Sermon Bible Study Guides

in Jonah

Jonah 4 - 14th August 2022

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Jonah chapter 4.
  2. Do you notice any repeated words or ideas in these chapters?
  3. What things is God in control of in this chapter? ("God appointed...")
  4. How is Jonah's response to Ninevah's repentance different than God's response in Jonah 3:10?
  5. How do Jonah's emotions change throughout this Jonah 4?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. Why did God's relenting "displease Jonah exceedingly"?
    1. Did Jonah know how God would respond to Ninevah's repentance?
    2. Jonah seems to be angry at God's own character. Why is Jonah's anger unjust?
    3. Was God merciful and slow to anger with Jonah?
  2. After describing God's character in verse 2, Jonah concludes that it's better for him to die than to live. Why do you think Jonah felt so strongly?
    1. God seems to ask a rhetorical question in verse 4 and 9. What is the answer?
    2. Why do you think God asked Jonah this question? What did He want Jonah to understand?
  3. Compare Jonah pitying the plant to God pitying Ninevah
    1. Why did Jonah pity the plant which perished?
    2. Why did God pity Ninevah?
    3. What does this teach us about what God is like?

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. What is something in your own life that has made you "exceedingly displeased" recently?
    1. Did you go to the Lord in prayer about it? One redeeming quality of Jonah in this chapter is that he does go to God in honest prayer.
    2. How does knowing God's character help you to understand the difficulties you face?
  2. Think about the last time you were angry. What did your anger help you to accomplish?
    1. Have you ever been angry and done something you regret?
    2. Read James 1:20. This was true for Jonah, and it's true for us today.
    3. How can you be slower to anger this week?
  3. A few times in Jonah, we see "pagans" show care for those who might perish (Jonah 1:6, Jonah 1:14, Jonah 3:9). But Jonah seems to only care for himself.
    1. In the world today, do you see non-Christians caring for those who are perishing? Do they ever seem to care for them more than Christians do?
    2. What is one way that Christians might be more concerned over their own well-being than the well-being of others?
  4. Pray in light of this passage and about any applications you have made
  5. Sing His Mercy is More to God and to one another.
in Jonah

Jonah 3 - 7th August 2022

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Jonah chapter 3.
  2. Do you notice any repeated words or ideas in these chapters?
  3. How are verses 1 and 2 similar or different than chapter 1 verses 1 and 2?
  4. How did the people of Ninevah respond to Jonah's message?
  5. How did the Lord respond to the people of Ninevah in verse 10?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What do you think is the significance of putting on sackcloth?
  2. Compare Jonah's response to God's word in chapter 1 to Ninevah's response here in chapter 3.
    1. Did Ninevah need extra convincing to repent? Did they need a supernatural event to change their mind?
    2. What does this tell you about Jonah or about the Ninevites?
  3. What does it mean to "turn" from evil?
  4. When God saw their repentance, he relented from the disaster that he had declared would happen.
    1. Do you find this surprising? Why or why not?
    2. What does this say about God?
    3. Numbers 23:19 says that "God is not man that He should change His mind..." Do we see God changing his mind here?
    4. In a similar way, God tells us today that we deserve punishment for our sin (Rom. 6:23). But when we respond to Jesus by trusting in him and turning from our sin, then we have forgiveness and eternal life (Eph. 2:8-9, 1 John 5:13). God relents when we repent and believe in Jesus.

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. Jonah misses out on celebrating Ninevah's repentance because he was so committed to his own idea of justice.
    1. Have you ever held a grudge against somebody?
    2. Do you currently have any resentment towards someone else?
    3. How might that resentment be stealing your joy?
    4. We've been forgiven in Christ for much more than we could ever understand. How does Christ's forgiveness motivate you to forgive and show mercy to others?
  2. When you notice your own sin, does it ever make you grieve?
    1. Ninevah was so grieved by their evil and the punishment from God that they deserved for it, they grieved and fasted.
    2. How can we grow in seeing our sin the way that God sees it--as an offense against Him?
    3. The first step in grieving your sin is identifying it. How can you grow in seeing the sin in your own life?
  3. Pray in light of this passage and about any applications you have made
  4. Sing His Mercy is More to God and to one another.
Posted by Karson Merkel with

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