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The Storm of Obedience (Jonah 1:1-17)


This last Sunday we journeyed through Jonah chapter 1. The story of Jonah is a story of contrast.  Where Jonah the prophet disobeys, we see a storm, a fish, and even pagans who better acknowledge the power of God. As we looked at Jonah 1 this past Sunday morning, we see what happens when disobedience is met with grace, and how God's grace reaches into places that even our hearts struggle to fathom.

Discussion Questions

1. Even though he had been identified as a prophet of God in the past, Jonah’s disobedience caused him flee to Tarshish away from the face of God.  What are some things that cause Christians in the church to flee from the face of God today?  

2. The word of God was sent to Jonah, and he neglected his responsibility as a prophet in proclaiming it. Likewise the word of God has been given to us – much more of it than Jonah had!  What responsibilities does the word of God give us, and which areas of responsibility are we most prone to fall short in?

3. Jonah’s rebellion caused him to consider death as the only escape from God’s wrath in the storm.  In what ways was Jonah wrong in this assessment (he could have turned around)?  In what ways was he right (death is the answer, but only Christ’s death will serve to satisfy God’s wrath)?

4. The sailors play an important role in Jonah 1.  In what ways do their presence serve as a rebuke to Jonah?  How do they represent the advance of Yahweh blessing the nations?  Do you think the sailors were converted through this experience? Why or why not?

5. How is the fish an example of God’s grace?  Why is speculation into what the fish was or the scientific possibility of someone surviving for three days underwater inside a fish a diversion from the real message?