Failure n success quotes

failure and success of information technology and failure is mother of success who said that
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Write to us at: USA: RBC Ministries PO Box 2222 Grand Rapids, MI 49501-2222 CANADA: Radio Bible Class (Canada) Box 1622 Windsor, ON N9A 6Z7 RBC Web site: www.rbc.org Many people, making even the smallest of donations, enable RBC Ministries to reach others with the life-changing wisdom of the Bible. We are not funded or endowed by any group or denomination. Q0720Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 1 THE FAILURE OF SUCCESS: The Story CONTENTS Of Jonah A “Successful” Failure. . . 2 uch has been published Succeeding At Failure . . . 4 about the principles of Jonah’s Concern For M success. Success and Himself At The Expense M Of Others failure, however, may be defined (1:1-16) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 in different ways by different God’s Response people. Is there an absolute To Disobedience standard for success and (1:17–2:10) . . . . . . . . . 13 failure? Do we win or do we Failing At Success . . . . . 18 lose when our accomplishments Winning The Battle cost more than we can afford? (3:1-10) . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 In the following pages, Losing The War Bill Crowder, RBC Director of (4:1-11) . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Church Ministries, brings these The Rest Of issues into focus by examining The Story . . . . . . . . . . . 31 the life of the Old Testament Failure Versus prophet Jonah—one man Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 who personally modeled and experienced “the failure of success.” Martin R. De Haan II Managing Editor: David Sper Cover Photo: © Getty Images/Stone/John Warden Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.All rights reserved. © 2003 RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, Michigan Printed in USA © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 2 bears his name shows that A “SUCCESSFUL” in spite of Jonah’s many FAILURE personal failures, God he movie Apollo 13 successfully directed an tells the story of the amazing rescue. T real-life experience of Ironically, the prophecy T Jim Lovell and his NASA of Jonah is often seen as a space crew. The purpose of part of the Old Testament their mission was to land that reflects the heart of on and explore the moon, God for the nations of the but a life-threatening in- world. But Jonah, the man, flight explosion crippled doesn’t deserve the credit. the spacecraft. Suddenly, From beginning to end, he the goal changed. Mission was a reluctant participant Control in Houston spent in God’s mission of mercy. the next several days trying The bigger picture is that to direct the repair of the Jonah’s failure to care about dying spacecraft and the people of Nineveh save the lives of the three reflected the attitude of astronauts on board. In the his countrymen as well. end, the mission was seen Together, he and the whole as a success because the nation of Israel seemed crew returned safely. Yet it oblivious to the fact that was also a failure because something had gone terribly Apollo 13 never achieved wrong with the Ninevites the original goal of landing and that their lives were on the moon. It was a hanging in the balance. “successful” failure. The fact that these people The same could who were about to die were be said of the prophet Israel’s worst enemies is all Jonah. The book that part of this amazing story. 2 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 3 Introducing The Because God uses Jonah to Prophet Jonah. Jonah confront the hatred of Israel, 1:1 starts out: “Now the the prophecy of Jonah is as word of the Lord came to much about racism as it is Jonah the son of Amittai.” about missions. Jonah (which means “dove” Key 2: Jonah is not the in Hebrew) is identified as principal character of his the son of Amittai (which own book—God is God has means “truthful”). According the first word and the last. to 2 Kings 14:25, Jonah He orchestrates the entire was from Gath Hepher, drama to show His love a village about 2 miles for Israel’s enemies. As northeast of Nazareth. amazing events unfold, we Second Kings 14 also must not get caught up in helps us to date Jonah’s life the props and staging. The sometime during Jeroboam’s Lord Jehovah, not Jonah, is reign from 793–753 BC. the central character of this Some believe that Jonah story. began to speak on behalf of God about the time the prophet Elisha was Jonah is not the concluding his work. principal character Understanding of his own book— The Book Of Jonah. Two keys will prove useful God is in understanding the real issues in this book. Key 1: The book It is this focus that can records Jonah’s mission to open our understanding to Nineveh, but it is written to the real message of Jonah— Israel, who hated Nineveh. “The Failure Of Success.” 