Sunday, September 29, 2019

Jonah 3 & 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jonah 3 & 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Now that God has given him a second chance, Jonah finally goes to Nineveh, where God wanted him to go in the first place.
  • Jonah passed along the message God told him to deliver: because the Ninevites had ignored God for so long, he was going to bring destruction to them.
  • The people of Nineveh responded with great distress. They put on burlap, which was a customary expression of grief or mourning.
  • After seeing the Ninevites' sincere sorrow, God decides to spare them.
  • This makes Jonah bitter. He feels like there was no point in him traveling to Nineveh and warning the people. Even though God used him to spare more than 120,000 people, Jonah was upset because he felt God wasn't being fair. 
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In his bitterness, Jonah forgot about how God had spared him. God showed Jonah grace by making the fish spit him out and giving him a second chance to go to Nineveh. But when God showed grace to the Ninevites, Jonah was upset.
  • When we are going through a hard time in life, or when we are jealous of how God has apparently blessed someone else, it can be easy to forget the good things God has given us.
  • We need to constantly remind ourselves of how far God has brought us, and thank him for that goodness.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Take a few minutes to write down some of the good things God has given you. It could be the simple gift of making it to another day, or the people he has given you in your life, or the steps you have taken in your relationship with him. Thank him for these good things.
  • Put your list in a place where you will see if often, and set aside a few minutes each week to update it. You'll be surprised by how big of an impact it makes on your attitude, and how much more grateful it makes you for what God has done in your life.
Here's a helpful video from a great resource called BibleProject that reviews and summarizes the entire book of Jonah: