Lesson #37: Jonah

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Ask about Jonah: What were you told as a child about the story of Jonah?

Talk about Bible stories: Some Bible stories may have been watered down for you as a kid, either giving the wrong detail or not giving all the detail to the story. Today we will discuss the “full version” of the story of Jonah.

Read Jonah 1:1-3

Ask about the verses: Has God ever put something on your mind, but you refused to acknowledge or listen to it? Here are some examples of what God may ask you: “Hey you, go and give that poor man some food” and “Hey you, go and serve at church”.

Talk about Jonah from those verses: In these verses, God speaks to Jonah to go to Nineveh, in the heart of the Assyrian empire, to call them to repentance. The Assyrians were enemies of Israelites who flaunted their power before God and the world through numerous acts of heartless cruelty. Jonah wanted vengeance rather than mercy, so he ran.

Ask about our reactions to discomfort: How often do you walk away when you experience discomfort?

Ask about Jonah and his refusal to follow God’s orders: What happens to Jonah when he rebels and runs away from what God wants him to do?

Read Jonah 1: 4-16: Jonah decided to sail for Tarnish instead of Nineveh. As a result of his rebellion, the Lord sent a wild storm. Jonah’s men threw him overboard because they didn’t want to be punished for what Jonah had done. After they threw him overboard, the waves grew calm.

Talk about Jonah 1: 4-16: This is what it is like to turn away from God. Moreover, our life begins to be one hectic sinful storm and God becomes angry.

Read Jonah 1:17: Jonah then inevitably gets swallowed by a large whale.

Ask about Jonah’s realization: What does Jonah realize while he was inside the whale?

Read Jonah 2:1-10: Jonah (1) calls to God for help and (2) realizes and remembers why he chose to follow God in the first place.

Ask about life: Have you ever been at a point in life where you have forgotten why you followed God in the first place?…In Verse 6, Jonah explains that God was the one who saved him from death (‘the pit’). God spared his life. He realized that God ultimately has power over his life.

Ask about obeying God: When is a time that you obeyed when God was telling you to step out of your comfort zone for His glory? (ex. Inviting a friend to church, making someone feel heard when they often aren’t, not giving into temptation when it is hard)

Read Jonah 3:1-10: Jonah did what God wanted him to do. Jonah obeys God and saves Nineveh from the destruction and wrath of God.


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