By Joan Walker Hahn
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ”Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.” So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Jonah 3:1-3a
I have been working on a study of Jonah. When I got to this third chapter and read that first verse, my mind thought of all of the second chances God has given me. Maybe you, like me, can think of a lot of times when you wish you could go back and have a do-over. A second chance to make something right. A second chance to do something a little different.
It’s funny the things that come to mind. I remember as a little girl my parents and another couple they were friends with really enjoyed going to gospel singings. One of those singings took place at a big coliseum. For some reason, I vividly remember exiting the coliseum. It was late and it was dark. Lagging behind as we walked as a group back to the car, I remember my mom asking if I wanted to be carried. Trying to be a big girl in front of the children of the other couple, I said no. But by the time we got to the car, I was so tired. I remembered later thinking, if I could do it again, I would let them carry me!
Then there are all those many times when I made mistakes – said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing – and wishing later I could go back and change it all.
So, it’s wonderful knowing that when we do mess up, God can give us a second chance. When we come to Him in repentance, He willingly forgives and gives us another chance to serve Him.
But there are some other very significant “seconds” I’d like to look at. Without these seconds, we would be hopeless.
God made a covenant with the Children of Israel. Because of sin, that covenant could never be kept. God made a way for a second covenant that can never be broken.
- “For if that first covenant had been free of fault, no circumstances would have been sought for a second.” Hebrews 8:7 (Read the whole passage - Hebrews 8:7-13)
God created man in His image, desiring to fellowship with us. Because of sin, God sent a second man to give us a chance for a new nature and life.
- “The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:47 (Read the whole passage – 1 Corinthians 15:42-49)
- “Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Most Holy Place.” Hebrews 9:3 (Read the whole passage – Hebrews 9:1-28)
There are two births we must experience. The person who experiences only one birth will have to experience two deaths.
- “Jesus responded and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” John 3:3 (Read the whole passage-John 3:3-7)
- “The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” Revelation 2:11 (Also read Revelation 20:14)
I’m glad Jonah was given a second chance. I praise God that He sent a second man to initiate a second covenant. I’m grateful we can go beyond that second veil because of the second birth. I’m in awe of the God who will pick me up and carry me the distance when I’m tired or weary or have made mistakes. And I’m looking for His second coming to carry me home for all eternity. Yes, I thank God for seconds!
Heavenly Father, I thank You for giving us second chances when we mess up. I’m grateful that through my repentance and trust in You, I can serve You again. And oh, Lord, how I praise You for all the seconds revealed in Your Word! Not because Your first plan failed, but because You already knew we would need that second chance, that second Man, that second covenant… and that second birth, to prepare us for Your second coming. Thank You, Jesus, for coming second! For it is in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Joan at joanwalkerhahn.com.
© 2021 by Joan Walker Hahn. All rights reserved.
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