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Lent | Jonah: Day

Repentance in the story of jonah

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Today's Text: Jonah 1:1-4:11, Matthew 12:38-41

psst – be sure to check the bottom of this post for this week’s #SheSharesTruth assignment!

Text: Jonah 1:1-4:11, Matthew 12:38-41

My (pretend) buddy Matthew Henry says the book of Jonah is “best understood by those who are most acquainted with their own hearts.” This may explain why I was an adult before I understood the true meaning of this familiar Old Testament story.

In case, like me, you’re running a little late to the party, here’s a hint: It’s not about the fish.

As it turns out, it’s really not about Jonah either, or even those undeserving Ninevites. It’s about God. It’s about His goodness, His grace, His perfectly timed mercy. Like the rest of the Bible, the book of Jonah points ultimately to Christ. As someone who has spent my life hopping around the pages of Scripture, I feel like this revelation should no longer surprise me. But it gets me, every time.

The book of Jonah is about the saving work of Christ, the boundless mercy of our God.

Jesus Himself draws the parallel in Matthew 12:40 when He says to the Pharisees, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (ESV). And though Jonah is indeed the Christ-figure of the story, sacrificing himself to the waves for the physical salvation of those still on the boat, there is much more than metaphor to take away here.

Jonah is a book of two remarkable redemption stories. It is the account of a rebellious Jonah who runs away from God; repents, desperately aware of the vastness of his sin; and is pulled, quite literally, from the dark depths of his self-made misery by a merciful God. And it is the story of Nineveh, a terribly wicked city one might put right in the center of a map labeled Places Least Deserving of God’s Mercy. Yet, Jonah’s obedience, delayed as it was, results in the Ninevites’ drastic and sincere repentance, and God has mercy on this town full of repentant sinners just as He had mercy on Jonah. And Jonah is ticked. Because some sinful hearts are just too far gone to be forgiven. Right?!

Wrong. Not for the God of Heaven. Not for Jesus who is the Christ.

Let’s pray that God reveals the glory of His Son in the pages of this familiar story, that the images will jump from the felt boards of our childhood into the fabric of our hearts.

Meet us here in the book of Jonah, Lord. We’re listening.

 

______________________

Hey loves,

We are loving this #SheSharesTruth experiment and we hope you are, too!  (Here is the list of community shares from last week)

Let’s do it again this week, shall we?

So, for Friday, we encourage you to study and share Jonah 1&2. It’s two full chapters, but we think that because the book of Jonah can be divided into two very parallel sections, studying these two chapters this week, and Jonah 3&4 next week will allow you all the opportunity to possibly approach the same scriptures we’re studying together from a broader perspective. (And if you prefer to study and share a smaller section, we think that’s great, too!)

We can’t wait to see what the Lord teaches you!

However you work (we know everyone has their own methods!), we are looking forward to Friday where you can share in your own words what the Holy Spirit is teaching you in Jonah 1&2. We’d love to have you join us!

Grace and Peace,
Raechel

  • I am new to Shereadstruth. Honestly this is probably the first time Ive opened a bible since I was a child. I feel like I am like Jonah a lot in a sense. I know when I am supposed to do the right thing and yet when I find it to difficult, instead of turning to God to guide me, I push it aside. I need to learn to trust Him because he will guide me in the right direction everytime. As the saying goes, he only gives the hardest tasks to his strongest soldier.

  • justemmahh

    Well, I just did my reading and read all your comments, and all I can say is wow! God reveals a new word to each and every one of us and it's just such a blessing :-) ….. I relate to Jonah SOOOOO much. I'm constantly running *sigh* …. Praying that this study reveals more to me about myself, and helps me start running to God as opposed to running away from Him. Bless you sisters!

  • charmaine fritz

    Hello, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been here.But I have been having trouble locating these teaching on You Version can someone tell me why? I still get the emails so I go from their but You Version was easier. BTW I can do relate to Jonah being afraid to tell people some things God has said. But I’ve been in the belly so to speak to many times. Now I tell it just like good gives it.

