March 6 Notes and Questions
Jonah: God’s Mercy on Display
Wk 3, “Fake it, ‘Til You Make it!”
March 6, 2020
Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said,
“I called out of my distress to the LORD,
And He answered me.
I cried for help from the depth of Sheol;
You heard my voice.
“For You had cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the current engulfed me.
All Your breakers and billows passed over me.
“So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight.
Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
“Water encompassed me to the point of death.
The great deep engulfed me,
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
“I descended to the roots of the mountains.
The earth with its bars was around me forever,
But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.
“While I was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
And my prayer came to You,
Into Your holy temple.
“Those who regard vain idols
Forsake their faithfulness,
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving.
That which I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation is from the LORD.”
Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.
Three characteristics of a shallow relationship with God.
- Pray Only When Absolutely Necessary
“I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol;
You heard my voice.”
As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.
“I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.
- A Self-Righteous Attitude
“While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple.
James 5:16 says,
“…the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.
“Instead, the men did their best to row back to land…”
- Never Truly Repent
But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”
1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
1 John 2:3-6
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Those Who Know God, Obey God
- Why is it important that followers of Jesus live a Godly life? Can you be a true follower of Christ and not live a Godly life?
- Read Jonah 2, have you ever had a near death experience that you are willing to share with the group? Looking back at that time can you see how God worked in your life since then?
- Why do we tend to blame God for situations in our lives that we wish were different? Are there times when God punishes us for sinning?
- Read Proverbs 27:19 and explain what it means to you.
- Is there a “right” way to pray or a “wrong” way to pray? Can we over complicate prayer?
- Are there times when we feel people are not “good enough” to hear the message of the gospel? Discuss the various issues that this attitude can lead to. Have you ever looked back at an encounter with someone and when reflecting felt you came across as too harsh? What are some things we can do to be more tenderhearted like Jesus?
- Do you read any repentance in Jonah’s prayer?
- Read 1 Samuel 15:22, what does this verse tell us the Lord wants most from us? Why is it sometimes difficult to obey the Lord?
- Read 1 John 2:3-6, what does it mean when we say “I know him”? Can we know Jesus but continually be in disobedience?