- Matthew 12:39-41
Why would a prophet like Jonah, who had been called by the Lord, suddenly want to flee from his duty and from the presence of the Lord? We find that the man who runs from the Lord runs into trouble every time.
- Jonah was a prophet of God, called to preach to the people of Nineveh. Consider the fact that Nineveh was a political enemy. How might this have affected Jonah’s thinking?
- How do we know that God was displeased with Jonah when he refused to go to Nineveh?
- Inasmuch as Jonah was running from God, how do you suppose he could go to the lower part of the ship and sleep, apparently oblivious to the storm? What behavioral patterns of people in today’s society reflect the same kind of attempt to escape from God’s call?
- Which verse in our text shows the turning point in Jonah’s attitude? Explain.
- What were Jonah’s feelings in the belly of the fish regarding his own spiritual condition? How did he react on this occasion?
- When Jonah prayed, the Lord heard his prayer. What was the result?
- What was the message which Jonah delivered to Nineveh? What were the results?
- The truth of this account is challenged by many. Find a New Testament Scripture which confirms the story of Jonah as an actual happening.
Webster’s dictionary tells us that one meaning of the word profile is, “a short, vivid biography, briefly outlining the most outstanding characteristics of the subject.” It is not difficult to go through the Bible and compile an extensive list of individuals who displayed some “outstanding characteristics” and from whom we can learn valuable lessons. Would a lesson on the dangers of refusing to obey the commands of God be profitable? Where could we find a better example to illustrate that point than in the story of Jonah—a man who spent three days in the belly of the whale because he declined to follow the instruction of the Lord? Would you like to know the secret of leading a triumphant life anointed by the Holy Spirit? Learn a lesson from the prophet Elisha—a man who performed a greater number of miracles than any other prophet except Moses. Do you see among your associates a tendency toward becoming involved in the things of this world? Looking at what happened to Lot’s wife, because she couldn’t give up the entanglements of Sodom, could prove to be a very beneficial study. In this quarter, we have chosen twelve Bible characters from whom we can learn some valuable lessons. They are not all “heroes of the faith.” In fact, some are the exact opposites! But there is something that can be learned from each of them. The final lesson in this quarter will be an overview of the preceding weeks, summing up the importance of learning from the lives of those who live on in the pages of Bible history.