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Second Chances - Pastor Stacey Shiflett



Second Chances

Jonah 3:1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

 

Intro: This story of Jonah is a familiar story.

 

I. The Disobedience of God’s People

 

Since the Garden of Eden, God’s creation (man) has established an almost perfect track record to disobey.

The disobedience of Jonah in this story is similar to all the times that we have chosen to disobey.

 

               A. It was Deliberate – 3:1

No doubt we disobey often with both sins of omission and sins of commission.

But deliberate disobedience is a serious offense.

His sin was so blatantly deliberate that he purchased a fare on a ship going in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION!

 

               B. It was Detrimental – vs. 4

Jonah’s disobedience was detrimental in many ways.

It was detrimental to:

1. The Mariners – vs. 5 Those around us will be affected by our acts of disobedience.

2. The Ministry – vs. 6 “…call upon thy God…”

3. The Message – “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord…”

4. The Morale – vs. 10 “…why has thou done this?”

 

               C. It was Demeaning – vs. 10 Imagine the indignity of being vomited out!

I’m going to guess that those three days in the whale’s belly had a serious adverse effect on Jonah’s appearance.

What do you think he looked like walking into Ninevah after that experience?

 

ILLUSTRATION: How demeaning was it to Peter to be cursing around the fire?

How demeaning was it for Peter to be fishing without his clothes on in John 21:7?

·        Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

 

II. The Degree of God’s Patience

The patience of God in Jonah 3:1 is amazing.

Imagine God putting up with this craziness??

What if God had just chosen to leave Jonah in the whale and go another route?

 

I thought of these verses in Luke 19:

·        39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

·        40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Jesus told the Pharisees that if the disciples didn’t spake up that he could let the stones take their place.

Sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t!

God wouldn’t have to tell the rocks twice like He does us!

Notice 2:10 – God spake unto the fish – one time!

 

No question about it – God is a patient and longsuffering God.

Thank God His mercies are new EVERY MORNING!!

Jonah actually disobeyed in chapter 1 because he knew God was merciful. (See 4:2)

·        Jonah 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

 

Turn to Exodus 34:1-7

After the horrible sin of the nation of Israel, and Moses throwing down the tables of stone, God gave them a second chance. He gave the law again. Notice the Lord’s testimony in verses 6 and 7:

·        6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

·        7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,…

 

ILLUSTRATION: Peter in John 21, after going fishing and failing in an epic way, being given the task by the Lord Jesus Christ to “feed my sheep.”

 

Imagine allowing Peter to be the one to lead the early church with his track record of failures! (Galatians 2:9)

 

III. The Determination of God’s Purpose

·        Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 

ILLUSTRATION: God saved Paul, and the whole time, he had been kicking against the pricks.

God wanted Paul.

Just like God wanted Jonah.

Why though?

It was much bigger than Jonah!

There were hundreds of thousands of people in Ninevah that were about to be destroyed.

God’s purpose was much greater than Jonah.

 

God’s purpose for Paul was much greater than Paul.

God revealed this purpose to Brother Annanias in Acts 9.

·        15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

·        16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

 

Conclusion: This message is about God being a God of second chances.

Have you messed up? Have you stumbled and fallen? Have you disobeyed and discovered the misery of being out of God’s will? God can forgive and God can restore.

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