  • Wow. I completely see myself in Jonah. Running and avoiding God, hiding from Him, until I get caught up in my own failures, and then finally crying out to Him… I can only imagine the Lord saying to Jonah, "Alright. Now that you're ready, let's go. Do what I told you. Time to get your head in the game, your heart abiding in my will." He doesn't say it like He's annoyed or full of anger at Jonah, like I sometimes feel He is toward me. He says it like a father to a stubborn child, or like a coach to a kid playing soccer who got angry at the score. Reading about Jonah's running reminds me of my own sin, making me feel all uncomfortable, but God's love trumps whatever Jonah does to run away, and during this time in my life, that's something I've NEEDED to hear.
    In my devotional time with God lately, He's been showing me that He wants me to serve. I feel like He's already told me where, like I already know… yet it's not clear and at the front of my mind. Jesus' words on signs really resonated with me because sometimes I'm the one asking for a sign when things aren't 100% clear, and I've re-realized that that's what faith is… It seems too simple, and yet I lost complete sight of it. I know it'll all come together naturally as I keep submitting everything to Him. Praise you God, for pursuing us. For never losing sight of us. For holding our hands through these things and making us into the people we are meant to be, and for never giving up on stubborn, scared, very sinful human beings. Your love never runs out. I've got to think on that more.

  • Michelle

    This is my first day studying/worshipping Our Lord with SRT and loving it.. Jonah is a great read and I find myself relating in so many ways. Praise God for his loving mercy and amazing grace. God bless you all.

  • WELCOME to ALL the new ones joining us!!!

  • Mrscoop62

    Good Afternoon Ladies,
    I am new here and i feel so Blessed to have found this site! I am so looking forword to this study and sharing. I have always found my self running and hiding because of Shame. Well i am tired of running ,I know he has forgiven me and i as well have learned to fogive myself.

    • justemmahh

      Welcome! I know what you mean about shame. Last week we had a day that was focused on fasting from shame. It blessed my heart so much because I struggle with that to. You should take a look at it! <3

      • Mrscoop62

        Thank you I will do that. The hardest part is forgiving ourselves someone once told me, "Do not let your past define who you are today"
        Blessings

  • claireelise53

    What really stuck out to me today was The Lord saying to Jonah "have you any right to be angry?" When Jonah was jealous that God would save the Ninevites when God did the same for him and for taking away the shelter of e plant when God is who put it there in the first place. I struggle with jealousy sometimes, and jealousy boiled down is anger at God. Everything we have comes from God and we have no right to be angry at God. I think this is a good reminder when we feel jealousy to picture God asking us "have you any right to be angry?"

    I also found it interesting that in the passage from Matthew Jesus proclaims "a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!" I find this as a reminder not to only find God in miracles, but to look for his voice and his working in our everyday life.

    • Peggy

      me too! That question from the Lord to Jonah "have you any right to be angry?" … “Is it right for you to be angry?” (NIV) is sticking with me and then He asks again: “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” to make a point to Jonah (that gourd/plant is symbolic too, I found out) … WOW! so much … thanks for sharing this, claireelise53!

  • Part of verse 5 in chapter 1 really stuck out to me this morning. The sailors are battling and trying to survive the storm that is the result of Jonah’s disobedience and where do we find Jonah? “But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold.” He’s unaware of what his sin is doing to those around them; he’s even put their lives in danger, but he’s ASLEEP! How often do we think that our sin isn’t hurting anything or anyone? That if it affects anyone at all, it will only affect us? The truth is we may just be unaware of the harm we’re causing. Our eyes may be closed. We may be asleep.

    I pray that God will open my eyes, wake me up, and make me aware of how my sin could be affecting others.

  • Thanks SRT;4 dis wonderful Post;n thanks evry1 4 ur comments bn Going tru al of dem 1 by one;n I love d Inspirations;God’s giving frm dis book;Jonah;ws a great envangelist evn if he tried running away frm it;n I put maself in that condition cos am always tryn 2 run away frm d things of God;evn tho sm way it gets bak 2 me;I knw God loves me;D book of Jonah has tot me 2day;evn while goin tru it;I took down notes evn frm ur contributions;1)frm 2day I’ll kp envangelizing evn in d smallest opportunity I’ve got.2)God love n anger does not overide his immense love..he still draws us bak 2 him;no mata wht we’ve done wrong.3)Most tym I pray wrongly 4 peopl who hv wrongd me;bt 2day I’ll shw love 2 evry1 of dem;cos Christ loved n died 4 me while I was yet a sinner.3)God loved david cos when he sinned n repented he neva went bak;dts why he ws a man after God’s heart;Nineviah repented n dey gv dem selves 2 God;he accepted dem;even Jonah ws accepted..I wanna change cos I knw mst tyms God speaks 2 his Children;bt we smtyms give in a deaf ear..I love God n I Love listening 2 him;Last 9t I asked God 2 hlp me Overcome temptations n listen 2 him wen he speaks..he is patient n his love is unending…thank u Jesus 4 revealing all dese n I pray 4 Change in ma life in dose areas am not Walking 2wards God’s Direction or love……..Thanks SRT n Sisters 4 giving me an Eye Opener..

