Answering God’s Call
- Have you ever felt you were given a second chance? What happened? Why did it feel like a second chance to you?
Read Jonah 3:1-10
- God’s grace is relentless. Jonah gets another chance (v.1-2). What does it mean to you that God’s grace is relentless toward you?
- Nineveh was one of the most significant cities in Jonah’s days. The phrase “exceedingly great city” (v.3) could also be translated “a great city to god”. Why would God show such an interest in Nineveh?
- Jonah’s message was short (v.4). No mention of God or of the reasons why God will overthrow the city nor any offer of repentance. Considering Jonah’s initial reluctance to go to Nineveh, could there be a reason why his message was so short and lacking any grace?
- The response of the people was drastic and swift. How did they express their repentance? Why did they do it? (v.5-9)
- How do people respond to God’s call to repent today? How do you respond?
- God did exactly what Jonah feared: He relented (v.10). Is this typical of God?
- In light of this story of Jonah how do you imagine God? Is God a God who always relents or is God a God of judgment? Are there other stories in the Bible to support your view?
- A graceless Jonah vs. a grace filled God. Where do you fit in?
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?
God Wants to Use You Right Where You Are
- What comes to mind when you hear that someone wants to “use” you?
- Why do people have negative associations with the word “use”?
Read Joshua 1:1-9
- What fears do you think Joshua had at this point in his life?
- How would you feel if you were in Joshua’s position?
Read Joshua 1:10-18
- What did Joshua do in response to God’s call?
- Where, and how, can you be used by God?
- What gifts and talents has God given to you?
- What might be holding you back from fully following God?
- What steps do you need to take so that you are prepared to be used by God?
Ask God to help you to be “strong and courageous.”