Brave Hearts Ministry

Jonah  Bible Merit                                             


Memory Verse:    

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.  He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.  After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.   Jonah 1:3

Purpose:  To show the extent of God’s grace, the message of salvation is for all people.

Date Written:  Approximately 785----760 B.C.

Lessons:  1.  Jonah Forsakes His Mission     1:3-1:17
                  2.  Jonah’s Three Days Inside the Whale  2:1-10
                  3.  Jonah fulfills his mission   3:1-10         
                  4.  Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion  4:1-10   

Lesson 1: Jonah Forsakes His Mission 1:3-17

    Jonah was a reluctant prophet given a mission he found distasteful.  He chose to run away from God rather than obey him.  Like Jonah, we may have to do things in life that we don’t want to do.  Sometimes we find ourselves wanting to turn and run.  But it is better to obey God than to defy him or run away.  Often in spite of our defiance, God in his mercy will give us another chance to serve him when we return to him.

     Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.  He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.  After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
    Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.  All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god.  And they threw the cargo into the sea to lightened the ship.
    But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into 2   a deep sleep.  The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep?  Get up and call on your god!  Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”  They asked Jonah, “ Tell us who is responsible for making all this trouble for us?  What do you do?  Where do you come from?  Where is your country?  From what people are you?”
    He answered, I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land. 
    This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?”   (They knew he was running away from the Lord for he had already told them so”
    The sea continued to get rougher and rougher.  So they asked
Him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
    “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” “He replied,” and it will become calm.  I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”  
    They tried their best to row back to land but couldn’t so they picked Jonah up and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.
    The Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Questions

1.  Why did Jonah run away from God?
    (He didn’t like the mission God had given him.)
2.  What did God do that kept Jonah from reaching Tarshish?
     (God created a great storm)
3.  What was the sea like?
    (The sea was so rough the ship threatened to break up.)
4.  Why did the sailors through the cargo overboard?
    ( To lighted the ship.)
5.  Where did Jonah go and what did he do?                                
    (Jonah went below deck and went to sleep.)
6.  Who did the Captain ask Jonah to call to?
    (His God.
7.  Who did Jonah say he was?
    (A Hebrew who worshiped Lord, God of heaven also made sea and land)
8.  What did Jonah tell them to do to calm the sea?
    (Throw him overboard.)
9.  What happened?
    (The sea became calm)
10.  What had God prepared for Jonah?
    (A great fish to swallow him and keep him inside of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights.) 

Summary

Jonah didn’t want to fulfill the mission that God had given him.  He ran away, boarded a ship and sailed for Tarshish. God created a fierce storm.  The only way the ship and crew could be saved was to throw Jonah overboard.  God had a giant fish ready to swallow Jonah, which the fish did.  Jonah spent 3 days and 3 nights inside the fish.

Lesson 2 Jonah 2:1-10

    Inside the fish Jonah prayed to God.  He said, “in my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me.
    From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.  You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.
    I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight yet I will look again toward your holy temple. 
    The engulfing waters threatened me and the deep surrounded me;  sea weed was wrapped around my head.  To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. 
But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my god.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.  Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
But I with a song of thanksgiving will I sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good.  Salvation comes from the Lord.
And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Questions

1. What was the first thing Jonah did when he got inside the fish.
      (Called to the Lord in his distress.)
2.  Describe what happened to Jonah in the fish.
    (Hurled into the deep, the very heart of the sea’s,currents swirled around me, waves and breakers swept over me, waters threatened me, deep surrounded me, sea weed wrapped around my head, to the roots of the mountains I sank, the earth barred me in forever).
3.  Where was Jonah when God brought him up from the deep?
    (God brought Jonah up from the pit when his life was ebbing away.  Jonah remembered God and his prayer rose to God).
4.   How did Jonah get out of the fish?
     (The Lord commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah on to dry land.)
 
God’s lesson; those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.      
       
Summary 

The first thing Jonah did when he got inside the fish was call out to God.  When Jonah’s life was ebbing away God brought him up from the deep.  God caused the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land. 

Lesson 3  Jonah 3:1-10                                                           
       
    Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
    Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.  Now Nineveh was a very important city -- a visit required three days. On the first day Jonah started into the city.  He proclaimed: ”Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”  The Ninevites believed God.  They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
    When the news reached the king of Nineveh he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.  Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh:
          By the decree of the king and his nobles:

    “Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth.  Let everyone call urgently on God.  Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.  Who knows?  God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not  perish.”
    When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
                                             
Questions                                                                             

1.  What did God say to Jonah and how did Jonah react?
     (Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message
I give you.  Jonah obeyed.)
2.  Nineveh being an important city, how long would Jonah be there?
    (3 days. He would proclaim in forty more days Nineveh would
be overturned.) 
3.  How did the Ninevites react to this news.
     (They believed God, declared a fast and all put on sackcloth.)
4.  The king heard this news.  How did he react?
     (The king and all of his nobles took off royal robes, covered      
themselves with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.  Then issued this degree,  Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock taste anything, do not let them eat or drink.  Both man and beast be covered with sackcloth, let everyone call urgently
on God.  Give up their evil and violent ways.)
 5.  How did God react to this?
        (God had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.)
 
Summary 

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.  This time Jonah obeyed God and went to Nineveh.  He delivered the message that God had given him.  The people turned from their evil ways.  God had compassion on them and did not bring the destruction he had threatened.
                                                                                                7
Lesson 4  Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion 4:1-10

    But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.  He prayed to the Lord, “O Lord is this not what I said when I was still at home?  That Is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish.  I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Now O lord, take away my life, for it is better for me do die than to live.”
    But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”
Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city.  There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.  Then the Lord God Provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine.  But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered.  When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint.  He wanted to die and said,” It would be better for me to die than to live.”
    But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”  “I do,” he said, “I am angry enough to die.”
But the Lord said,” you have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow.  It sprang up overnight and died overnight.  But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well.  Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

Questions

1.  Jonah became angry when God showed His compassion on Nineveh.  Why do you think he felt this way?             
    (He knew God was a compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  He might have felt he went through a whole lot of agony when chances were God would save the city.)                                                                   
2.  Would the city have acted the way it did if Jonah hadn’t been there to warn it?
      (Let a discussion follow about knowing the consequences of continually breaking of rules.  Would severe consequences have an effect on your behavior?)
3.  Why did Jonah go out and sit at a place east of the city?
    (He wanted to see what would happen to the city.)
4.  What did God provide for Jonah?
    (The vine to shade his head.)
5.   What did God take away from Jonah?
    (The vine, and He sent a scorching east wind and the sun
blazed on Jonah’s head.
6.  What did God ask Jonah.
    ( “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine.”)
    (“I do, I am angry enough to die.”
7.  After reading God’s concern for Nineveh do you think Jonah was reasonable being so angry?  Discuss their answers. 

Relate to situations they deal with which causes anger issues and how they can react by not being so angry. 


Summary 

Jonah became angry again.  He knew God was a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Jonah sat outside the city.  He made a shelter and sat in the shade.  God provided a vine for him to shade his head.  God also took away the vine. God explained to Jonah that Nineveh was a large city with  hundred and twenty thousand people who were not real knowable.  His question to Jonah was “Should I not be concerned about that great city.”                
                            



Bible study written by Ann Crowell, August, 2010
Material used in this study was taken from NIV
New International Version Bible 1997