Obedience, Take One by Nicole Unice

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Obedience, Take One
Series: The Divine Pursuit - A Study of Jonah
Week 4: Results - Day 2
Nicole Unice

“ONE ACT OF OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN ONE HUNDRED SERMONS” —DIETRICH BONHOEFFER

SPARK

On an icy day in March, ten women lined up to take a turn at the microphone. Each was telling her “Jonah story”—a time when she felt God calling her to obedience. Some of the stories were about small experiences—taking a weekend away or talking to a friend about Jesus. Others were life-changers: deciding to care fulltime for a dying parent or be hopeful in a struggling marriage. Yet in each case, the woman felt a sense of calling. Most did not respond when they first heard the call. But we’ve learned from Jonah so far that God doesn’t give up on us easily.

I began to cry when I listened to each of the women share. Many of them made huge sacrifices in the name of love. Most of them felt comfort in knowing they had done the right thing— but not all. Some of them were still so embroiled in the struggle that they didn’t know what to feel. Frustration and despair were a part of their everyday battle with obeying God’s plan.

It would be foolish to think that our feelings always fall immediately in line when we obey God. But that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do! I doubt Jonah felt great about obeying—we can assume that much from chapter four. But he did it anyway. And the results were extraordinary. Let’s spend some time together reviewing what really happened when Jonah began to obey God.

Lord, again we come to your word with hearts ready to hear what you would say to us. As we look at this now-familiar story about Jonah, we pray that you would come to us in a new and fresh way. Give us strength to obey what you are calling us to in our own lives.

BUILD:

Jot down what happened in chapter 3 when Jonah obeyed God:

Compare the Ninevites response to God in Chapter 3 to the sailors’ response to God in Chapter 1. What was the Ninevites response to Jonah (3:5).

The Hebrew word for believe used in 3:5 is also used in a story that the Israelite people would have been very familiar with: their own miraculous release from slavery in Egypt many years prior to Jonah.

5. Turn to Exodus 4:29-31, a passage that talks about Moses coming to the Isrealites in slavery to deliver a message from God. What is God’s attitude toward the Israelites here? What is the Israelites response to Him?

Over the years, the Israelite people began to misconstrue God’s great love and miraculous doings for them as their excuse for exclusivity. Rather than humble and grateful, the Israelites became smug and proud. They had missed the main message of God’s re ...


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