Friday, February 1, 2013

Bible Study - Jonah and Nahum (Part 2 of 3)

While the best known part of Jonah's story is found in chapters 1 & 2, the part that I have always found the most profound and entertaining is the second half of the book in chapters 3 & 4. While much of this story is written with humour, the humour is there to ease us into the challenging questions it raises. 
  • Read Jonah 3:1-10. What do you make of the dramatic show of repentance on the part of the city of Nineveh? What is the relationship between outward signs and inner change? What should it be? 
  • What is the particular sin of Nineveh centred out in this story (hint: it's in verse 8)? How is this sin present in our own society? What might we need to repent from?
  •  Read Jonah 4:1-11. Why do you think God’s act of forgiveness makes Jonah so angry? Are there times when we are upset or angered by forgiveness or compassion? Are there things that can never be forgiven or shouldn't be forgiven?  
  • Notice how resentful Jonah becomes when God takes away the plant that gives him shade. How ready are we to assume that God owes us things (rather than being grateful for his goodness) and become angry or resentful when those things are taken away?

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