3 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 4 God or others. When the SUCCEEDING God of Israel asks Jonah to AT FAILURE carry a message of warning n the 1960s, the Beatles to another nation, the recorded the old country reluctant prophet runs in I song, “Act Naturally.” the opposite direction. Let’s I The title reminds us that take a closer look at what there are some things that was happening in Jonah’s we don’t have to learn how heart—and in God’s. to do—they just come to us naturally. The Desire This is true when we Of God (1:1-2) think of our inclination to The word of the Lord came run from God. It has been to Jonah . . . , saying, said that all of us must learn “Arise, go to Nineveh, that to obey, but no one needs to great city” (1:1-2a). be taught to disobey. Playing Nineveh, founded by the role of spiritual fugitive Nimrod, was on the east is a natural instinct of bank of the Tigris River, fallen human beings. about 550 miles from Samaria, capital of the JONAH’S CONCERN Northern Kingdom of Israel. FOR HIMSELF AT (It would take Jonah about THE EXPENSE OF a month to walk there at 15- OTHERS (JONAH 20 miles a day.) It was large, 1:1-16) and was protected by an As we are introduced to outer wall and an inner wall. Jonah, we see him “act The inner wall was 50 feet naturally”—he shows more wide and 100 feet high. This shortsighted concern for was the time of Nineveh’s himself than he does for greatest glory. 4 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 5 Cry out against it; for mission was the opposite their wickedness has come of Isaiah’s, who said to the up before Me (1:2b). Lord, “Here am I Send me.” Notice carefully (Isa. 6:8). Jonah was told to that this is a message of arise and go, and he did— judgment, not mercy. God but in the opposite direction was going to judge the He headed for Tarshish, people of Nineveh for their which was 2,500 miles west wickedness. He is “Judge of of Joppa on the west coast of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25). Spain. And Jonah thought he And He must be recognized was going to be able to “flee as such because, even . . . from the presence of the though He is Savior, He Lord,” which was impossible. is also Sovereign. Psalm 139 makes it clear God as Judge sent a that it is impossible to escape messenger with a message the presence of the Lord. of judgment, but Jonah Still, Jonah attempted what declined. Instead of Adam and Cain had tried accepting his assignment before him—running from to speak on behalf of God, God’s presence. And he did the prophet decided to this rather than obey the make a run for it. Lord’s command. Why Did Jonah Flee? The Desertion He understood God’s Of Jonah (1:3) judgment, but he also Where Did Jonah Flee? understood God’s mercy. But Jonah arose to And, as we will see, Jonah flee to Tarshish from did not want Nineveh, the the presence of the capital of an enemy nation, Lord (1:3a). to be forgiven. Because Jonah’s response to God’s Jonah knew the willingness 5 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 6 of God to forgive sin when were seen as cruel torturers there is true change of heart, who descended on rival he fled rather than tell the nations like a plague Ninevites of the coming of locusts—destroying judgment. He didn’t want and consuming all. them to escape God’s wrath. For Jonah to go to Over the years, some Nineveh would have been have tried to excuse Jonah’s the moral equivalent of response. Some say the asking a Jewish resident of difficulties of the assignment New York City in the 1940s dissuaded him because it to go to Berlin and give would take a month of the Nazis a chance to be hard travel to get there, and forgiven. The racial tension 3 days’ journey just to get was so intense that, rather from one side of the city than obey, Jonah fled. to the other (3:3). This prodigal prophet Others say that Jonah would learn the cost of thought the task was too hatred, and learn it the hard dangerous. The evil of way. Frank Gaebelein wrote: Nineveh was legendary in In a day when prejudice ancient times, and it was and hate inflame men’s often experienced firsthand emotions and pervert their by the Jewish people (see judgment, Jonah speaks Nah. 3:1-5). with compelling force Still, at the root of Jonah’s about limiting our love unwillingness to go to the and sympathies only to citizens of Nineveh was a some of our fellow human great hatred for them. They beings and excluding had proven themselves others from our pity and again and again to be the compassion (Four Minor enemies of Israel. They Prophets, p.25). 