“I’ve messed up too many times; I’m too far gone… God could never save me”
“I’ve done too many horrible things for God to ever forgive me”
“I’ve ignored God for so long, there’s no way he could use me to do anything significant for him”
Have you ever had one or more of these thoughts? Believe me, they’re more common than anyone would like to admit… Thankfully, they’re also 100% incorrect!
If any ancient city deserved judgement, it was Nineveh. The stories and historical reports of how they conquered foreign lands, treated enemy armies and boasted about their successes – well, they are gruesome, to say the least. Everyone outside of Nineveh would have rejoiced and cried out ‘sweet justice’ had God stepped in and brought about their destruction. But instead, God showed mercy. God gave them a second chance,
Similarly, I can’t think of any more unloveable prophets than Jonah. He’s disobedient, proud and self-righteous (can there be a more obnoxious combination than that?) – no one would have thought twice if God had decided to cast him away in judgement and shame. And yet, instead, God uses Jonah in a mighty powerful way – to bring about the transformation of an entire city.
You would need to have an impressive back-story to consider yourself less worthy than either Nineveh or Jonah, right? A far better way of thinking about this is that we are Nineveh – we are Jonah:
We, like Nineveh, deserve judgement. But “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (Ps 86:5) – and “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15).
And we, like Jonah, are totally unworthy to be used by God. And yet all throughout the Bible (indeed all throughout history), God has used people just like us to do amazing things.
Our God is the God of second chances – to Him be the glory!