  • wiscogurl

    Oh man, Jonah sounds like me. If God is calling me to do something, I will ignore Him, avoid Him, and sometimes – like Jonah – run away. In the process of trying to escape Him, He brings on some of the most challenging storms of my life to get my attention. I foil and usually find myself right back where I belong: in His safe and loving arms!

    Sisters, we must remember that our lives are not our own. God sent us here with an extra special mission. Sure, disobey and run away. I guarantee you will come running back with tears in your eyes wishing you'd listened in the first place! Take my word for it. I'm one of the greatest offenders!

    • justemmahh

      "Sisters, we must remember that our lives are not our own. God sent us here with an extra special mission. Sure, disobey and run away. I guarantee you will come running back with tears in your eyes wishing you'd listened in the first place! Take my word for it. I'm one of the greatest offenders!"

      –THANK YOU. So true; yet so hard to continuously keep in mind. So so so true. I feel like your words just personally rebuked me (with love). Thank you.

  • Gema Muniz

    I too have acted like Jonah this week, I have questioned God and even waived my fist at him for showing mercy to individuals I felt weren’t deserving of his grace. I have even questioned why at times he doesn’t show mercy to his children, he true followers. Thanks God he has given me such a great husband, a man of faith which reminded me that God is already pleased with us and therefore he doesn't go around impressing by having to do miracles in our lives all the time. He knows we can handle the tribulation and knows we understand his greatness. With the non-believers he takes every opportunity he has to show them his mercy, he does this in order to bring them to him. He wants salvation for all of us and is constantly working on bringing the lost souls to him. Let’s stop acting like Jonah and remind ourselves God is good, he is great, no matter how bad the circumstance is he does all things work for our good.

  • Janee White

    Though I have read the story of Jonah before – I have never read the Word of God written in the book of Jonah before. Wow! In anticipation of Friday, I read chapters 1-2 yesterday. I was wrecked! Then today, I read (and hilited) majority of the story. I was grateful to find, like a lot of us, that 'I am Jonah'. Then I repented because 'I am Jonah'. Rejoice – Repent. Rejoice – Repent.

    I am already blown away by how God has brought these Scriptures to Life – and to think I get the spend the next 2 weeks diving deeper? Who can stand? I can't – so I won't.

    I pray this for all of us – That God will not have to seek us – like He did Adam and Even in the Garden. That He will not have to say "Janee (insert your name here), where are you?" That we will all rest at His feet, like Mary, receiving from Him what can not be taken away. That we will all be like Elijah – His servant(s) who are listening.

    Ladies, there are families that need to be saved – churches that need to be saved – towns that need to be saved. Let's not run from God but run after God. Oh this is just so good!

  • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

    "The Book of Jonah is more than a fascinating account of one man’s futile attempt to run away from God. It is a story of God’s love for even the most unlovable, despicable people we can imagine—and of our responsibility to tell them the Good News." Max Lucado Devotional Bible

    Key Theme: "God calls his people to relay his message even to their enemies. God is more powerful than our schemes and plans. We cannot tell when God’s message will be received and heeded." Max Lucado Devotional Bible

    So now as I read through Jonah again (4 little chapters with so much) and I read through the comments thus far (thank you all), I might have said I have been like Jonah (as others have) and in my first comment without stating so, I was saying "Lord, forgive me for the times I ran from obeying You rather than running to You …" yet actually as I look at this more deeply I see much more.

    Here are the titles given for each chapter in Jonah:
    1) Jonah's Call and Escape Attempt
    2) Jonah's Repentance and Deliverance
    3) Jonah's Preaching and Ninevah's Repentance
    4) Jonah's Disappointment and God's Response
    {now, I have 4 R's for these chapters}: 1) REBELLION 2) REPENTANCE 3) REVIVAL and 4)RESENTMENT (oooooo) wondering about this ending and where Jonah goes from here? Jonah's ending to his story is unknown and incomplete, which I don't like, especially since he ends in "resentment" … but this is what I take from this when Jonah says "it is better to die than live" (like this in resentment, etc.) … Phil. 1:21 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." I must die to myself, my sin, my lack of doing what God calls me to do or change in me … Yep, chapter 4 is the key for me as it reveals something about the heart.

