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John Brown :: Jonah 3:1

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A. In our last study Jonah was "born again" in the belly of a whale!

1. If we look at the term "born again" as experiencing the Lord in such a new and deep way that it affects every fiber of your being - Jonah was definitely born again.

2. Before the fish - he was man who didn't see things the way the Lord did and was more concerned about what he wanted than what the Lord wanted.

a) But 3 days in the fish's belly has changed him - not only spiritually bit I think it most likely that even his physical appearance was different.

(1) Remember Dr. Harry Rimmer, the President of the Research Science Bureau of Los Angeles, I told you about last week?

(a) He was the one who told of the sailor that fell overboard only to be found in the belly of a Rhinodon shark 48 hour later, unconscious but alive, and released as healthy a few hours later.

(b) Well it seems that this man was on exhibit at the London Museum and billed as "The Jonah of the Twentieth Century."

(c) In 1926 Dr. Rimmer went to see this man and described his physical appearance as this, "There was not a hair on his entire body and he had patches of yellowish-brown covering his entire skin. (Through The Bible - J. Vernon McGee - Vol. 3, Page 752)

(i) It is safe to say that after 3 day in that fish - JONAH WAS NOT THE SAME MAN he was when he went in!

II. JONA 3:1-2 (NASB) Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which i am going to tell you."

A. Please notice that the message has not changed but once again, Jonah has!

1. This morning I would like to spend a little time on the statement in the first verse of chapter 3: Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time.

a) What a tremendous illustration we would have missed if the Lord had given up on Jonah after the first time he tired to get his attention!

b) Aren't you glad that the Lord is long-suffering and patient?

c) Aren't you glad that we serve a God of second and third and even dozens of chances to get it right: to hear His voice and do His will?

(1) There is one thing I am sure of. There are very few NO people in this world that will be as patient or forgiving as the Lord is toward His children.

B. I thought it might encourage us all this morning to take a look at some of the Bible's most notable figures, their failures, God's patience, and their eventual success!


A. Most of you remember way back in Genesis - Jacob "tricked" his brother Esau out of his birthright with a bowl of soup.

1. Jacob was a cunning and clever young man with a tendency to depend upon his own skills instead of the will of the Lord.

2. You may also remember that the Lord sent along a man even more clever that Jacob to deal with him. It was "uncle Laban", who cheated him out of many hears of his life!

a) But the Lord had appointed a "great fish" for Jacob also (if you will).

b) It was at Peniel that Jacob became "born again."

(1) As he sat there by the river Jabok, fleeing from uncle Laban from one side of the river and know he would have to face Esau (the brother that he had hurt) on the other side - he was a man conflicted!

(a) Living his life that way he wanted to, depending upon his own cunning, had destroyed his life.

(b) That night the Lord wrestled with him in prayer. The Lord didn't want Jacob to give up. He wanted him to give in!

(c) And he did! Jacob was never the same after that. He walked with a limp from then on, but he walked with the Lord.

(i) Peniel was Jacob's second chance!


A. Young David started out right, but allowed himself to wonder from the things of the Lord.

1. Samuel actually handpicked you David to be king BECAUSE of his heart towards the Lord.

2. We read of great and mighty exploits from this man who loved the Lord and tried to live by His words and will. The Lord made him a great warrior and King of Israel!

a) But time, money and fame took its toll on him and he ended up as a murderer and an adulterer.

b) But the Lord has a "great fish" prepared for David also:

(1) It wasn't until his own son Absalom rose up against him to take his kingdom - and was killed that David's heart broke!

(a) 2Sam 18:33 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!"

(i) This experience changed David forever and we see this in Psalm 51:7-12 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice. 9 Hide Thy face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.

(b) But after all this the Lord still considered him a "man after his own heart."


A. Peter was yet another man who was a little too self-reliant.

1. He was quick to speak, quick to act, and so self assured that the emphatically told the Lord in Mark 14:31 (NASB) "[Even] if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!"

2. Yet as he warmed himself by the fire, the rooster crowed and Peter realized that he had failed miserably.

3. But, as he caught the Lord's eye when he looked through the judgment hall - they were not eyes of hatred or even condemnation but eyes of forgiveness.

a) This touched Peter so deeply that he went outside a cried like a baby.

b) I guess you could say that Peter's "great fish" was a rooster, but he was never the same after that.

(1) The Lord appeared to Him privately after his resurrection to make sure he was OK and encourage him to get on with the Lord's will and work!

(a) Jesus didn't give up on Peter even when Peter did.

(b) And because of that, after Pentecost, Peter became a great evangelist.

B. And for my last example I would like to read you a few pages from Pastor Jim Cymbala's new book Fresh Power. Jim is the Senior Pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle.

1. (Read pages 68-75)


A. Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time.

1. You may have given up on the Lord - but He surely has not given up on you!

a) Why not give yourself another chance?


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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