Sundays | 9am & 10:30am | The Woodlands, TX

Limitless Grace: Jonah 3

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2
“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell
you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now
Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began
to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and
Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They
called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6
The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his
robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a
proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his
nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed
or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call
out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is
in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger,
so that we may not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from
their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and
he did not do it.—Jonah 3 (ESV)

In Chapter 3, Jonah finally did what God told him to do, with amazing results.
Nineveh repents from the king down to the animals! Their repentance is genuine,
resulting in God’s compassion and forgiveness; destruction is avoided.
Icebreaker - Have you ever received a second chance to do something you failed to
do the first time correctly? How did you feel? Did you do things differently the
second time around? Tell the group about it.

Read Jonah 3:1–3

Question - What is the difference between what God says here and what He said in
1:2? Why the change, do you think?

Question - What is the difference between Jonah’s response in 1:3 and 3:3?
When God gives us a second chance to obey Him, it’s tempting to think that God is
an “easy” judge, but a second chance isn’t a sign of God’s disinterest; it’s a sign of
God’s mercy, giving us another opportunity to be part of His plans.
After He rose from the dead, Jesus met with His disciple Peter. It was the first time
the two had spoken since Peter denied knowing Jesus while his Lord was on trial for
His life.

Read John 21:15–19

Question - How do we see God’s compassion here? What are the similarities with
what happens in Jonah 3?

Read Jonah 3:3–10

The summary of Jonah’s preaching in verse 4 is short; only five words in Hebrew
(eight in English), but it’s clear. Judgment is coming in forty days.

Question - Look at the Ninevites’ response to Jonah’s preaching in verse 5. How did
they view his words?

Question - How does the narrator summarize the Ninevites’ heart response to
Jonah’s message at the beginning of verse 10?

Question - What external signs do the Ninevites use to show that they have turned to
God (repented) in their hearts (verses 5–8)?

Question - Compare Nineveh’s response with Jonah’s response in 1:3. Whose
response is better, and why?

Question - Have you been putting limits on God? Do you believe God will do what
he says he will do? What is God leading you to do now?
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