“The word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time” (Jonah 3:1). In the familiar account of “Jonah and the whale,” God had instructed Jonah to go to the wicked city Ninevah and preach judgment to them, but Jonah disobeyed and ran away from the voice of the Lord. However, in this verse we see that God’s grace and mercy reached out and gave him a second chance.
What a blessing to know that God is patient, longsuffering, gracious, tender and kind. No matter how often we mess up, or how rebellious and disobedient we may have been in the past, the Word of the Lord comes to us a second time, or a third or fourth. Our Father does not just cast aside his people — and Jonah is a tremendous lesson to us of the covenant power of God in our lives.
Jonah would have had a lot less trouble if he had obeyed the first time God spoke to him. He was clearly gifted and chosen, yet he fled from God’s very presence, cutting off communion with him. It must be noted, though, that as Jonah fled, he heard the voice of the Holy Spirit ringing in his ears every step of the way. And when he repented and humbled himself, the Lord began speaking to him again: “Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you” (3:2).
God’s direction can sometimes make us uncomfortable but I encourage you to be faithful to what he has called you to. You will experience different seasons so be faithful in every season. Say to God, “Whatever you have for me, even if is not exactly what I choose, I will fulfill your calling. You choose and I will follow.” When Jonah obeyed God’s call, there were wonderful results. Ninevah experienced a massive revival — an amazing awakening — and, likewise, you can have a powerful, joyous breakthrough in your life when you repent of your disobedience and obey the voice of the Lord!