6 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 7 It is easier to hate than the heart of our God? to love—and some of us Jonah chose silence may often find ourselves and hate rather than dangerously close to obedience and love. creating our own Nineveh. How Did Jonah Flee? Jonah went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he It is easier to hate paid the fare, and went than to love—and down into it (1:3b). A boat sailed from Joppa some of us may to Tarshish only a few times often find ourselves a year. There was room for dangerously close him on the ship, so he paid the fare, got on board, and to creating our headed west. own Nineveh. At this point, Jonah might have felt affirmed in his actions. Everything was Perhaps the people that working out, the pieces inhabit our “Nineveh” are were falling into place, the abortionists, homosexuals, circumstances of life were political enemies, cultists, confirming his plan—but or an ethnic group we are the sad reality is that he was uncomfortable with. The still more concerned about question we must honestly himself than others. How consider is this: Will our easy it is to justify our prejudice cause us, like actions, especially when Jonah, to be guilty of the wind is at our back. silence, or will we But circumstances, like the intentionally express wind, can quickly change. 7 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 8 The Desperation Of stormy Sea of Galilee, The Sailors (1:4-9) He calmed the storm. But God’s Reaction (v.4). here He caused it And it’s But the Lord sent out a interesting to note that God’s great wind on the sea, human servants (Jonah in and there was a mighty this case) may disobey Him, tempest on the sea, so but His servants in nature that the ship was about (the wind and the sea) to be broken up. always obey Him. The phrase “but the The Sailors’ Response Lord” is in direct contrast to (v.5a). “but Jonah” in the preceding Then the mariners were verse. The Lord who called afraid; and every man Jonah now pursued His cried out to his god, and wayward servant. threw the cargo that was The text says that God in the ship into the sea, “sent out,” which in the to lighten the load. Hebrew is a graphic word Jonah’s disobedience for “threw down or flung” caused problems not only (the same expression used for himself but also for those in 1 Samuel 18:11 of Saul around him. The sailors throwing his javelin at were innocent bystanders David). It is a term that (like the family of Achan in describes the wind striking Joshua 7). They were simple, the sea with such great force hardworking men who were that it rocked the ship. caught in the middle of The result of God’s action Jonah’s battle with God. was “a mighty tempest on What was their the sea.” This phrase brings response? It was threefold: to mind a contrast. In Mark First, they had an 4, when Jesus was on the emotional response—they 8 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 9 “were afraid.” This is notable ship, had lain down, because these veteran sailors and was fast asleep. were experienced on the In the midst of the storm, Mediterranean Sea. They while this flurry of activity knew the nature of the was taking place on deck, storms there, and they Jonah was fast asleep How knew that this was no was this possible? He seemed ordinary storm. to be at peace. But we know Second, they had a he was at odds with God. spiritual response—“every Sometimes we claim that a man cried out to his god.” sense of peace is a good way You may criticize these to measure whether a certain sailors for their “foxhole decision is the right one. prayers,” but everyone on But maybe this spiritual board was praying—except barometer is really a self- Jonah Although he was delusion and not the peace supposed to be a man of of God at all. Commentator God, Jonah was, practically Merrill Unger wrote: speaking, acting like the In his backslidden only atheist on board. condition Jonah lay “fast Third, they had a asleep,” the result not of practical response—they submission to God and “threw the cargo . . . into trust in Him, as in the the sea, to lighten the load.” case of our Lord’s sleep on They viewed death as being Galilee’s stormy lake (Mk. so imminent that their desire 4:37-39), but of spiritual for survival outweighed their numbness produced by need for income. a dull conscience. Jonah’s Repose (v.5b). The Sailors’ Remedy But Jonah had gone down (vv.6-9). into the lowest parts of the So the captain came 9 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 10 to him, and said to him, will of the gods.” In this case “What do you mean, it worked and the lot fell on sleeper? Arise, call on your Jonah. The same God who God; perhaps your God controlled the storm also will consider us, so that controlled the lot that was we may not perish” (v.6). cast (Prov. 16:33). In desperation, the Then they said to Jonah, shipmaster woke Jonah “Please tell us For whose and pleaded with him to cause is this trouble pray. How ironic that the upon us? What is your pagan had to call the man occupation? And where do of God to prayer you come from? What is After trying everything your country? And