What does it say?
- Read Jonah chapter 3.
- Do you notice any repeated words or ideas in these chapters?
- How are verses 1 and 2 similar or different than chapter 1 verses 1 and 2?
- How did the people of Ninevah respond to Jonah's message?
- How did the Lord respond to the people of Ninevah in verse 10?
What does it mean?
- What do you think is the significance of putting on sackcloth?
- Compare Jonah's response to God's word in chapter 1 to Ninevah's response here in chapter 3.
- Did Ninevah need extra convincing to repent? Did they need a supernatural event to change their mind?
- What does this tell you about Jonah or about the Ninevites?
- What does it mean to "turn" from evil?
- When God saw their repentance, he relented from the disaster that he had declared would happen.
- Do you find this surprising? Why or why not?
- What does this say about God?
- Numbers 23:19 says that "God is not man that He should change His mind..." Do we see God changing his mind here?
- 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.
How should it change us?
- Jonah misses out on celebrating Ninevah's repentance because he was so committed to his own idea of justice.
- Have you ever held a grudge against somebody?
- Do you currently have any resentment towards someone else?
- How might that resentment be stealing your joy?
- 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?
- When you notice your own sin, does it ever make you grieve?
- Ninevah was so grieved by their evil and the punishment from God that they deserved for it, they grieved and fasted.
- How can we grow in seeing our sin the way that God sees it--as an offense against Him?
- The first step in grieving your sin is identifying it. How can you grow in seeing the sin in your own life?
- Pray in light of this passage and about any applications you have made
- Sing His Mercy is More to God and to one another.