Jonah Study: Chapter Three
Read Jonah Chapter Three
Jonah was told to get up and go a second time. He was vomited onto the shore of Nineveh. Some people believe that God chose to have Jonah vomited out of the fish because it showed the disgust that God felt about Jonah’s disobedience.However, when we look at the symbolism to Jesus’ resurrection, we can see that God used the fish belly as an avenue of grace, as He preserved him and dropped him off exactly where he needed to be. So, straight from the belly, he went to the streets of Nineveh and began preaching. Nineveh was a large city. It should have taken Jonah about three days to preach through the entire city. However on day one - the word spread so quickly that everyone who heard, and everyone else by decree of the king, turned from their evil ways, repented, and fasted. Pleased with Nineveh, God spared them. “...[God] did not do it [destroy the city].” He did not destroy the city and instead had mercy on them.
By human standards, it should have taken Jonah three days to do the task God assigned. Yet, we see it only took him one (maybe not even that). As Jonah preached, everyone who had ears to hear, listened and had a pretty significant change of heart. Did Jonah have a change of heart though?
Can you imagine what it would have been like if Jonah would have listened to the first call and ran towards the mission, giving it everything he had? Have we ever been where he was? God saying “Get up and go,” and instead of doing so, we dig our heels in a little deeper to "have it our way." Personally, I can count a number of times right off the top of my head where the Holy Spirit had prompted me to do something, and instead of immediately saying yes - I hesitated, delaying the call.
However, as we see from Jonah, when we show up, willingly or unwillingly, God can do a lot with just a little. As we move into this week, I challenge you to offer more than a little to God this week. What are things that we can offer more of? Time, energy, money, kindness, grace, friendship, forgiveness, etc. Ask God to show you where He wants more of you.
Reflect and journal your answers and responses.
What are some fears that you are holding on to?
Describe a time where you felt pulled to do something but delayed. How did that turn out?
How can you pursue more of what God’s wants for your life?
What does it look like when you place your own comfort above God’s call? What would it look like if you placed God's call above your own comfort?
Choose at least one challenge to complete this week.
Write a prayer asking God to show you where you could give more. If there's a specific area you feel pulled to, write specifically about that.
Get out of your comfort zone this week and serve someone unexpected. This could be a person that you feel tension with or have a difficult time loving. Or maybe it's a complete stranger. Wherever you land, be intentional.
Write a list of at least five things God likes about you. If this is hard, think about your strengths and work from there.
Lord, Thank you for another week of study together. Thank you for the ways in which you shape us to be more like Christ each and every day, and thank you for the areas where you take our small offering and make it a lot.
Father, as we approach another week of studying Jonah, show us the areas of our lives that we are neglecting. Show us the people who need hear You love them. Show us how You do a lot with a little, and give us the push to give more: time, love, money, energy, kindness, grace, forgiveness, etc. We offer this week to You, and ask that You lead us step-by-step in actions, word, and deed.
Thank you for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within our bodies. Thank you for the people you place in our paths, and thank you for your unending grace and redeeming love.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord;”
Psalms 24:1 HCSB
“Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest;”
Proverbs 3:9 HCSB
“Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.”
James 1:17 HCSB
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit — the Father will send Him in My name — will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
John 14:26 HCSB
“Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2:38 HCSB