A Second Chance
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh. He didn't want to go, so he ran away. God followed him and saved him from drowning. And then, Jonah finally went to Nineveh, just like God wanted.
You see, God wanted to give the people of Nineveh a second chance. He wanted to remind them that they were doing lots of things wrong and give them time to stop before he would have to punish them. Maybe your mom or dad has done something similar for you. Maybe you have heard one of them say something like, "If you don't stop what you're doing by the time I count to three, you will be in big trouble."
God's message to Nineveh was even more generous...
"Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!" Jonah 3:4
That's right. God gave them a 40-day count down. And do you know what? The people of Nineveh listened. They stopped doing all the bad things. They prayed to God to forgive them. And sure enough, God did. He did not destroy the city.
This story is a beautiful example of just how much God loves us. He did not love what the people of Nineveh were doing, but he loved THEM. He knew they were busy destroying themselves. So, he sent Jonah to lead them away from that destruction and back toward God...where they were supposed to be all along.
And remember...God had just done the same thing for Jonah.
Many years later, God would send Jesus to lead us away from the things that destroy us and back toward our heavenly Father, the one who loves us so much that he never runs out of second chances. No matter what we have done, he will always reach out his hand to ours so we can grab it and return home.
Read Luke 15:3-7 This passage is often called The Parable of the Lost Sheep. What does it tell you about how much God wants to give us second chances?
Draw a picture based on Luke 15:3-7. As you draw, think about yourself as the lost sheep and God coming after you to find you and give you a second chance.
Listen to the song, "Second Chances" from the VeggieTales Movie, Jonah. Sing along, dance, or play it in the car!! You can find it on YouTube here...