Bible Lesson Connection: God is Willing to Give You Another Chance
Scripture reminds us that, “we all like sheep have gone astray.” The story of Jonah reveals one man’s experience of rebellion, punishment, repentance and obedience.
Most of us can relate to a time in our lives when we disobeyed God and there were consequences for our actions. Follow Jonah’s inspiring story as he endures punishment, but gets a second opportunity to do the will of God. Jonah’s experience shows us that our God is stern, yet merciful, patient and willing to give us another chance.
Jonah flees from the Lord…
• Jonah 1: 1-3
– The Lord gives Jonah an important assignment. He was to go to Nineveh, a city that was engaged in plotting evil against the Lord, cruelty and theft in war, prostitution, witchcraft and other sins. The Lord wanted him to rebuke and correct the Ninevites, but Jonah disobeys God and instead goes his own way.
– Jonah is headed to a place he has no business going. The Lord told him to go to Nineveh, but instead he goes to Tarshish.
– Question for Thought: Where are you going in your life that is against the will of God? Are you headed in the direction that he wants you to go, or are you headed your own way?
Jonah is punished by the Lord…
• Jonah 1: 4-7, 11-15, 17
–The Lord sends a storm to punish Jonah.
– The men who are on the boat with Jonah are also reaping the consequences of his actions. They throw Jonah overboard to save themselves.
– Life Lesson: Sometimes, when we rebel and are headed in the wrong direction, the Lord sends a storm our way. Our storm may not literally be wind and rain, rather we might experience personal difficulty meant to help us “wake-up” and change our course.
– Life Lesson: There are times when we might reap the punishment that was intended for others who are close to us. Depending upon who that person is, you might have to distance yourself from them to save yourself.
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