Repentance is Still Needed
I Called for Help – Part 2
Scripture Reading: Jonah 2:1-10
Key Verse: Jonah 2:2
He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
We need to understand what repentance is about. The scripture in Jonah does not use the word but describes its meaning. Let’s look at the way repentance worked in Jonah’s life.
First, see the phrase: “in my distress I called to the Lord”. True repentance starts with distress over our sin. Sometimes distress comes about because of the sin and sometimes it comes from the consequences of sin. Either way, if a person is going to turn from a behavior, there must be a deep sense of need to turn in a new direction.
Second, we see Jonah “called for help”. Out of distress must come the willingness to get beyond ourselves and our own plans! We then call out to God for help. Like David, when confronted with his sinfulness, called out “Have mercy on me, O God” (Psalm 51:1). Repentance includes the understanding that we throw ourselves on the mercy of God. There can be no sense of entitlement or thoughts that we are worthy of another chance.
Finally, Jonah turned away from his plan to run from God. We find Jonah’s words in Jonah 2:9: “What I have vowed, I will make good”. Then, in Jonah 3:1, we read: “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time…” and in Jonah 3:3 “Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord”.
Repentance is never real or complete until we take this final step. We must turn from your sin and go God’s way! Yes, we still need repentance when sin is present.
Father, give me strength to turn away from sinful ways and walk worthy of You. In Jesus’s Name, amen.