Second chances. Are you glad that God gives them to us? I am, just as I am that God also shows us the imperfections in the bible characters He allows to do His will. Remember that they are just people, just like you and I.
Jonah got a second chance (Jonah 3:1) to do what was right and he listened to God this time. I wonder though, from Jonah's subsequent behavior, what Jonah's attitude was as he delivered the message to Nineveh and said "Yet forty days, and Ninevah shall be overthrown!". Was he obeying in protest?
Refreshingly to me, after all of the reading through Isaiah and Jeremiah when Israel would not change their ways, the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth to show God they were repentant. The king made a proclamation for the fast as well and told everyone to repent and "cry mightily to God" (v 3:8). Hmmm...prayer again. What a concept.
Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. (Jonah 3:10 NJKV)
Wow. What a reminder of God's mercy. He really, really just wants us to do what is right. Check out God's words on this in Jeremiah 18:5-10. God is a God of the second chance. He is longsuffering beyond my comprehension.
To think about:
What past failure am I holding over my own head as an excuse for lack of future action that God has already pardoned me for?