Jonah 4: What's wrong with Jonah?

Study Notes

Read Jonah 3:10 – 4:11

  • What is God’s response to the Ninevite’s repentance? What is Jonah’s?
  • Why did Jonah get so angry – especially given what he knew about God’s character (verse 2), and also after how God treated him when the sailors threw him into the sea?
  • How does Jonah’s core belief about evil and justice compare to God’s?
  • What did God do in response to Jonah’s anger?
  • What is God saying to Jonah in the episode with the plant, the worm and the scorching wind?
  • In what ways are we sometimes more concerned about our shady trees than about those under God’s judgment?
  • Nicolaus Zinzendorf (1700 – 1760), the German theologian, wrote about the three conversions we go through on our road toward spiritual maturity: conversion to God; conversion to the church (God’s people); and conversion to the world. How does this help us understand what is going on in the book of Jonah?
  • How do you think Zinzendorf’s idea of three conversions fits with our traditional evangelical understanding of conversion?
  • In what ways to we need each of the three conversions every day?
  • Thinking back over the last four weeks of Jonah, what has challenged you?
  • Has your attitude to sharing the love of God with others changed in any way?