This week, in our study of The Book of Jonah, God catches the prophet Jonah, even as Jonah flies from the sense of God’s presence. The result of Jonah’s flight toward death is Jonah’s apprehension by God and reverent fear of the One-True-God on the part of Jonah’s Gentile shipmates.
My resistance to God will not overcome God’s merciful plan.
Have a look at Jonah 1.4b-17 (2.1 in some translations). Find somebody to discuss this passage with and see what you find.
Knowing that the great storm of Jonah 1 is a picture of God’s divine wrath, what does this account tell us about God’s hatred of sin within His merciful plan for sinners?
What acts of futility do you see in this account? What do they tell us about the possibility of escaping form God’s plan?
In :5b-6, Jonah is asleep in the bottom of the ship. Of whom does this scene remind you? Read Matthew 8.23-27 and compare and contrast the account of Jesus calming the sea with this scene from Jonah. How is Jonah like Jesus? How is he different?
How are the mariners different than Jonah in this account? What are the different stages of their growth in faith? How might Romans 11.29 inform our understanding of this picture of Gentile belief we’re seeing in Jonah 1?
Read Matthew 12.38-40. How is the picture of Jonah being swallowed by the great fish a picture of Jesus? How is the casting of Jonah into the sea to satisfy God’s wrath both like and unlike Jesus’ death on the cross, as well as Jesus’ burial over three days?
What does Jonah 1 tell us about our own resistance to God’s merciful plan?
How does God use storms in our lives? What is the difference between suffering as a non-believer (Rm 1.18-19) and experiencing hardship as a believer? (1 Jn 1.9; Heb 12.3 … 5b-7).