Rambling Thoughts on Jonah Chapter Three

It's snowing again in Central PA and I've just been sitting back and contemplating the events of Jonah chapter three. It's such an unlikely scenario, but God is the God of the impossible. I guess that's what makes the account so great.

In verses 1-3 we have the recommission of Jonah. Notice the stability of the God we serve. He pronounces the exact same commission in Jonah 3:2 that He gave in Jonah 1:2. We may change, but God is the same yesterday, today, forever. We can count on God's Word.

Too, God is the God of second chances. Jonah failed the first time. He failed miserably, but God still intended to use him. God could have used anyone He wanted, but He chose to go to Jonah a second time. I'm glad God is the God of second, and third, and fourth chances. We may give up on Him, but He never gives up on us.

Think about this man Jonah, for a moment. He was no doubt very weak from his ordeal in the belly of the fish--not someone especially appealing to the eye, but God used him. As far as we know he preached only one sermon, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown." He did not one sign, wonder or miracle. There was no call for direction or repentance. Yet verse five tells us that "...the people of Nineveh believed God...." God did the work. The power to change this wicked city was in the Word of God, not the messenger.

In verse six we see that the Word came unto the king of Nineveh. He set the example for the people by humbling himself first. You see, when God is the central figure everybody is on equal ground. The king as well as the people needed to seek the One, True God. The leader had the same need that his followers had. (That's just a side note for the preachers). Nevertheless, the king led his people into humble submission to the God of Heaven.

Notice that in verses 7-10 that the king preaches a message of repentance. Even as I'm writing this I wonder if it was the message of the king rather than Jonah that brought such a great revival to the people of Nineveh.

Think of it--one washed up prophet who obeys God out of duty, not love, enters a heathen city with no compassion or desire to see their salvation and God reaches down in His compassion and saves them. God can, and I believe does override our shortcomings many times to accomplish His will. God is God. He will do what He chooses, but He never twists our arm to make us do it.

What a sad thing it is to read chapter four and see that after all God did for Jonah in chapters one and two, and after he used Jonah mightily in chapter three, Jonah was still disgusted with God's working. I've read the book of Jonah many times. I preached on Jonah many times, but I still wonder--How much am I like Jonah?

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Comments 20 comments

matt6v33 profile image

matt6v33 6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

Hello YoungMan,

How are we "All"out here like Jonah, i was thinking!

Great Hub, As always...

fyi: ref; " We may give up on Him, but He never gives up on us" Not True Sir! ref;Romans 1:24.... God Does "Give Up" on ole Foolish man, and has thru out History,and Will continue too,for those that choose Not To Obey The Gospel of Christ "Hath Not God" (2Thess:6-9)

Once again,I appreciate Sir, all that you do, for the cause of Christ. Keep Writing Sir,Keep Going, Many out in this Loss and Dying World Needs Ones Like U!

Hope Your Feeling Better!

Michael Adams1959 profile image

Michael Adams1959 6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

This is so refreshing to read. I too have had God's hand of mercy on me more than just once calling me back. He alone knows what He has in store for us if we will just listen to His calling. Thanks again for such a wonderful reminder God does not give up on us.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author


Thanks for the correction. I was referring to God's children and should have been clearer. Thanks for the read, Brother!


Thanks for stopping by. As always, it's good to hear from you. Yes, it's just a matter of obedience, but sometimes I forget that and find myself in a fish's belly. Ouch!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee

voted up and beautiful! Well written and compelling. We are all like Jonah. We might even get mad at God because the people repented. Johan is the only book in the Bible I believe that ends with a question from God! I would have loved to see Jonah's expression after that question...

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author


Thanks for the vote. As far as the closing question--I think his jaw dropped!

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tinamarie9884 6 years ago

I have found myself slipping in and out, when I am slipping I know GOD is not happy with me. I, like alot of us, will continue to believe in praying and fasting. Great hub!!

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author


Praying and fasting can and does go a long way. Thanks for stopping by.

yankeeintexas profile image

yankeeintexas 6 years ago from Lubbock, Texas

I wrote a hub not long ago called "Are we like Jonah", and I am of the opinion that we all tend to be disgusted with how God works! We want to do things how we think they should be done, and not how God want it done. I think we as Christians need to take a good long look at ourselves before it is too late!

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author


I think you're right. "Before it is too late!" A fish may heading our way all too soon if we're not careful to keep our eyes on the Lord. Thanks for the visit.

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 6 years ago from Southern Minnesota

"The power to change this wicked city was in the Word of God, not the messenger"..we need to remember this.

I loved your conclusion that God's providence prevailed and His will will be accomplished despite our short comings.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author


Thanks for visiting. Glad you could stop by. The book of Jonah is one of those that really captures my attention. The events and scenario are so unlikely, but so very "God planned".

HIShubs profile image

HIShubs 6 years ago from MManila, Philippines

Many times I'm like Jonah--I hate it when the wicked just strut away with glee and God seems to just watch them. I guess that is why the book of Jonah is in the bible--to make me see that I should just obey God, not decide what needs to be done. Thanks for this nice article!

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author


Thanks for the visit and the comments. It's good to hear from you.

A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

lifegate, I think the mirror-image of our human nature being one with Jonah comes back to us in Paul through the book of Romans. "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." We find that sin dwelleth in us no matter how hard we "try." Our "trying" is still a work and we can't be saved by works. Eventually it comes down to having faith and then putting our personal feelings aside so He can work through us. O wretched men we might be - but He still loves us and desires our loyalty in accomplishing the gospel mission. Peace

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thank God for grace. O wretched man that I am!

cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

Great and insightful hub indeed. The Word of God is the most powerful weapon of winning souls for the Lord. It is the Word of God that pierces through the darkness of men's hearts. It is sad nowadays that many are using evangelistic techniques that leave the Word of God behind. Thank you for sharing these great thoughts. Blessings to you and best regard.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author


"Methods" seem to be what people are using today to try to spread the Gospel. God's Word is the only thing that works. It is truly sad.

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Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

I love the book of Jonah so I just had to read your “rambling thoughts”. Lifegate, I am so thankful God is the God of second chances – Praise His Holy Name! You are not the only one who wonders – how much I am like Jonah. I see too much of Jonah in me. Thank you for your thoughts. Vote up and useful ~ eddie

lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for the vote, Eddie. I thank God a second chance--and a third, and a.... He's been so good to me.

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Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

Both of us brother. God is good!

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