06: Eager to Forgive – Thought Starters
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“‘But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord’” (Jonah 2:9, NIV).

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[Thought questions for Eager to Forgive May 8, 2013]

1. The poetry of Jonah. Is the entire book of Jonah or just the song he writes from the belly of the fish a work of dramatic poetry? What are some blessings of having poetry throughout Scripture? Since Hebrew poetry doesn’t [...]

Thursday: Forgiven, Yet Unforgiving
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Read Jonah 4 .

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What important lessons did Jonah need to learn? How is his own hypocrisy revealed here?

Jonah 4 reveals some startling things about the prophet. He seems to prefer to die rather than to witness about God’s grace and forgiveness. Whereas before Jonah had rejoiced in his deliverance from death (Jon. 2:7-9), now that Nineveh lives he prefers to die (Jon. 4:2-3).

In contrast to Jonah, God is pictured in the Bible as someone who takes “no [...]

Wednesday: A Successful Mission
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After such a miraculous deliverance, when commanded by God the second time to go to preach in Nineveh, Jonah obeyed immediately.

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In his proclamation, Jonah (3:1-4) used language reminiscent of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). But in the original Hebrew, the word for “overthrown” (see Gen. 19:21, 29, Jon. 3:4) from Jonah’s proclamation can also have the meaning “turned around” or “transformed” (Exod. 7:17, 20, 1 Sam. 10:6). Jonah’s preaching of the divine message was not in [...]

Eager to Forgive (Jonah)
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“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35, NIV

As human beings, we can come to understand our relationship to God in terms of familiar bonds. We can see that we are God’s children by virtue of the biblical account of the Creation Story.1 Although God did not bear us in the womb and [...]

06: Eager to Forgive – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought: The story of Jonah shows how God patiently taught His stubborn prophet what grace, mercy, and forgiveness are all about.

[Teaching plan for Eager to Forgive May 6, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read Psalm 139:3-8

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Is God’s Spirit with us at all times? What if we grieve the Spirit? Does God “turn us off” on His radar?
C. Personal Application: Are [...]

And Justice for SOME
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We humans are a funny bunch. We love to talk about fairness and justice and everybody getting what they deserve – just as long as we get to decide just what that means.

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Jonah is a prime example. God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the folks there that if they don’t make some big changes, He’s going to destroy the whole place. Jonah’s response is to hop on a ship going as far [...]

Tuesday: Jonah’s Psalm
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When Jonah was thrown into the sea, a big fish swallowed him up at God’s bidding.

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Jonah must have thought that death indeed was going to be the only way to escape the mission to Nineveh. But the big fish (not called a whale in the book) was an instrument of salvation for the prophet. Unlike Jonah, this creature responded promptly and obediently to God’s commands (Jon. 1:17, 2:10).

God’s providence worked in an amazing way here, and, however [...]

Monday: Reluctant Witness
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In Jonah 1, the Lord wants to halt Jonah’s escape and so He stirs up such a severe storm that it threatens shipwreck.

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The seamen call on their gods for help. Due to the severity of the storm, they feel that someone must have provoked the anger of the gods. They cast lots to decide who will be first to volunteer information about himself that might expose such an offense. For the casting of lots, each [...]

Sunday: The Disobedient Prophet
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Not much is known about Jonah or his family background.

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Second Kings 14:25 tells that he lived in the northern part of Israel and ministered during the eighth century B.C. The same text reveals that Jonah predicted a territorial expansion of Israel’s kingdom.

Nineveh was historically one of the three great cities of Assyria, an important country situated by the Tigris River. Because God is the Lord of all nations and all peoples are accountable to Him [...]

Sabbath: Eager to Forgive
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Read for This Week’s Study: Jonah 1-4, Ps. 139:1-12, Isa. 42:5, Rev. 10:6, Matt. 12:39-41, 2 Chron. 36:15-17.

Memory Text: “‘But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord’” (Jonah 2:9, NIV).

Key Thought: The book of Jonah reveals, among other things, that God is more willing to forgive others than we often are.

The story of Jonah, this rather unusual messenger of God, is one of the best known in the Bible. The prophet had been [...]

Rumor in Town or Church
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Al Lang Field is one of the old spring training fields in St. Petersburg Florida. It is one of the places where Babe Dahlgren probably played.

Al Lang Field is one of the old spring training fields in St. Petersburg Florida. It is one of the places where Babe Dahlgren probably played.

Babe Dahlgren was enjoying the off season after winning the 1939 World Series with the New York Yankees baseball club. Back home in San Francisco he decided to meet with a local batting instructor for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League to get some friendly tips. When he re-joined the Yankees [...]

Further Study: Seek the Lord and Live!
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“Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 239.

Discussion Questions:

As a [...]