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FFC’s Winter Series Study Guide – Jonah 3

Jonah 3:1-3 (Feb 22), Jonah 3:4-9 (Mar 1), Jonah 3:10 (Mar 8)

Charles Spurgeon once said that “in our very worst case of despondency, we
may still come to Jesus as sinners.” God had caught Jonah red-handed in his
disobedience, and offered him another chance. He also gave the rebellious people
of Nineveh an opportunity to respond to his message. Seeing ourselves as we
really are – sinners -- is the first step in responding to God. This realization is our
hope for God’s salvation for sinners.

Discussion Questions

1. How do you know when you need to repent of sin in your life?

2. Describe Nineveh from this passage.

3. When God’s word came to him at this time, what was the difference in Jonah’s response?

4. The king describes what his people had been like. Describe their social strata, attitudes, action, and reactions.

5. What is your evidence that the King and his people deserved God’s judgment?

6. What were the attitudes/actions of the people when they responded to Jonah?

7. What is involved in true repentance?

8. Explain if you’re more like Jonah or the Ninevites in your response to God.

9. How do you know God was more interested in their repentance than their punishment?

10. When someone exposes sin in your life, what principles can you follow using the Ninevites as your model?

11. Are there areas in your life which you are resisting God? Be specific about what changes you need to make.
Extra Hints
If Jonah 2 was all about Jonah’s way back, Jonah 3 is mostly about Nineveh’s way back. But Nineveh’s “first chance”
started with Jonah’s ‘second chance.”

Concerning 3:1-3
Aren’t you glad for two simple words in these three verses – “second” and “obeyed.” One talks about God’s role, the
other ours. In Jonah’s case, an echo of grace was heard, and this time he said yes. And not only was he glad (no more
swimming lessons!), but so were the Ninevites, for they were the ones who benefitted from Jonah’s obedience.

What are some second chances you’ve been given in life? Think about the echoes of grace you’ve heard – times when
you said “No” but God’s call kept ringing and ringing…aren’t you glad you finally listened?!

Concerning 3:4-9
Jonah preached the shortest revival message in the Bible – 8 words! But what an impact! And as people confessed, God
showed compassion. What a great picture of repentance! We hear the message, agree with it, and God does the
supernatural – he saves us.

The confession of the Ninevites was more than verbal; it was visible. And true repentance is exactly that – seen! Luke
records that John the Baptist talked about displaying the fruit of repentance (3:8), and Paul talked about proving your
repentance by your deeds to King Agrippa (Acts 26:20). The proof is in the pudding, isn’t it? We are only as “sorry” as our
actions indicate.

Concerning 3:10
God’s compassion is deeper than we could ever imagine. And while it may be evidenced when we repent, it exists
eternally, for he is a God of compassion. Sometimes we think we activate Gods compassion, but I doubt it. We simply
experience it. For he is consistently compassionate and longsuffering, not just when we need it, but even when we think
we don’t. God’s mercies never fail, Solomon said; they are new every morning! In fact, even in our current day God is
showing his compassion by withholding judgment – he is waiting as long as possible so that all may repent (2 Peter 3).
My Additional Notes