Jonah’s Anger at the LORD’S Compassion (Jonah 4)

Scripture Text:

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Jonah 4

1. How do you usually express anger?

2. Why did Jonah run from God earlier (verse 2)? Why is he depressed and angry now? What is the history of relations between the Israelites and the Assyrians?

3. Given the size of Nineveh (verse 11 and chapter 3:3), the message to be proclaimed (chapter 3:4), and what you know about God (verse 2; see also Exodus 34:6, 7), how would you have felt? Like Jonah (verses 1 – 3)?

4. Why did Jonah ask the Lord to take his life?

  • he was just spouting off
  • he was deeply depressed
  • if the Ninevites were going to live, Jonah preferred to die
  • Jonah’s reputation as a Jewish prophet was at stake
  • Jonah forgot that God had just spared his life

5. What three things does God provide Jonah? Why? What do the vine, worm and hot sun reveal about God? About Jonah?

6. How does the book of Jonah end?

  • like something is missing
  • like it began – God has the first and last say
  • emphasizing God’s compassion
  • emphasizing Jonah’s (and our) need to have compassion

7. What was Jonah’s biggest problem?

  • prejudice
  • pouting
  • pride
  • procrastination
  • being “hot-headed”
  • disobedience
  • jealously
  • burnout
  • depression

8. Compare Elijah’s encounter with the Baal-worship in 1 Kings 17 – 19 with Jonah’s relation to these heathens. What peak religious experiences, depressions, provisions, and rebuke from God do they have in common with each other? With your own life.

9. How willing are you to go to others with a message of repentance toward God and faith in Christ?

10. How has God challenged you in your study of Jonah?

11. Who are the “Ninevites” to whom God might be calling you to go?

  • the unchurched in my community
  • my neighbors next door
  • my coworkers
  • my classmates
  • my “enemies”

12. What feelings do you have toward these people?

  • apathy
  • fear
  • anger
  • pity
  • jealousy
  • compassion

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Jonah Goes To Nineveh (Jonah 3)

Scripture Text:

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Jonah 3

1. What is the largest city you have ever visited at street level? How did you feel about the street people and their future?

2. How do you think Jonah felt as he headed toward Nineveh?

  • grateful to be alive
  • anxious to preach
  • afraid of what the Ninevites would do to him
  • afraid the Ninevites would repent

3. How would you describe Nineveh’s reaction to Jonah’s message?

  • radical
  • sincere
  • too little too late
  • appropriate
  • humble
  • just what Jonah feared
  • just what God wanted

4. What is your “Nineveh”?

  • an unfriendly place
  • an unpleasant emotion
  • a personal bondage
  • God’s call in my life

5. How do you feel when you know you have responded to God’s call?

  • free as a bird
  • deeply satisfied
  • relieved
  • close to God
  • still confused

6. Share a time when God gave you a second chance. Have you ever ignored God’s second chance? Why?

7. If God gave you “Mission Impossible”, 40 days after which the object of the mission would be destroyed, would you do it? Why or why not?

8. When would you consider “fasting” and “putting on a sackcloth”, as the Ninevites did? What is a “spiritual fast”?

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Jonah’s Prayer (Jonah 2)

Scripture Text:

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Jonah 2

1. What was your favorite small hiding place as a child? How long could you stay there before you started feeling claustrophobic?

2. When have you ever felt your whole life passing before your eyes? What happened?

3. In the ebb and flow of your life last year, when were you at “low tide”? At “high tide”? Why the big mood swing?

4. What doe you see in this prayer? Thanksgiving? A call for help? Recommitment? Confession of hope?

5. What do you make of the fact that Jonah prays inside the fish and uses verbs in the past tense (as though God had already answered his prayer)?

6. While Jonah may be safe for the moment, how is he still in deep trouble? Where does he show assurance of deliverance in spite of appearances to the contrary (verses 4, 6, 7, 9)?

7. Compare verses 3 with chapter 1:15. How does Jonah view circumstances? God’s control? God’s purposes?

8. When have you felt like Jonah – far from God, enmeshed in a situation beyond your control? How then was your life brought up from the pit?

9. Where in your life are you desperate enough to pray with hope, as Jonah does?

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