Three long days! Jesus did it after the cross! Jonah did it from the belly of the fish! Jesus rose from the dead on the third day! God made the fish spit out Jonah onto the beach on the third day! Jonah was like a foreshadowing of what was yet to come, 3 days of death and then life on the third day!
1Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. 2He said,
“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble,
and he answered me.
I called to you from the land of the dead,
and Lord, you heard me!
3You threw me into the ocean depths,
and I sank down to the heart of the sea.
The mighty waters engulfed me;
I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.
4Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence.
Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’
5“I sank beneath the waves,
and the waters closed over me.
Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.
6I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.
I was imprisoned in the earth,
whose gates lock shut forever.
But you, O Lord my God,
snatched me from the jaws of death!
7As my life was slipping away,
I remembered the Lord.
And my earnest prayer went out to you
in your holy Temple.
8Those who worship false gods
turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
9But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise,
and I will fulfill all my vows.
For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”
10Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.
–from Jonah 2
Just because we didn’t do what God asks us, sometime we think He is mad at us. Imagine three days with not much else to think about than what you had done to get yourself into this position. What would you do? How would you deal with the darkness? How would you deal with the stench? What thoughts would be going through your mind? Would you surrender to God? Would you turn back to Him believing you are a goner and that all hope was slipping away? Or would you remember all that God has done and turn back to Him? Would you turn back to Him and call out to God? Would you trust Him enough to pray and ask Him to intervene on your behalf? Would you submit your life to God and give the final decision up into His hands?
God loves you and He loves me! He knows right where we are at and doesn’t want to leave us there! We have to make a choice because He isn’t going to force us to choose Him! God already paid the price through Jesus who gave His innocent life on the cross for our mistakes and sins. Jesus paid it once for all! He died and conquered the power of the devil and death when He rose on the third day! We see how in today’s reading God heard Jonah’s prayer! We see how in today’s reading how God hears our prayers too! We see through today’s reading how great God’s love is! He loved Jonah so much that Jonah didn’t die in the belly of that giant fish, he was there for three days and three nights in that dark and stinky place to ponder all that God had asked of him. No matter what we have done, God love us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the price! Now it’s up to us to choose if we will choose God and eternal life spent with Him! He is the God of another chance! God’s plan was that He wanted to also give Nineveh another chance! God’s plan is to give you another chance! Will you hear His Word and feel His love? Will you allow God to give the fish the command to spit you out onto dry ground in order that you may pursue His calling on your life and be saved?
What do you need a second chance for? What have you run away from God about? Would you run back to God?
Take hold of the truth that God isn’t mad at you but that He would rather give you a second, third, fourth, … chance. God is love! And you know what love is right?