- Have you ever felt your whole life pass before your eyes? What happened?
- Recall a dark and lonely period in your life. What precipitated it? How did you experience God in that time? How did it impact your life? Your faith?
Read: Jonah 2:1-10
- What is the general tone of Jonah’s prayer? What kind of a prayer is it? A call for help? A recommitment?
- What is the significance of Jonah praying from the belly of the fish but using verbs in the past tense, as though God had already answered his prayer?
- While Jonah might have been safe for the moment, how was he still in “deep trouble”?
- Where does Jonah show assurance of being delivered in spite of appearances to the contrary (v.4, 6, 7, 9)?
- Compare v.3 with 1:15 – how does Jonah view circumstances? God’s control? God’s purposes?
- Describe a time in your life when you were on the run from God or felt far from God. What happened? How was your life “brought up from the pit” (v.6)?
- How could the trial you are going through be God’s avenue of change for you? Where in your life are you desperate enough to pray with hope as Jonah does here?
- What has God said to you through this time of reflection / discussion? What are you going to do about it?
Caution: God at Work!
1. What do you know of the story of Jonah? What have you heard, perhaps from Sunday school?
Read Jonah 1:
2. What did God want Jonah to do?
3. How did Jonah respond?
4. Why did Jonah head off to Tarshish instead of Nineveh?
5. What do you make out of the fact that while the crew of the ship fights for survival Jonah is sound asleep in the bow of the ship?
6. While Jonah runs from the presence of God, he finds himself not out of reach from God. What storms in your life served as reminders of God’s inescapable presence?
7. Do you think Jonah anticipated to be rescued when he asked the sailors to throw him overboard?
8. “I’d rather die than obey!” Can you imagine a situation where you would say these words?
9. When has running away from God brought you (and/or others) into trouble?
10. Do you think Jonah’s rescue by a fish is factual or symbolic? Explain.
11. How has God rescued you in spite of your disobedience?