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Resistance #2: “I Don’t Have To”
Series: The Divine Pursuit - A Study of Jonah
Week 5: Resistance - Day 2
“IT’S SO HARD WHEN I HAVE TO, AND SO EASY WHEN I WANT TO. ” —ANNIE GOTTLIER
What transpires between God and Jonah in this chapter is a close-up picture of one of God’s great tools: discipline.
Discipline is a word that pings all kinds of associations for us: of our own childhoods, of our own children, and of the good and bad ways we’ve experienced the fruit of discipline in our lives. There are two definitions of discipline we’ll examine today.
One: the kind of disciplining that happens with children. The dictionary tells us that discipline is about learning to live by the rules.
Two: an “activity, exercise or regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.”
I experienced both kinds of discipline growing up. Learning to live by the rules was sometimes difficult. My parents gave me the choice one night between a spanking, or missing Punky Brewster. I chose the spanking.
The other form of discipline came from gymnastics. As a young gymnast, I learned the importance of repetition and conditioning. Repetition meant that the same skill needed to be practiced over, and over, and over again. Conditioning was the exercises we did to strengthen our bodies for the skills we practiced.
Jonah needs some of both kinds of discipline in chapter four. But before we jump in, let’s hear from you:
Give me a one-word or one-sentence association with “discipline” from your childhood.
Have you experienced the second definition of “discipline”, the one I associate with conditioning? List a few of those experiences here:
What three questions does God ask Jonah in Chapter Four?
Circle the words “live”, “die”, and “angry” in chapter four. Why do you think Jonah would rather die than live by 4:3?
Irony Alert! Remember when we talked about the awesome use of irony God employs in the book of Jonah? What is so ironic about Jonah’s assertions of life and death?? He’s asserting control over something that God’s already proven untrue. Less than a week ago, Jonah was covered in whale slime...saved from his own certain death. He didn’t control even his own life in that scenario.
See for yourself: compare Jonah 4:2-3 to Jonah 2:1-9. What parallels do you find?
Now, before you go on getting ticked at Jonah for behaving so badly, remember that we went into this study knowing we can relate to Jonah. OK, I’ve said it. Back to our lesson!
Throughout the chapter, God’s leading question for Jonah is “Have you any right...” Essentially, God is asking Jonah if he ...
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