    So, now I'm thinking about "Repentance" (mine and Jonah's) for the times I found excuses and ran away from my enemies rather than prayed for them or shared the gospel. Clearly we can't really ever run from God, though we may run away from God and turn our backs and do our own agenda rather than obey His. Jonah wanted the Ninevites to be punished, wiped out; rather than see them receive God's blessings.

    What I love is that through prayer and witnessing (of Jonah, in this case) that others may repent because God's Word can have a transforming effect causing REPENTANCE. And that God's judgment can be averted. That is one powerful message! That it's not by me (which I truly already knew) but by His Word, by His Spirit, by His power … and all I have to do is be willing to share and then let God's Spirit go to work. I have to trust that seeds of faith are planted and repentance will come; yet often I'm more concerned about their acceptance rather than repentance. The salvation message is both. Accepting Jesus, turning away from our sin and repenting from sin. "Salvation comes from the Lord." How often I forget that even God's wrath and anger and hate of "sin" does not override His immense love; so that I too would always hate the sin, but love the sinner enough to share the truth of Jesus, His love, His mercy and His amazing grace— over and over — if God tells me to speak to others about their actions or if God is speaking to me about my own actions; then they (I) must repent (which means change, turn it around; not run away). Deal with it. I run from conflict rather than stay to resolve it or confront it in love. God, show me how … change me, renew me and restore me. Then give me the words to share with others that are wayward … and so in need of a Savior. I have prayed but now it's time for action.

    How often we turn away from sharing with compassion to a lost, hurting and dying world that needs repentance because their 'sin' or ours cuts us off from God; His that mercy is waiting, and yet we remain comfortable 'cause we don't want to create any waves when we know that God does not desire for anyone to perish. We can't throw all our "enemies" overboard, but the ones in our own house, must be changed and we must live in response to God and His call to "love one another". Preaching to myself here. " BE THE CHURCH"! 2 Peter 3:9 God is STILL concerned about the salvation of mankind.

    Thanks SRT and sisters in Christ for sharing as we pray for repentance personally and then for others to come to Jesus!

    • z-girl

      That was beautiful I especially was touched by this statement "How often I forget that even God's wrath and anger and hate of "sin" does not override His immense love; so that I too would always hate the sin, but love the sinner enough to share the truth of Jesus, His love, His mercy and His amazing grace" God shows us so much of who we are in his word…and all the imperfections we still have and struggle with as believers. I realized that the story of Jonah does not necessarily start with him or end with him because many of us can relate to it even to this day. With that said I am truly thankful for his word that he can show me who I am and reveal to me my imperfections…because while he is showing me who I am he is revealing to me who he is so that I can yield to him and become more like him. Truly He is Gracious and Merciful!!! God bless you for that!

      • Peggy

        Amen! this blesses me as well z-girl, thank you! … ah yes, how beautiful what you wrote about our imperfections and yielding
        so we might become more like Him … in His image! So thankful that He is so Gracious and Merciful! Bless you!

  • Wow, I had a page full of notes before even reading the post today. There is just so much to unpack in Jonah that I had never noticed before. So excited for this study! I have a feeling it's going to be a deeply transforming one!

  • Beverley

    What I find amazing, is Jonah was thrown into the sea and there was calm. Our Jonah our Jesus was thrown into the sea of our shame and condemnation and our sin…and there was calm. The wrath of God was satisfied! Praise The Lord, for Jesus. I'm so glad to join this plan and really take part for the fist time . It is what I need right now. Thank you lovely sisters!

  • O Lord, let me keep on repenting (even when it has been a long time in coming) so that your work can be accomplished. Amen

  • wow just love this…really looking forward to this study. thank you ladies for all you do and sharing God's word!

  • I have never been a great reader of the Old Testament save Psalms, Proverbs, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. I am a New Testament girl. Thank you for bringing the Old Testament to life for me and others.

  • nafisara

    God's love is totally endless. Totally sweet. Wow I love this. I love how God used Jonah inspite of himself. God was very patient with Jonah. That makes me so emotional to tears. We all have a little bit of Jonah in us and God knows just how fickle we are and he loves us anyway. How God accepts those who repent, it's all so amazing. Ok I'm gonna stop crying now LOL! Gods love is truly a lesson on how we should love each other and even ourselves. He is patient, He is kind and merciful. No matter how fickle we are…. Love. Thank you.

