“In the charge given him, Jonah had been entrusted with a heavy responsibility; yet He who had bidden him go was able to sustain His servant and grant him success. Had the prophet obeyed unquestioningly, he would have been spared many bitter experiences, and would have been blessed abundantly.
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Yet in the hour of Jonah’s despair the Lord did not desert him. Through a series of trials and strange providences, the prophet’s confidence in God and in His infinite power to save was to be revived.” — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 266.
“Thousands can be reached in the most simple and humble way. The most intellectual, those who are looked upon as the world’s most gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the simple words of one who loves God, and who can speak of that love as naturally as the worldling speaks of the things that interest him most deeply.” — Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 232.
- A “prophet of God” who is upset that the people God called him to witness to accepted salvation? How are we to understand this attitude on the part of Jonah? What a powerful example of God’s patience with His people, even when they act contrary to the light they have!
- Jonah’s story seems to suggest that God is not only in the business of saving wayward people but also very interested in transforming His followers. How can we get a “new heart” and a “new spirit” even if we already know the Lord and the truth for this time? What is the difference between knowing truth and being transformed by it?
- Read the book of Jude again. What is the essential message of the book, and why is that message relevant to us as a church today?
- How does the experience of working for the salvation of others do us so much spiritual good, as well?
- Whatever good reasons Jonah had, or thought he had, for not wanting to go to Nineveh, God had shown him how wrong he actually had been. What attitude might we have toward others that could reflect the same wrong attitude that Jonah displayed?