The story of Jonah can cause some division of understanding within a group, and of course it’s mainly to do with that fish (or was it a whale!)
We can empathise with Jonah’s reluctance to comply with God’s request to travel to and prophesy against Nineveh, the heartfelt and contrite psalm in chapter 2 after he is washed ashore and even his anger and frustration at God not punishing the people in chapter 3, but it’s difficult (literally) to ignore that fish!
Jonah might have almost slipped through Scripture unnoticed were it not for this remarkable story, but the introductory words connect him with 2 Kings 14:23-27 where we hear that king Jeroboam II “…was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, in accordance with the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher...” (NIV)
Jonah is not just a story of its own time, because it has plenty to teach us which is of relevance to our own culture, particularly in the way we look at other people. It is also a wonderful example of God's mercy in action. In short, it is a story that is well worth re-visiting!
It is formatted such that each individual study can be easily printed off on sheets of A4 for distribution to a group. You only need one copy of the study per group!
The studies have enough material to keep a group going for an evening and comprise
1) The call to action
2) "In my distress I called to the Lord"
3) Back on dry land
4) An angry man
There are also some leader's notes and suggested prayers to begin and end a meeting.
View a sample from the book (pdf) via this link