Read Jonah 1:1-3. On page 48 in the book it says that Jonah “knows exactly what it is that he’s supposed to do. But immediately after hearing God’s voice, Jonah runs.”
1. Why do you think Jonah flees from this command?
2. Have you ever felt God telling you to do something, but decided not to obey because it was too difficult or not in line with what you wanted to do? Share about that experience.
3. When Jonah ran, he had to pay a fare to board the ship. His flight cost him something. What are some of the “costs” that can be associated with running from God?
Read Jonah 1:4-17. On page 53 we read, “One of Satan’s greatest strategies is to get us to disconnect and go to sleep on the purpose and the plan that God has for our life.”
4. Besides sleeping, what are some other ways people distract themselves from hearing God’s voice and disengage?
Jonah was so intent on not following God’s command that he decided he would rather end his life than obey. “In that moment he gives up on God – but God does not give up on him. Jonah used a period. But God used a big ol’ fish to be a comma, to rewrite the ending of Jonah’s story.” (p.55, 61)
Read Jonah 2
5. Assuming that you have never been swallowed by a fish, what circumstances has God used in your life to get you back on track?
Read Jonah 3
6. Jonah was given a second chance! Do you think the time he spent inside the fish was wasted? Why or why not?
Read Jonah 4. The whole town has repented! But Jonah is angry. “He was fine with grace for him, but he was not okay with grace for them.” (p.75)
7. If you’re being honest, have you ever been angry when someone else got a blessing that you didn’t feel was deserved? When that happens, how can we reset our perspective?
If you are running from God, remember “that we’ve got a God who refuses to let us run away without giving chase.” (p.76) He’s pursuing you.
Pray as a group, or silently, that we would slow down enough to allow ourselves to be caught.
New Hope Community Church encourages everyone to participate regularly in a small group. The importance is for you to have accountability to others, as well as a place where you feel you belong and are cared for. Getting to this place requires groups to spend frequent and consistent time together, getting to know one another as you walk together through life. As for any book study like this one, what is important is that you engage in conversation. Where God leads the discussion is up to him, so do not feel pressure to have every person answer every question, nor to feel rushed to get through all the questions. Allow this to simply start/guide the discussion, and then let it progress from there. Sunday messages will be connected to each chapter from the Disobedient God book, and reading along each week can only enhance the experience, but these questions can still be used even without reading the book. We are excited to hear about your growth as you engage with your small group! Thanks for taking this step.