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Limitless Grace: Jonah 1:17-2:10

And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah.
And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 1 Then Jonah
prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2 saying, “I called out to the
Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and
you heard my voice. 3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and
the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 4 Then I
said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’
5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were
wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord
my God. 7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer
came to you, into your holy temple. 8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake
their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” 10 And the Lord spoke
to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.—Jonah 1:17–2:10 (ESV)

Watch his clip from today’s message:
Icebreaker - Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt isolated, lonely, or
discouraged? What caused it? Did you think about God at that time? If you did, how
did you feel about Him?

Question - Jonah 1:17 and Jonah 2:10 bracket our Bible text passage. What happens
to Jonah in these two verses?

Read Jonah 1:17 and Jonah 4:6-8

Question - Which word is repeated? Who is the one who does this each time?
Read Jonah 1:4, 1:7 and 2:10

Question - What are all these verses teaching us about God?

Question - What does Jonah’s prayer in 2:1–9 teach us about Jonah and God?

Question - How would you use Jonah 2 to answer a friend who’s stopped living as a
Christian and thinks there’s no way back for them?

Question - How does Jonah’s prayer show how desperate his situation was?

Question – Which verse shows the turning point in Jonah’s life-threatening plunge?

Remember where Jonah is as he says this prayer. Jonah is confident he’ll look at
God’s temple in Jerusalem again while he’s still drowning (v 4) and then while still
lying in the belly of a fish, deep underwater (v 9). This is a remarkable picture of trust
in God, pre-deliverance. Jonah believes in God while he is drowning. His prayer of
thanksgiving for deliverance is prayed to God from the belly of a fish, certainly not a
place of safety, comfort, and total deliverance. He trusts and thanks God during his
rescue rather than after it is completed.

Read verses 2:8–9

Question - What does he still not understand?

Dig Deeper

Read Ephesians 2:1–10

Compare what God did for Jonah with what He has done for Christians through
Jesus. God rescued Jonah while he was as good as dead (Jonah 2:1) in a raging sea.
Jonah had done nothing to deserve rescue, but God did it anyway. God rescued him
for a purpose—to preach to Nineveh. Similarly, God rescued His people while we
were dead in our sins and saved us not because we deserved it but because of His
grace, mercy, and love for us. He saved us for a purpose—to do the good works He
has prepared for us.

Sometimes we have no trouble knowing God has saved us, but we don’t believe He
will save other people. What does this show about our view of ourselves and our view
of God?
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