Friday, October 04, 2013

Bible Study: God Desires To Show Mercy - Jonah - Chapter 4

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Jonah, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, spring 2010, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded, there are floods in India, earthquake and tsunami in Samoa. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 4 of the book of Jonah. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

4:1 – God’s mercy made Jonah angry. What did he expect? Do you think he only believed that he was the bringer of bad news and not a warning to Nineveh? Do you think he delighted in bringing the bad news? Does God’s mercy ever make you angry?

4:2-3 – Jonah is dramatic and stubborn. He stomps off.

4:2 – Does Jonah genuinely know God? He certainly touts some of God’s attributes. How can Jonah know God this way and have a heart like he does? What does this tell you about Christians today?

4:3 – In essence, Jonah is saying he’d rather die than live in a world where people like the Ninevites receive mercy! What does this tell you about Jonah’s character?

4:4 – Jonah would rather die than see Nineveh saved. That is some pretty intense negative feeling. If you harbor any such feelings, I advise you to let go of them. Align your heart with God’s – love your enemies and rejoice when they repent. Don’t follow Jonah’s example and run away in disobedience.

4:5 – Jonah is still hoping for a mushroom cloud! What does this tell you about his character?

He even wanted the women and children destroyed.

4:6-8 – God provides a lesson to teach Jonah how He feels about Nineveh.

4:8 – Have you ever despaired because of the heat? Maybe the heat of a circumstance?

4:9 – Jonah became angry again. This time about a plant! Sound dramatic? It is, and I’ve been there. Have you ever had a day where everything seemed to go wrong? Usually, the last straw that brings me to tears in those moments is such an insignificant thing. How about you?

4:10-11 – The Lord explains that Jonah has no right to be angry about something that he didn’t work for. He also tells Jonah that He is concerned for the Ninevites. I suppose it’s because He created mankind and wants all people to be restored to Him.

I would have loved to read Jonah’s reaction to this. Perhaps this is one of the things I will ask when I get to heaven.

4:11 – who cannot tell their right hand from their left – usually refers to children. So, if there were 120,000 children in this city, the population was probably around 600,000.


• The book of Jonah shows how hatred can cloud our thoughts and keep us from obeying God. How have you seen God’s love at work in this chapter of scripture to break down those and other barriers, and how will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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