QUADS Content: Session 2, Week 1
Read Jonah 1:1-16 together.
1. After reading the first bit of Jonah, what is your impression of him? What did you learn about Jonah in these few verses? (dare to be obvious)
2. How does Jonah respond to God’s command? Why do you think he responds that way?
"The Assyrian Empire was one of the cruelest empires you’ll come across in your history books, and Nineveh was it’s capital. Historian Erika Bleibtreu describes their history as the most gory and bloodcurdling a history as we know. The emperor was well known for dismembering people before killing them, cutting off both legs and one arm, but keeping the other arm remaining so he could shake their hand before killing them off. In other words, torture and mockery until their final breath was taken. They forced friends and family members to parade with the decapitated heads of their loved ones lost in battle, elevated on poles. They pulled out prisoners tongues, they burned adolescents alive, and kept survivors in a cruel ring of slavery."
Yikes. These are the people Jonah was being called to preach against. Maybe you're relating a little more to the fleeing prophet?
3. Scary assignment aside, what do you think it means that Jonah was fleeing “from the presence of the LORD”? Why do you think his fleeing is described this way? Can we ever actually flee from the Lord?
4. Jonah is willing to admit that he is at fault (v. 12), but he is still avoiding God (the sailors cry out to God but Jonah is silent, etc.). Why do you think he avoids God? Do you see that pattern in your own life? If so, how do you go about avoiding God?
5. Why is it easier/more tempting to dodge God than to deal with him face to face when we’ve sinned?