The word… came … the second time. —Jonah 3:1
Read Jonah 3:1-5
We now find Jonah lying on dry land after having been vomited out by the great fish. There he lies, semi-conscious and dazed, drenched and miserable. What now? Jonah does not have too long to ponder his situation, for immedi-ately following what happened in Jonah 2 we read: “And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time” (Jonah 3:1). Take special notice of the words “the second time.” Do you see how patient the Lord is with us? How often do we ignore the callings of the Lord? We may be inclined to look down upon God’s disobedient prophet, but we also disregard God’s commandments often. Eventually, God’s patience will come to an end with the unconverted. But on that Mediterranean shore so long ago, Jonah’s will was bent to conform to God’s.
Maybe some of you have made a bow and arrow out of a strong flexible willow branch. It can be quite frustrating when the branch suddenly snaps or if it does not bend evenly. The best thing to do then is to immerse the branch in some water to return some of its pliability. Jonah was like a bow, fashioned by the Lord for useful service. But when God would make use of His servant, he balked at it. So the Lord chastised Jonah, whereby He made Jonah more conformable to His will. Then He again took hold of Jonah and finished turning him into a beautiful bow by which He would shoot His arrows straight into the hearts of the Ninevites.
How do we respond to the call to repent?