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FFC’s Winter Series Study Guide – Jonah 4

Jonah 4:1-3 (Mar 15), Jonah 4:4-8 (Mar 22), Jonah 4:9-11 (Mar 29)

Have you ever been surprised at how God helped someone who, in your
opinion, really didn’t deserve it? Have you ever resented the fact that God forgives
and blesses “bad” people? These were some of the issues Jonah wrestled with as
he saw God deal compassionately with his enemies. Sometimes it doesn’t seem
fair for people to be let “off the hook.” God doesn’t always behave like we think
he ought to, and, thankfully, though “man may dismiss compassion from his heart,
God never will” (William Cowper).

Discussion Questions

1. How have you experienced God’s compassion and grace in your life?

2. What words describe Jonah’s attitude toward God in chapter 4.

3. What were his reasons for being angry?

4. What circumstances cause you to be angry with God? Why, specifically?

5. What were Jonah’s chief concerns as he sat outside the city?

6. What were God’s concerns?

7. How did God use the plant to illustrate the rightness of his actions towards Ninevah?

8. What gaps were there between Jonah’s knowledge about God and his responses to God? (refer to whole book)

9. The book of Jonah suggests what about a person’s relationship to God and how it affects the people around him
or her?

10. In what current situation or relationship is your concern not the same as God’s?
Extra Hints
In Jonah 3, Jonah saw God’s compassion. But in Jonah 4, he is trying to understand it. And he’s not doing a very good job
of it, for we see Jonah sulking over an awesome display of God mercy. But Jonah finds out that God’s compassion isn’t
just corporate, but individual, and it will be Jonah’s life line as well.

These three weeks will be similar to chapter two: one theme in three different parts. We’ll be talking about “Gaining
God’s Perspective,” and we’ll do it in three installments.

Concerning 4:1-3
Jonah displayed the height of selfishness in the first 3 verses of chapter 4. Hard to believe a guy who just came back
from the dead (maybe?) is now asking for death. Jonah has a short memory, doesn’t he?

Ironically, Jonah described God perfectly, experienced him powerfully, yet was a million miles away from knowing him
intimately. Quite frankly, I have been there before. There have been times I could have told you all about God, but yet I
didn’t really know him at all. There were lots of facts, but little relationship. God doesn’t want information; he wants
transformation. Jonah was missing that element personally.

Concerning 4:4-8

Concerning 4:9-11
My Additional Notes

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