God told Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh to give them a message from God. The first time God told Jonah to go, resulted in Jonah running away and having a rendezvous with a big fish. God wanted Jonah, a Jewish prophet, to go to a city of non-Israelites and tell them to repent even though Jonah firmly believed that God’s covenant was meant only for Israel. But Jonah finally agreed to deliver God’s message to the Ninevites.
After delivering that warning, Jonah was furious (because he still disagreed with God) and went to hide. God went after him again, trying to make Jonah understand that His love and mercy was meant for all people. The strangeness of the story is that the Ninevites “got it” whereas Jonah kept stumbling over it.
This story tells us that God wants to have a relationship with each one of us. God wants that relationship with Jewish people who, like Jonah, believed in God. God also wants that relationship with non-Jewish people who, like the Ninevites, did not yet believe in God. In both cases God chased down the people and offered His presence to them.
This story would be funny if it were not so hauntingly familiar. How many times have we run from what we know God wants us to do? Thankfully, God does not take our first “no” as a final answer.
Thank you God for chasing us down!