Jonah | Nothing Wasted Week 4 | St. George
Think about it: To the extent that the gospel of grace is more ROOTED in me, I will more graciously ROOT for the gospel in others.
Jonah 1:1-3 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
Jonah 2:1-2, 7-10 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said: “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry... 7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8 “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. 9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’ ” 10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Do we have reason to believe that Jonah is a true story?
Jonah 1:17 And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
Matthew 12:40-41 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.
Jonah 3:3-5 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
Jonah 3:10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
Observation: Grace makes lost people BETTER.
Jonah 4:1-2, 11 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity… 11 [God’s reply] should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
Observation: Grace can become an ENEMY when your enemy receives GRACE.
QUESTION: Are you okay with God loving your ENEMY as MUCH as he loves you?
Romans 5:10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
SERIES BOTTOM LINE: I will never fully understand what God is doing, but I can know for user that He will never WASTE his GRACE.
1. Have you ever been in a situation where you saw your enemy experience something good and that made you mad? How did you respond?
2. Is there someone out there who would have a hard time rooting for God’s grace in your life?
3. Read Romans 5:10. What does this tell us about the heart of God?
4. Why do you suppose it is so difficult for us to always celebrate grace when others receive it?
5. Read Jonah 4:1-11. Make as many observations as you can about Jonah’s disposition. What was Jonah concerned about and what was God concerned about.
6. As recipients of the gospel of grace, what can we do that will allow us to root for even our enemies when they receive God’s grace?