Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath September 18.
Main Theme: Jonah could not find rest with his heart in the wrong place. God is patient as He helps us have the right attitudes that give our hearts peace.
Read Together Jonah 1:1-18. Discuss together what the main idea is of this passage.
Study: Why might Jonah be running away? Did running away bring true rest?
Apply: What are some ways people run from God today? Do they find true rest apart from God? Hint: Isaiah 48:22.
Share: Share a brief testimony of a time when God finally brought you around to doing the right thing.
Read Together Jonah 2:1-10. Discuss what the main idea is of this passage.
Study: What is Jonah praying about? Where does he direct his prayer and why?
Apply: How has God been merciful even when you were running the wrong way? How did his mercy help you find true rest?
Share: Your friend asks what exactly Jonah 2:8 is talking about. How do you explain it?
Read Together Jonah 3:1-10. Discuss what the main idea is of this passage.
Study: How did Nineveh respond and how do we see their repentance was sincere?
Apply: How do we show that we have sincerely repented? Hint: Ephesians 4:24-32, Luke 19:8-10. How does repentance and making things right give us true rest? Can you think of a time when you could find no rest until you finally made something right?
Share: A friend at church says she is afraid to share Jesus with her coworkers for fear of being rejected or made fun of. What hope can you share with your friend?
Read Together Jonah 4:1-11. Discuss the main idea of this passage.
Study: Why is Jonah so upset? Do you think Jonah may have forgot that the same mercy that saved Nineveh also provided the great fish to save him also? What can we learn from this?
Apply: Have you ever been reluctant to grant mercy to someone only to realize later that we all need mercy? See We all Need Mercy. How does forgiving others give us rest?
Share: Can you think of someone you have “discarded” as hopeless as a Ninevite? Will you rethink your attitude and share the Gospel with them this week? Remember,
“Often we regard as hopeless subjects the very ones whom Christ is drawing to Himself.” – Ellen White, Christ Object Lessons, Page 71.