God orchestrated a circumstance in history to teach Jonah something he desperately needed to know. Jonah goes down to Joppa, Jonah goes down into the ship, he goes down into the depths of the ship – and now, finally, he goes down into the very depths of the ocean. As Peter Craigie comments: “It was not until he was all the way down that he was stripped of his own buoyant self-sufficiency, was deliverance possible.” The belly of the fish was not a happy place to live, but it was a good place to learn! This lesson from Jonah is so true in our Christian walk, so often we don’t understand dependence upon God until we have been bought low. It is only then we learn how to completely depend on God. The usual place to learn the greatest secrets of God’s grace is at the bottom. It’s not just being at the bottom that changes you, it is when you call out to God with the prayer of repentance and thanksgiving that the heart is transformed.
Please read Jonah 1:17-2:10
- According to verse 17 what is the primary purpose of the fish? What is remarkable about this fish? How does this verse display some of God’s character traits and what are those traits?
- Jonah 2:1-9 outlines Jonah’s response from the belly of the fish. Read through these 9 verses and describe in your own words what is happening. What is Jonah’s response, and what aspects of God’s character are being displayed?
|e.g. From the belly of the fish in distress.
| He prays, calls out – addresses God as his LORD God
|God answers – He is Jonah covenant keeping God -Yahweh
- What do you think is the significance of Jonah figuratively looking towards God’s holy temple? What is he hoping for?
- Jonah provides a warning in Jonah 2:8. (Please use several English translations, especially the NIV to determine meaning) What is the warning and how is this warning relevant for you and I? What are some of the idols in your life that are grace killers?
- What do you think is the key theme of this prayer? Why is this so?
- As you consider God’s grace and Jonah’s transformation from being a defiant prophet, into a whole-heart servant of God, what lessons can be applied to your own walk? How will you view the storms in your life and in what way will this story shape your response?
- In light of Jonah’s thanksgiving hymn of deliverance, it seems fitting that we close in the same spirit. Record your own prayer of praise to Jesus for delivering you from the judgment you have earned and giving you eternal hope, no one can take away
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God's GraceJonahThe Big Fish