God wants to save us - 16 November 2021

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

We all know the story of Jonah. God sent the prophet to Nineveh to warn the people that if they do not stop sinning, destruction will follow. Out of fear, Jonah boarded the ship to Tarsus. A storm hits the ship, Jonah is thrown overboard and a fish swallows him. In the darkness of the fish’s belly, Jonah repented of his disobedience. The fish spits him out on the beach and Jonah does go to Nineveh. This is the story most of us know.

However, what happened after Jonah gave the message to the people in Nineveh? They repented. They put on funeral clothes and immediately start fasting as a sign of their remorse. What did God do? He saw what they did. He forgave them and said that he will not destroy the city.

One would think this made Jonah happy. It didn’t. In Jonah 4 we read that Jonah was angry. He sat outside the city, wishing to die. God asked him, “Jonah, do you have reason to be angry?” Jonah thought he did.

God grows a cucumber plant that provided Jonah with enough shade to sit under. Jonah was happy about it. The next morning, however, God sends a worm to devour the plant. This made Jonah angry again. In Jonah 4 God said to him: “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

God cared about the people and animals of Nineveh. He made them. He also cares about you and me because we belong to Him. He still does not want any of us to die without knowing Him. If we repent and turn away from our sin, we can be sure to receive His grace.

In John 3:16 we read: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And in Psalm 103:12-13 we read: “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him …”

The enemy wants to rob us of our boldness to go to God with repentance. Let us remind ourselves that God still gives second chances. God bless.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that there are second chances with You. Please forgive me for (name specific area). Strengthen me to walk away from it. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen