Jonah as a story is probably one of the most well-known narratives from the Old Testament, even amongst the secular world in which we live. Many will consider this story just a myth or fable. However, Jonah is part of God’s inspired word and is a historical account of an actual event. It is the biography of one event in Jonah’s life, but also a picture of a gracious God whose plans will not be thwarted even though Jonah is defiant and disobedience.
Who is Jonah?
- Please read 2 Kings 14:23-27. What was Jonah’s role during the reign of Jeroboam? Was he successful in his role?
- In Jonah 1:1-2 Jonah is called to a different mission. What was this mission and why is this mission so unusual compared with all other prophets of Yahweh? What are the key aspects of the mission and why was God sending his prophet?
- How would you describe Jonah’s response to God’s commands? (Jonah 1:3)
- In what ways do you sometimes respond to God’s commands in the way Jonah does? What areas in your Christian walk need to be shaped by obedience as opposed to defiance? Spend some time with the Lord confessing your sin before him and seeking his grace to allow you to overcome your defiance.
- How does God respond to Jonah’s defiance? In Hebrews 12:3-11 we read some remarkable words. What are these verses describing and how do they provide us with comfort and grace?
- What is the sailor’s response to the storm? What is Jonah’s response? What is the essence of the sailors questioning in v 8? In what way is Jonah deluded about his response to God’s command? How does Psalm 139:7-12 reinforce Jonah’s delusion?
- As the sea continues to increase in its rage, the sailors ask Jonah what should be done. Jonah provides the solution to the problem (Jonah 1:12) – “HURL ME INTO THE SEA.” Why does he say this? How might this scene relate to Jesus words in Matthew 12:38-40?
- Through Jonah’s act of being thrown into the sea the pagan sailors are saved. What is their response?
- As you have read and studied this first chapter of Jonah, how does God’s story come to the forefront of this narrative?
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God's GraceJonahJonah' Defiance.