  • Good morning, Ladies (6 AM here)
    A friend (coworker) turned me onto this site several months ago. Since November I have become pretty faithful (daily) visitor, worshiper. I'm loving the scripture, comments, plans; the whole works.

    Raechel commented "As someone who has spent my life hopping around the pages of Scripture,…" and I want to thank her for her knowledge and willingness to share; aAs well as all the writers on this site. I have been a believer all my life, I have not been one who has spent much time in scripture till now, and as I said before "I'm loving it!!"

    Peace and Blessings to you all,

    Diane M.

  • Steph_Lilac

    I'm so excited to dig deep into Jonah! This is definitely one of my favorite childhood stories, it will be wonderful to get even more reacquainted. I can recall trying to run from God, my legs are still sore from the ordeal. Smh Ladies, let's get ready to stop running away but walk towards purpose!

  • Ladies. I need prayer today & tomorrow about a situation at school with my kiddo and one of his teachers. Because I've been unable to resolve it with her, I'm meeting with the principal tomorrow. I need wisdom & guidance. I want a peaceful resolution to this matter as we have 11 more weeks of school. I'm concerned she's taking her frustration out on my kiddo. She's already shown some behavior I'm unhappy about.

    Yay. Jonah! I love this story. Because it's so me! Yet God scoops in with his loving kindness and rescues me. Over and over and over.

    • GracenJoy

      Praying for you, your son, and his teacher that all works for the best as God desires it. Amen

    • wiscogurl

      Shelly, remember our weekly truth: "The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength." Pray in advance of the meeting. Pray with your baby before he/she heads off to school. Pray without ceasing. I promise He will show up and show out!

    • Brandi

      Praying!

    • Mrscoop62

      Prayers for you and your love one Shelly…
      Sandra

  • moebattle

    Man… This just really punched me in the gut. I am so Jonah but praise be to God that His mercy and grace is boundless not just to me but all who believe. So excited to dig deep into this little big book of Jonah!

  • The book of Jonah has always been close to my heart, and I'm excited to read it again. It seems every time I read it I learn something new about the nature of God and his grace. I am totally Jonah after Nineveh repented. I'm the kind of person who appreciates so greatly the blessings of God in my own life, but when I see the blessings of God come over others in a powerful way, I ask, "Why not me?!" forgetting that — duh — there are plenty He has given me. I look forward to studying this book over the next couple of weeks to learn more about humility and repentance from my own pride and to gain a better appreciation for the work God has done and is doing in my heart in this season. Thanks, SheReadsTruth!

    • Gema Muniz

      Amen, I think is amazing how God reveals to us our imperfections. Is up to us to ask him for strenght to change the things in our lives that don't please him. I myself have struggled with the same issue, it seems like we easily forget all the things God does for us on a daily basis. God bless!

  • Hello All!
    I’m new to SheReadsTruth and am loving it already. Each day it is so refreshing to hear from women who know, love, and follow Jesus but also are honest about the reality of struggle in this life. I was specifically touched by today’s start of the Jonah study…I have a brother who is much like Jonah, still adamantly running from Jesus in many ways. This reading today gave me a reminder that he will never be too far gone or too far away from God’s sweet and gracious hand, no matter how many times we feel that prayers for my brother were not answered. You would think we would not need these reminders because of the mercy He has already shown, but it never fails to comfort my heart when I’m reminded of this wonderful Truth. Thank you for your hearts in writing, I look forward to the next two weeks of Jonah! And if any of you read this and feel moved to join in prayer for my brother, even though we don’t know each other, I would appreciate it! :)

    • Candacejo

      I will join in prayer for your brother Anna! God is able and welcome to SRT. ♥

    • Brandi

      Will be in prayer for your brother! Our God is sooo good. Soooo great! Soooo able! Glad you are with us!

    • Mrscoop62

      Hello I will Keep your brother in Prayer, I am new here as well and looking forward to this study and sharing and yes it is nice to know other women who know and love Jesus and can yes i'm not perfect and can give Christian advise when we are just having a bad day.
      Many Blessings Sandra

  • JessicaLoves___

    May we not run from God, but to him. May we not tune out his commands, but zero in on them. May we not resent God's withholding of his wrath upon those who deserve condemnation, but recognize that none of us deserve his grace.

