah a second time. The message did not change. God tells him to do that which he called him to do the first time. “Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”
This time Jonah obeyed. “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD.”
There is nothing new in what I am sharing today. It is a good reminder, however, that God is interested not just in the obedience but more importantly the heart with which we obey. He is patient and will keep giving us the same message to work in us hearts that desire to and do follow through in obedience.
He will come a second time…and a third time…and a fourth time.
I am so thankful that God is interested in each of us individually and personally.
Diane Hunt is part of the Development and Addiction Recovery teams at America’s Keswick. In addition to being a Biblical Counselor, she is a Women’s speaker for retreats, conferences and events. She is a regular writer for Victory Call and one of the authors of Crossing the Jordan Bible Study. She has been married to her husband John for 30 years. She has 2 adult children, 4 grandchildren, 3 adult step-children with 7 grandchildren making 11 in all. She delights in reading and teaching, but mostly in laughing at the funny things her grandchildren say and do.