of what else, the sailors were left people are you?” (v.8). with only one possible With machine-gun speed answer—the storm was the they began to probe Jonah anger of the gods against with a series of questions someone on board. Notice that basically consisted of: what they tried to do to Who are you and why is this remedy the desperate happening? Jonah replied: situation they were in: I am a Hebrew; and I They said to one another, fear the Lord, the God of “Come, let us cast lots, heaven, who made the that we may know for sea and the dry land (v.9). whose cause this trouble Well, that wasn’t has come upon us.” So entirely true, was it? If they cast lots, and the lot Jonah really feared God, fell on Jonah (v.7). he would have been In ancient times, people traveling east to Nineveh, sometimes used colored not west to Tarshish. stones to help discern “the I believe that when Jonah 10 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 11 identified his God as the The essence of fearing One who “made the sea,” God is to recognize His he was indicating that his authority, to respect His God was the One personally authority, and to respond responsible for their to His authority. The sailors predicament—and that He did this, but Jonah didn’t was the only solution for it. Someone once said that unbelievers never look The Determination better than when they are Of Jonah (vv.10-14) compared to disobedient Then the men were children of God. Since exceedingly afraid, and Jonah wouldn’t repent, said to him, “Why have the sailors asked how they you done this?” For the could appease this storm- men knew that he fled producing God. from the presence of the Jonah said to them, Lord, because he had told “Pick me up and throw them. Then they said to me into the sea; then the him, “What shall we do to sea will become calm for you that the sea may be you. For I know that this calm for us?”—for the great tempest is because sea was growing more of me” (v.12). tempestuous (vv.10-11). In essence, Jonah was Verse 10 says that after saying, “I would rather die the sailors learned about than obey God and preach Jonah running from God, repentance to people I hate.” they were “exceedingly How tragic. Jonah could afraid.” Why? Initially they have said, “I repent and feared only the storm; now you should too” or “Turn they feared the God behind around and get me to the storm. Nineveh,” or at the very 11 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 12 least, “Give me an oar and The Dramatic let me help row.” Instead he Ending Of The seemed to be saying to God, Storm (vv.15-16) “I would rather die than go So they picked up with You to Nineveh.” Jonah and threw him In contrast to Jonah’s into the sea, and the sea unwillingness to be involved ceased from its raging. in sparing the lives of Then the men feared the hundreds of thousands of Lord exceedingly, and people in Nineveh, notice offered a sacrifice to the how hard these heathen Lord and took vows. sailors worked to save one When the stormy sea man’s life. And also notice suddenly fell calm, the the respect they had for storm in the sailors’ hearts the Lord in contrast to the grew stronger—now they disrespect that Jonah was really feared God Not showing: only had He caused the The men rowed hard to storm, He was able to return to land, but they turn it off when it suited could not, for the sea His purposes. continued to grow more They offered sacrifices tempestuous against them. of worship to the true Therefore they cried out to God and made vows of the Lord and said, “We commitment to Him. pray, O Lord, please do Meanwhile, Jonah sank not let us perish for this like a rock—thinking that man’s life, and do not he had achieved his goal. charge us with innocent He was convinced that he blood; for You, O Lord, had successfully escaped have done as it pleased from the presence of the You” (vv.13-14). Lord. But had he? 12 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 13 GOD’S RESPONSE calls for our faith in a TO DISOBEDIENCE supernatural God who is (JONAH 1:17–2:10) unlimited by the natural We now launch into the realm. Let’s look at verse passage that makes Jonah 17 more closely. one of the most attacked The Hebrew word for books in the Bible. In the prepared includes the idea 1930s murder trial of of creative activity, implying Leopold and Loeb, their that this particular fish was attorney Clarence Darrow especially created by God attacked the credibility of a for this specific event. key witness by saying, “You The text says that God could more easily believe made “a great fish,” not that Jonah was swallowed a whale as many believe, by a whale.” His strategy though certain whales backfired, however, because could swallow a man. much of the jury said they (A fully grown adult sperm did believe the story of Jonah whale has a mouth 20 feet and the fish. So Darrow’s long, 15 feet high, 9 feet clients were found guilty. wide and can eat an entire squid whole.) The text God’s Preparation indicates, however, that it (1:17) was a specially prepared The Lord had prepared “great fish.” a great fish to swallow And Jonah wasn’t just Jonah. And Jonah was in swallowed by the fish, he the belly of the fish three remained in its belly for days and three nights. 