Your Fourth Chance..
Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
I am sure Jonah, in his own right thought he was justified in his actions, when he made a decision that he wasn’t going to Nineveh, although the Lord had instructed him to do so. He clearly thought to choose his own direction, goals and way was the best for him at that time. Surely, he thought he could hide on that boat from God, and just go on his merry little way without, any problems or any issues. Something was going on inside Jonah’s head, in which he “thought” he was right. God had given him the task to go and preach repentance to Nineveh. Jonah wasn’t interested, because he thought what God was asking Him to do was a waste of His time. As soon as the people repented, he knew that God was going to extend His mercy. Perhaps somewhere in this prideful moment, Jonah forgot how much he needed mercy too.
I remember hearing that God was a God of a second chance, but in all accuracy God, is a God of another chance, and another, and another, and another…and for me another. Jonah for some reason, wasn’t interested in experiencing another situation where God would be merciful, I think he was ready to see God in action, I could hear Him saying, JUST destroy them God!. Little did Jonah realize that he would the same mercy as he was thrown off the ship. He needed his forgiveness, he needed his mercy he needed another chance. Jonah prayed and God sent a big fish to swallow him. Although, it seemed like fate, the fish was symbolic of God's grace.
God is not out of mercy (see Psalms 131:1), but He is running out of time. His return (see Ephesians 5:27) will come soon and what will you be “caught” doing when he returns? Will you be full of mercy and full of grace for your fellow man, or full of discord, strife contentions, hatefulness and un-forgiveness? Although Jonah didn’t understand why God wanted to save sinful Nineveh, God is always after the one (1) (see Matthew 18:12). The same thing is required of us to extend mercy to people, even when you can’t see or understand "why". We have to remember, that we are in need or in stand of a 2nd…3rd……and even fourth chance.