Scripture: Jonah 1-4. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Jonah was a prophet who was given a mission from God – preach to Nineveh – that he did not want to complete. Instead of obeying God, he attempted to run away from Him and went to the city of Tarshish. He found a ship ready to port in Joppa and heading in that direction. The Lord sent a great storm on the sea, and the sailors were very afraid. Jonah knew that this storm was from his behavior, and he told the sailors to throw him overboard, where he was swallowed by a great fish for three days and three nights. Jonah prayed to God, and the fish vomited him out onto dry land. It is then that Jonah went to fulfill his mission and preach to the city of Nineveh. Follow along in this short Book of Jonah (1-4)!
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Jonah had disobeyed God, and he was running from the mission that God wanted him to complete. While on the ship, he stopped and submitted to God, and the sailors also began to worship God because the storm waters had calmed down. Just like Jonah, God is able to use our mistakes to help those who do not know Him. Our sins can be examples to those who do not know God. Jonah’s prayer to God was heard, even from inside the belly of the fish. We can talk and pray to God anywhere and at any time, for He is listening to us. Also, our sins are never too great for God to forgive us, if we just ask Him. We must look to God in both the good and the bad times of our lives. Also, if we know that God is calling us to complete a mission for Him, we must not run but rather fulfill that specific mission. God’s Word is everywhere – even in the midst of this evil world – and we must continue to help teach others who need Him, as well. We must always respond to God in obedience. God is a great, merciful, loving Father, and He will forgive us when we ask Him.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the examples and stories that You have placed in Your Word for us to learn from. Thank You for the Book of Jonah and the lessons that come from each chapter. Father, we know that we are sinners, and we ask for Your forgiveness. Please help us to always follow Your ways for us, obeying and praising You through all circumstances in our lives. Please help us to love and obey You wholeheartedly. Please help us to love our enemies and to forgive those who have hurt us, as well. Please be with those who have rejected You, and help them to return to You, Father, before judgement. Help us to treat others with kindness, and help us to show the same traits to others as You do, following Your example. Help us to trust in Your care and provision in each of our lives. Even though we do not always get what we want in life, we know that You know what is best for us. Please help us to draw near to You, and please protect us from giving in to the pressures of this fallen world. We want to live Godly lives. When we face struggles in this life, Father, please help us to call upon You. Help us also to be more compassionate toward others who are struggling in this evil world, as well. Help us to be Your hands and feet in this world, and guide us in the right paths for our lives. Help us to trust in Your timing for our lives, and help us not to grow impatient. We thank You for Your son Jesus who died to free us from the slavery of our sins. Thank You for the unique gifts and talents that You give to each one of us; help us to work in unity with others to accomplish Your plan. Thank You for the promise of one day living in eternity with You. Please guide and protect us, our friends, families, pets, and our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.