Sabbath: God’s Special People
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Read for This Week’s Study: Mic. 1:1-9, 2 Cor. 11:23-27, Mic. 2:1-11, 5:2, 6:1-8, 7:18-20.

Memory Text: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).

Key Thought: Even amid the worst apostasy, the Lord was willing to forgive and heal His people.

The prophet Micah ministered in one of the darkest periods of Israel’s history. The country long had been divided into two kingdoms. Finally, Assyria [...]

Further Study: Eager to Forgive
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Read the following quotations and discuss how they help us to understand the messages from the book of Jonah more clearly.

“Whenever they are in need the children of God have the precious privilege of appealing to Him for help. It matters not how unsuitable the place may be, God’s ear of mercy is open to their cry. However desolate and dark the place may be, it can be turned into a veritable temple by the praying child of God.”—The SDA [...]

Inside Story: One Single Book
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

I was a troublemaker.

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

I disobeyed my parents and teachers and questioned every authority. My parents weren’t religious, but they had strict standards. But I refused to follow their rules.

One day as my mother traveled by bus to another city, a man stood up and talked about a book he was selling. The book was The Great Controversy. He said that this book had changed thousands of lives. Mother was desperate and sacrificed to buy that [...]

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).

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

[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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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Read Jonah 4 .

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

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.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

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 [...]