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Lesson: Jonah 2 - Jonah's Prayer

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Scripture Reading: Jonah 2:1-17.

Golden Text: Jonah 2:1.

1. Where did Jonah pray to God From? (Jonah 2:1).

Note: Jonah had plenty of time, three days and three nights, to consider the choices that he had made which had brought him to the present circumstance of being inside the great fish.

2. Did Jonah feel that he had an affliction? (Jonah 2:2). Who did he cry out to? Did God answer him?

Note: The prayer that Jonah goes through catalogs all that God had done for Jonah, and would yet perform for Jonah. Jonah considered his deliverance from death already accomplished, while he remained inside the fish. The LORD had answered Jonah. He knew what was going to happen. He knew that he was going to be saved and delivered when he was still in the fish. This mind set reveals the level of faith that Jonah possessed. It was the faith of God that had been given to him. Faith in God is defined in Romans Chapter 4 and verse 17, "God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did." Jonah was still in the fish, but he was absolutely sure of his being delivered, even though it had not happened, this showed that Jonah had faith. Jonahís prayer that we are reading about is full of illusions to various phrases from the Psalms showing that he was very knowledgeable of the Holy Scriptures that were then extent.

3. Did Jonah say that God had cast him into the heart of the seas? (Jonah 2:3).

Note: Jonah saw Godís hand in everything that had transpired. God had caused the storm to rise up, God guided the casting of lots so that Jonah was chosen. God provided the fish that swallowed him and kept Jonah from drowning.

4. Did Jonah say that God had cast him out of His sight? (Jonah 2:4). What was Jonah going to do?

Note: From the moment that Jonah went under the water, he was confident that should he die, God would grant him life again. He understood about the resurrection.

5. What was wrapped around Jonahís head (Jonah 2:5).

Note: The longer that Jonah was in the water, the more dire the circumstances to Jonah became. He was getting entangled in seaweed.

6. Who brought the life of Jonah up from the pit or the grave? (Jonah 2:6).

Note: From within the belly of the fish, he was beyond rescue. He was locked in the prison of death with no hope of escape. But in the face of certain death Jonah was saved from the grave of deceit.

7. What did Jonah remember when his soul fainted within him? (Jonah 2:7). Where did Jonahís prayer go?

Note: As Jonah was about to lose conscienceness, in the moments before drowning, he called out to God and pleaded with God for his deliverance and forgiveness.

8. What did Jonah say about idols? (Jonah 2:8).

Note: Those people who pledge their loyalty to their idols and their false gods that they worshiped could choose to desert those idols when they felt that their false gods had deserted them. Most of the people at that time were polytheistic and they had all kinds of gods that they could turn to. Only the true living God could come to their aid.

9. Who will Jonah sacrifice to? (Jonah 2:9). Who is salvation of?

Note: So unlike the worshipers of false gods, Jonah continued to cling to and be loyal to God without hesitation. Jonah knew that there was only one God that he could turn to. Jonah knew he deserved no mercy for attempting to run away from the responsibility that God had given him to perform, but because he worshiped the true God and he knew how merciful God is, Jonah knew that he could receive Godís mercy, if he repented of his error. He knew that that was what was required. During the time of his confinement Jonah apparently vowed to carry out what God had commissioned him to do, because he says here, "I will pay what I have vowed." So at some point in time when he was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights, Jonah vowed that where ever God wanted him to go, he would got. But just get him out of the fish.

10. Who spoke to the fish? (Jonah 2:10). What did the fish do?

Note: The actual location where Jonah was discharged is unknown.

11. What happened the second time to Jonah? (Jonah 3:1).

Note: The Scripture doesnít say how soon it was that the LORD spoke to Jonah the second time after he had been vomited up by the fish.

12. Where was Jonah told to go? (Jonah 3:2). What was the message Jonah was to preach?

Note: If the fish spit Jonah out in Assyrian territory up in the Northeastern part of the Mediterranean coastline, he would have been three days closer to Nineveh than had he left Israel. In other words, God used the fish to get him 3 days up the road.

13. What city was an exceedingly great city? (Jonah 3:3). How many days did it take to journey around it?

Note: Jonah responded to Godís command without hesitation this time. In accordance with the vow that he had made while he was still inside the great fish, he took off to do what he was told to do.

Nineveh has been described by some historians as being 60 miles in circumference. Its walls were 100 feet tall and wide enough for 3 chariots that could be driven side by side around its perimeter. The city was large enough that it would take 3 days to walk around it.

14. What did Jonah cry out on his first day's walk as he entered the city? (Jonah 3:4). .

Note: The primary message that Jonah delivered was about the total destruction of Nineveh, that it had already been determined and the time of its demise was already appointed. There was no room for any fluctuation, it was a done deal.

There is a good possibility that there may have been more to Jonahís message than what we have recorded here.


Scripture Reading:

(Jonah 2 NKJV) "Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. {2} And he said: "I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, 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 floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. {4} Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.' {5} The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. {6} I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God. {7} "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. {8} "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. {9} But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD." {10} So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land."

Jonah Preaches at Nineveh

(Jonah 3 NKJV) "Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, {2} "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to 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, a three-day journey in extent. {4} And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"

The People of Nineveh Believe

{5} So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. {6} Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. {7} And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. {8} But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. {9} Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? {10} Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it."

Jonah's Anger and God's Kindness

(Jonah 4 NKJV) "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. {2} So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. {3} "Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!" {4} Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" {5} So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. {6} And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. {7} But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. {8} And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." {9} Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "It is right for me to be angry, even to death!" {10} But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. {11} "And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left; and much livestock?""

Golden Text:

(Jonah 2:1 NKJV) "Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. 

All Questions: See Scripture Reading.