“And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time.” Jonah 3:1
Need any proof that God is merciful and gracious? Here it is! After Jonah had deliberately and stubbornly refused to obey God’s command to go preach at Nineveh, God would have been perfectly just to consign the prophet to an eternal doom.
Instead, God did the work of loving, yet tough, chastisement. A storm, being thrown overboard, and a few nights in the fish’s belly were all part of God’s means of dealing with Jonah’s sinful heart. Yet, Jonah cried for mercy and God heard. Instead of putting Jonah on dry land and never dealing with him again, God gave him the privilege of being used again in God’s service.
Thank God for second, third and tenth chances! Have you stubbornly missed the mark like Jonah? Is there some area of failure in your life? Have you been still where God has called you to action? Jonah’s God is still alive. He is still merciful and gracious and still willing to use repentant sinners to carry out His work!