3 days and 3 nights. This This is the statement is important, because in in the story of Jonah that Matthew 12:40 Jesus not is often ridiculed—but it also only acknowledged the 13 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 14 historical fact of Jonah being His Prayer Of in the fish, but He went Repentance (v.2). beyond that and showed its I cried out to the Lord prophetic significance. He because of my affliction, said, “As Jonah was three and He answered me. Out days and three nights in of the belly of Sheol I cried, the belly of the great fish, so and You heard my voice. will the Son of Man be three Jonah prayed because of days and three nights in the his “affliction” (lit. “binding heart of the earth.” up”), which is appropriate for a man in a fish. Notice Jonah’s Prayer (2:1-9) Then Jonah prayed to Jonah did something the Lord his God from the fish’s belly (v.1). in the fish’s belly Jonah did something that he refused to in the fish’s belly that he do when he was refused to do when he was in the boat—he cried out to in the boat—he God. Caves, crosses, and cried out to God. stoning pits may be unusual places from which to pray, but nothing tops this that the place of his prayer Imagine what it would have is “out of the belly of Sheol,” been like to experience the not just the belly of the fish. swallowing itself. And what What is Sheol? It is about the conditions within pictured in Scripture as this living grave But it was being beneath the ground there that Jonah lifted up his (Job 17:16), a place of voice to pray. His prayer has darkness (Job 10:19-22), and several parts: a place of silence (Ps. 6:5). 14 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 15 Although being in Sheol his physical circumstances. implies separation from God, In the grip of death, he saw it is accessible to God. In God’s hand behind all that most cases, Sheol is the had happened to him (“You realm of the dead. Whether cast me,” “Your billows,” used to speak of the grave or “Your waves,” “Your sight”). of the realm of existence after God was the one who death, it is clear that Sheol is caused the storm to erupt a place of death, not life. and He was the one who Jonah had set out for used the sailors to execute Tarshish in defiance of God, His judgment by casting but he ended up in Sheol. Jonah into the sea. Yet in spite of his rebellion, Evidence of God’s when Jonah repented, God powerful presence in life’s responded. Jonah said to circumstances can be seen God, “You heard my voice.” throughout Scripture. Paul, His Prayer Of for example, saw himself as Submission (vv.3-4). a prisoner of Christ (not You cast me into the deep, Rome). Joseph saw God’s into the heart of the seas, hand behind his slavery. Job and the floods surrounded saw the work of God in his me; all Your billows and trials. And the Son of God Your waves passed over recognized the Father’s me. Then I said, “I have hand in His suffering. been cast out of Your Besides acknowledging sight; yet I will look again God’s power and authority toward Your holy temple.” in his circumstances, Jonah Here Jonah came to his also appealed to God’s senses. Finally, in the belly mercy. With hope of being of a great fish, he saw the restored to worship, he sovereignty of God in spite of prayed in verse 4, “I will 15 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 16 look again toward Your brought up my life from holy temple.” the pit.” He acknowledged His Prayer In Trouble God’s loving correction as (vv.5-6). necessary for his restoration, The waters surrounded not his destruction. me, even to my soul; the His Prayer Of deep closed around me; Restoration (v.7). weeds were wrapped When my soul fainted around my head. I went within me, I remembered down to the moorings of the Lord; and my prayer the mountains; the earth went up to You, into Your with its bars closed holy temple. behind me forever; yet As Jonah was beginning You have brought up to fade, he prayed for my life from the pit, O restoration. Lord, my God. His Prayer Of These verses describe the Confession (v.8). terrifying depths to which Those who regard Jonah had sunk. His flight worthless idols forsake from God, a violent storm, their own mercy. deep water, and the hungry The NIV translates this mouth of a monster fish verse: “Those who cling to brought him to the threshold worthless idols forfeit the of Sheol, the land of the grace that could be theirs.” dead (“the earth with its bars Jonah was confessing his closed behind me forever”). sin of trusting in an idol Yet, even