  • Ruth Rouchard

    Jonah 2:8 really struck me… “those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” How often have I turned to other things, other than God, yet I never saw it as “forsaking God’s love for me”, as another translation puts it. God’s grace and relentless mercy is God’s message in this book. I can almost see God grinning down at Noah has he’s having another fit at God for not obliterating Nineveh. I see such a loving and compassionate side to the heavenly father in this book and makes me realize how many fits of my own, like Jonah, He’s had tho deal with from me.

    • Candacejo

      I want to read YOUR post about that verse on Friday Ruth! That will be a great thought! ♥

    • Lbug

      Jonah 2:8 also jumped off the pages at me yesterday when I reviewed the whole book. My NIV version says "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. " Lord, help me not to cling to those things that I give precedents over you so that I may not forfeit the grace that you are so willing to lavish upon me. Thanks for sharing your heart today Ruth. I'm with you on this one. :-)

    • Janee White

      I spent 4 pages of paper journaling that scripture yesterday. Then I took another and searched the bible for what it has to say about 'worthless idols'. Television, Facebook, shopping, pride, pride, pride – were some of the worthless idols I repented from (again) yesterday. Such a powerful scripture that somehow I missed the other times I had read these words.

    • Christine

      Thank you for sharing this. My heart so needed to hear this again. God bless!

  • Wow, I don't remember these events from my childhood adventures with Jonah. Thanks so much for choosing this study. I already want to skip work today and start digging. We can't run from God, he will always pursue us in one way or another.

    • Janee White

      'We can't run from God, he will always pursue us in one way or another."

      Amen Sheila! I love that about Him and this story. No matter where Jonah was, whether fleeing to another town, paying for passage on a ship, hiding in the hull of the ship or under a man-made shelter – God always found him, and He will always find us.

      Such good news today…

    • Raechel Myers

      I'm just so grateful for you, Shelia – and all of you women! Lord, look how powerful you are!!!

  • I am really excited to jump into this book as an adult. As a child it was one of my favorite stories- I love how you said "that the images will jump from the felt boards of our childhood"- that is exactly how I picture the majority of the old testament- on a felt board! Ahhhh- simple stories from our childhood- I love the revelation that these stories give us as adults. That they are so much more than just stories!!! God is so amazing, isn't he???

  • God tells Israel "You are my people, follow my commands." And they wander off-course. So He sends prophets to help remind them… And the prophets promptly refuse to follow His commands. [Copy/paste over the next several thousand years.]

    I can only imagine how frustrating it is for Him. And yet… And yet, His continued patience is an example for us in our modern lives as wives, sisters, mothers, employees.

    I seriously love you guys for this one.

    • JaNohn

      Copy/past over the next several thousand years…too funny, but sadly true. I find I often tire of my own inconsistencies and wonder how He could not tire of them. THAT is love…it's mercy…it's so strong and quiet and available. Thank God He is THE God of second….third….85th…..2,457th (you get my drift) chances!

      • Janee White

        Thank God He is THE God of second….third….85th…..2,457th (you get my drift) chances!

        LOL! I literally journaled these questions: How many times have I fled from the Word of the Lord? How many times I have hid in sleep? How many times have I just whined and cried "I wish I were dead"?

        So much of myself in this story. But yes, He is the God of the 2,457th (and counting) chances! And I am so grateful for that. It reminds me of a quote from a horrible (but good) movie where the son is actually getting beaten up by his dad and he cries out to him "Don't you give up on me dad!" Not that Our Father beats us, but when I feel as though I am beating myself up, repenting for the same sin over and over again, I cry out to Him "Don't you give up on me Dad!" And He doesn't. He pursues us all, just like He pursued Jonah.

        God, I love this story!

        • AnnaLee

          "Don't you give up on me Dad!" Yes, Janee. I've been stuck in a huge funk of condemnation and heavy doubt, nothing feels secure, especially God's love… but that's not of God, and as I've claimed that truth more and more, I've been fighting satan– and my own unrelenting, critical self– off. God is our refuge. No matter where we're at, He pursues us. SUCH an incredibly important truth.

      • justemmahh

        Love this!

  • Joanne Sher

    Love this book – this study – this reminder! I am Jonah in so many ways. Thankful for my own redemption, but bitter at times about others’. God’s grace, mercy, redemption are so precious. Help me, Lord wto wish for it – to desire it – for everyone. For that is God’s desire. Make it mine.

