Our church is doing a four-week sermon series through the book of Jonah called: "Running to God."
We are studying the life of the prophet Jonah and what it looks like to run to God even when we don't want to. The book of Jonah is small in size but deep in theology. We read about the unending, gracious, merciful love of God. We see that God is unwilling to give up on anyone and longs for all people to know Him. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions ::: A God who hears ::: Jonah 2
Jonah was a prophet in Israel who God asked to visit the city of Nineveh. Instead of heading North to Nineveh, Jonah boarded a boat and headed in the opposite direction. Jonah caused a great deal of harm to the sailors around him and was eventually thrown into the sea where he was swallowed by a whale. In Jonah 2 we find Jonah in the third location of the story: the belly of a large fish. While inside the fish, Jonah takes the time to call out to God, repent of his sin, and speak of the greatness of God. For three days Jonah is in the belly of the fish. During this time he ponders his situation and his disobedience to the Lord. Finally the fish spits him out on dry land. At this point in our story we see that the fish has been more obedient than Jonah.
1) Early in the sermon Ryan asked: “How many of us have needed help?” Share about a time in your life that you needed help and how help came.
2) Read Jonah 2:1-2. In his distress Jonah called to the Lord. Who do you call to in your distress? Read Psalm 4:1, 18:6, 102:2, and 120:1. What does Scripture teach us about reaching out to God in our distress?
3) While in the belly of the fish Jonah knew he needed to look to the Temple of God (read Jonah 2:3-7). In Jewish culture, the temple was the place to meet with God. What is your favorite place to spend time with God?
4) Jonah has been willfully disobedient to God. The three days in the belly of the fish transformed Jonah’s hard heart (read Proverbs 4:23, Ezekiel 36:26, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, and Romans 12:1-2). Where is God working in your heart today?
5) Jonah repents of the idols that he followed after (Jonah 2:8). We often think of idols as metal or wooden images and they can be, but idols can also be personal comforts, luxuries, material possessions. What idols have you clung to that have hindered your walk with Jesus (Exodus 20:4-6, Micah 5:13, and Acts 17:16)?
6) Ryan encouraged us to focus more on worshipping God and praying. Share with your group what some of your favorite ways to worship the Lord are. Then share where you’re growing in prayer or where you want to grow in your prayer life.
7) Must of Jonah’s plight could have been resolved with obedience to the Lord. Read Psalm 119:34, John 14:23-24 & 1 John 2:5. Talk about obedience to God.
Close your time in prayer. Talk about who you will invite to Coastline on Sunday.