This is lesson 1of 4 in Jonah’s Guide to Mishandling the Good News, a bible study on Jonah. Step 1: Pray for God’s Direction
- Main Point of the Passage: When God told Jonah to preach against Nineveh, Jonah tried to flee to Tarshish, but ended up in a fish.
- Main Point of the Lesson: God wants to use people like us in his plan to redeem all nations.
- Main Application of the Lesson: Group members will share God’s message of mercy with others.
To prepare for this lesson, write your own answers to each of the questions below. You will share some of your answers with the group, but make it your goal to talk less than 20% of the Bible study time. Ask the questions, listen to your group, and let them carry the Bible study. You’ll be amazed.
If you plan to use the optional homework, you’ll need two or three volunteers each week. A few days before your Bible study, choose two volunteers and give each of them one of the following assignments. Tell them you’d like them to take 3-5 minutes to share their work with the group.
Once everyone in your group is sitting in a circle, say, “Here’s the first question. Everyone answers the first question, and it’s just for fun.” Then read the first question, pause, and listen to your group’s answers.
Smile Question: Finish the sentence: When things slow down a little, I hope I can______________.
Share Question: Tell about a time God gave you a job you didn’t want.
Introduce the Passage: God wants to use people like us in his plan to redeem all nations. Revelation 5:9 says, “with your [Jesus’] blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” In Jonah chapter one, Jonah tried to flee to Tarshish when God commanded him to preach against Nineveh. Instead he ended up in a fish. Let’s read Jonah 1:1-3 to see God’s command and Jonah’s response. [Read Jonah 1:1-3]
Study Question: As we read the rest of this chapter, let’s look for answers to this question: What did God do to stop Jonah?
Possible answers include:
- God sent a storm. V. 4-6
- God showed the sailors that Jonah was responsible for the trouble. V. 7-10
- God made the storm stronger until the sailors threw Jonah overboard. V. 11-14
- God caused the sea to grow calm after Jonah went overboard. V. 15-16
- God sent a fish to swallow Jonah. V. 17
Connect-the-Dots Question: Why do you think Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh?
Count-the-Cost Question: Let’s make a list of statements every Christian can make about their role in God’s plan to redeem all nations:
- E.g. It’s my job to tell people the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Let’s-Do-It Question: What would it look like for you to embrace God’s call to join his plan for our country?
Prayer: Let’s pray together for God’s mercy on our country. Then each of us will have a chance to offer a prayer of commitment to God choosing to be part of his plan for our country.