    • Candacejo

      "Thankful for my own redemption, but bitter at times about others'…" Yikes! Or, maybe I should say, "Oh me!" So true Joanne…God help me.

  • Let’s pray that God reveals the glory of His Son in the pages of this familiar story, that the images will jump from the felt boards of our childhood into the fabric of our hearts…….
    So very much looking forward to this……getting to the heart of this book, these characters, to truly take on board the' nuggets'….I have read Jonah a few times in my life, as a child, to my children…..it was never about the fish, (lol) but about God, who was good enough to save the 'naughty man' Jonah…how we carry the childhood thoughts…..how we limit the stories to 'surface level' …just touching the surface of what is clearly a greater story than my mind could fathom…….

    Thank you Amanda, Diane, Rachael, et al, for this opportunity to grow even more through the book of Jonah, thank you….

    What a beautiful day….sister's, I pray the Lord turn His face to shine on you and your day….bless you…x

  • Ready to dig RIGHT in! Praying these familiar pages teach us something new and fresh about God.

    • tina

      Ibukun, hello and welcome back, it will be great to dig right alongside you these coming weeks. Have a God blessed day, sister….Ah, see you tomorrow…. x

    • Brandi

      Ibunkun have missed your comments! So glad to see your name this morning!

  • I see myself in Jonah when after receiving God's forgiveness and walking in obedience when i start suffering or things don't follow my expectattion my thoughts turn inward and I am right back to my selfish, sinful behavior. How beautiful to how this story is indeed pointing to Christ, a foreshadowing.

    Thanks for your insightful writing Amanda!

    • drasch

      Perfect example. And thanks for sharing… It's nice to know I'm not alone in this. :)

  • I am so Jonah- when things scare me I run away. When life doesn’t seem fair I complain. I compare myself to others. A colleague recently got a promotion and I was so bitter about it- I didn’t want the job but felt they were so undeserving having done no where near as much work as others do- why should they get rewarded? I knew at the time and still know now my feelings are wrong and sinful. That comparison helps no one. That I am extremely lucky- I have been blessed with so much. Please pray with me as I confess my Jonah like attitude and ask for healing and forgiveness!

    • Laurie

      Glad for this history of Jonah that was given to us. I too like you am Jonah too many times. Help us Jesus to be more like you, and to love the lovely.

    • Janet

      I know exactly what you mean, Claire … Running, complaining about life, comparing myself. And yet God used Jonah in powerful ways. Not only did the Ninevites repent but the sailors vowed to serve the Lord, too! I will be praying with you, as I'm sure many of us will, for a heart of repentance.

    • wiscogurl

      Honey, you are not alone! Yesterday I was in the biggest funk ever! I wanted everyone to leave me alone. It didn't dawn on me until later in the evening that sometimes the enemy tries to trickle in when you are at your weakest points. I had to really pray and repent this morning because I know I didn't honor God yesterday with all my fussing. :-)

  • God's "perfectly timed mercy!" I love this, Amanda … great start! Thanks for the insights.

    2 Redemption stories in JONAH … truly remarkable! Just what I needed to be reminded of … so thankful that after 3 days, Jesus rose and Jonah had another chance.

    Lord, asking that this study shows me how to repent and reading to see You revealed in all Your glory as we share and read together. Help me to be obedient right away and not wait until a "big fish" swallows me up and makes my life a whale of storms, with mounting waves that surround me … instead may I find Your waves of grace and mountains of mercy and faith increase with a redemptive HOPE in You. Thank You for SRT and the Truths You make known to me (us) through Your Word and for Your glory in Jesus' name

  • Wow, I’m really excited for this new plan! (so much so that i’m starting the night before, I guess!) To be honest, I started by skimming through the beginning of Jonah, and my first thoughts were “uh oh- I totally sinned today and yesterday and the day before that… God’s coming for me with a storm just like Jonah” But then I read the verse from Matthew and it was a great little reminder that it’s about Jesus. Jesus took the fall for me and everyone else too. And even though I definitely already knew that, sometimes I just need a little kick in the butt to remind me. So I am very grateful for God’s mercy and I’m looking forward to the reading the rest of this book :)

    • Amanda B Williams

      Your enthusiasm bless us, Jeann! Thanks for being here. We're excited about this book, too!!

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