though Jonah that could do nothing to believed that death had save or rescue him, which claimed him, this part of was a complete waste of time his prayer ended with hope and energy. And what was when he said, “You have Jonah’s idol? It was his self- 16 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 17 will—the ultimate idol. God’s Power (2:10) Bowing at the idol of So the Lord spoke to the his own will, Jonah had fish, and it vomited Jonah committed himself to a path onto dry land. of rebellion—the ultimate Again we see the control spiritual failure. Only of God. The winds obeyed. when he turned to God The seas obeyed. Now the in repentance would he fish obeys. The only one discover what spiritual who disobeyed was Jonah, success was truly all about. the man of God. The sailors His Prayer Of couldn’t get Jonah to shore, Thanksgiving (v.9). but God used the fish to get But I will sacrifice to him there rather easily. You with the voice of Jonah’s return to dry thanksgiving; I will pay land was unceremonial and what I have vowed. unconventional. The fish Salvation is of the Lord. vomited him up. This is not This prayer meant two a pleasant thought, but it is things. He was ready to stop the only “positive” use of worshiping himself at the the word vomit in the Bible. altar of his own will. And he Elsewhere vomit is used of was ready to make the turn. Israel (Lev. 18), the rich (Job Like a broken fugitive with 20), Laodicea (Rev. 3), a dog nowhere to hide, he gave and a fool (Prov. 26:11), and himself up. So he declared, mostly of drunks. “I will sacrifice” and “I will Jonah’s story began pay what I have vowed.” with him “succeeding at With these words he failure” as he rejected declared his long-overdue God’s call, disobeyed God’s surrender and said, in effect, command, and ignored “Lord, take me to Nineveh” God’s will. He worshiped 17 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 18 at the idol of self, Texans, Santa Anna paid choosing to die rather a huge price for his victory. than submit to God. While Mexican forces But in grace and in were tied up in the battle correction, God pursued for the Alamo, General Sam His wayward servant. Now Houston used the time to Jonah, who succeeded so organize an army that would well at spiritual failure, will defeat Mexico at San Jacinto be given a second chance, and allow Texas to become another opportunity to get a republic. Santa Anna won it right. the battle—but he lost the war. WINNING FAILING AT THE BATTLE SUCCESS (JONAH 3:1-10) n 1836, a war was waged As we come to the third for the independence of chapter of Jonah, the Lord I Texas. The leader of of Israel has won the battle. I Mexico, Santa Anna, was But as we will see, the war not about to give in to the is not yet over. “Texicans” who were ready Back on land, Jonah to die for their freedom. In begins to make his way to March of that year, Santa Nineveh. He had taken a Anna’s soldiers pressed their detour through the belly siege of San Antonio de of a fish, but now he’s back Bejar for 13 crucial days. on track. In the last two Although they eventually chapters, God will use him succeeded in storming the to bring about one of the Alamo and overwhelming greatest rescues in history. the badly outnumbered But how will Jonah respond? 18 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.Q0720Jonah-FailureOfSuccess pp 4/5/04 4:47 PM Page 19 A Second Chance chance (1 Ki. 13:26). A (3:1-2) “second call” is never Now the word of the Lord guaranteed. It is much safer came to Jonah the second to respond favorably to God time, saying, “Arise, go to the first time. In Jonah’s Nineveh, that great city, case, God could have called and preach to it the a second man, but for His message that I tell you.” own purposes He chose to Against the backdrop call the same man a second of Jonah’s resistance and time. subsequent remorse, God, in grace and mercy, gave A Simple Message Jonah a second chance to (3:3-4) carry out his mission. So Jonah arose Notice that Jonah’s and went to Nineveh, second call was much more according to the word of personal and intense than the Lord. Now Nineveh the first. The first call was was an exceedingly great general (“cry out against”), city, a three-day journey but the second call was in extent. And Jonah more specific (“preach . . . began to enter the city on the message that I tell you”). the first day’s walk. Then A second chance for he cried out and said, “Yet service is not unheard of. forty days, and Nineveh It was given to Moses shall be overthrown” (Acts 7:25) and also to Nineveh was great in size, Peter (Jn. 21). But we significance, and wealth. must not presume. The But it was also great in its Scriptures show that it can sin (1:2). That is why Jonah be dangerous to presume was there, and he began the we’ll be given a second 3-day journey through town 19 © RBC Ministries. All rights reserved.