Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell them they will be overthrown due to their wrong doings. Jonah was scared and tried to flee the word of God by boat to a new land (Tarshish) but God sent large winds that almost capsized the boat. Jonah finally realized his wrong doing, told the seaman to throw him overboard so that the storm would stop (which it did immediately) then after spending 3 days in the belly of a large fish (sent by God) Jonah was called again to go to Nineveh. Once Jonah arrived and proclaimed that Nineveh would be overthrown the entire city believed in God and therefore people “from the greatest of them to the least of them” started to fast and put on sackcloth to ask for forgiveness and to be saved. God saw this and took mercy on them. Jonah was then angry because he didn’t want to leave his home for this long journey just for God to forgive the city so easily but God pointed out that we must not only have mercy for things that benefit our life but other people’s lives as well.
What is one key verse?
Jonah 4: 10-11; And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
I am always struck by the graciousness of God. Here he is, sending Jonah on a long journey to tell a city that they will perish because of the wrong they have been doing and once they ask for forgiveness he is quick to accept this.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
In our current culture where we have social media coverage of everything we’ve thought from a young age to our current life we need to be more forgiving and understanding of change within one another. God calls us to help each other see the way of God and to leave our poor following behind. We cannot keep blaming people for bad things they have done in the past, we need to see how they have changed and the good they are spreading now.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
In the beginning Jonah ran from the word of God. He knew God was merciful and that even if he made the long journey to Nineveh, God would probably still take mercy on the city and spare them so he didn’t want to go. Once all of that came true Jonah was mad at God. God then pointed out that if Jonah can have compassion for a plant (as shelter) why can’t God have compassion for people? This is very eye opening in our current time where so many of us are forgetting that we all need some compassion. It is okay to tell others when they are going against God but we cannot forget that once they make their peace with God that we must see that change as well.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
When Jonah was in the belly of the fish and surrendered to God I thought about when Jesus was on the cross and surrendered to God. On the cross Jesus called out for God to help before dying and in the belly of the fish Jonah prayed about how God has saved him when he has been at his lowest and says that “I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple”.