Unit 15, Session 1: Jonah Warned of God’s Judgment (Jonah)
If we spend time contemplating what it means to belong to Jesus, the reality is a mystery. How can we who are sinners be forgiven and redeemed? The more we recognize the depth and darkness of our own sin, the greater we understand the magnitude of God’s gift to us: Through His Son, He reached down to display His great love and mercy. Because of Jesus’ wounds, we can have full and forever forgiveness.
The Book of Jonah demonstrates this powerful truth on at least two occasions. One is highlighted in Jonah’s prayer in the midst of his desperation. After running from God and being hurled into the sea, fully expecting to die at the bottom of the ocean, Jonah is swept up and swallowed by a great fish. It is from there that he cries out, “I called to the LORD in my distress, and he answered me” (Jonah 2:2). Jonah, knowing the extent of his own sin and the issue of his own disobedience, cries out in desperation to the Father and finds great comfort in a loving God receiving His desperate plea.
Later, in Jonah 3, we find a similar movement of God’s reaching down and bringing about repentance among the people of Nineveh. In His grace, He relented from the looming punishment they deserved in light of their change of heart.
In both instances, the mercy and grace of God to withhold punishment due to vile sinners brought hope, and this hope ought to be ours today as well.
Isaiah 59:1 says, “Indeed, the LORD’s arm is not too weak to save, and his ear is not too deaf to hear.”
Though much has changed in our world since Jonah’s day, the Lord has not changed. He is not too weak nor too distant to save. No matter how far you or someone you know has strayed, no matter how distant the Lord might feel, His arm is not too short to save. His love can reach down to even the darkest and vilest of all sinners. Praise be to God.
Check out The Gospel Project At Home for resources designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: Jesus obeyed God’s plan.
- Younger Preschool: God told Jonah to go tell people to stop making wrong choices. Jonah did not want to go. Later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to tell people to stop making wrong choices. Unlike Jonah, Jesus wanted to obey God.
- Older Preschool: God told Jonah to go to his enemies and tell them to stop sinning. Jonah did not want to go. Later, God sent His own Son, Jesus, to go to His enemies and tell them to stop sinning. Unlike Jonah, Jesus wanted to obey God. He died on the cross to save us from sin.
- Kids: God called Jonah to go to his enemies and call them to turn away from their sin, but Jonah refused. Instead, he ran away. Later, God sent Jesus to His enemies to call us to repentance. Jesus willingly obeyed. Jesus died on the cross to rescue us from sin.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: What makes people special? People are special because God made us.
- Older Preschool: What makes people special? People are special because God made us in His own image.
- Kids: What makes people special? People are special because we are made in God’s image, as male and female, to know Him.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: God made me. Psalm 139:14
- Younger Preschool: I will praise God because He made me. Psalm 139:14
- Older Preschool: I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. Psalm 139:14
- Kids: For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. Psalm 139:13-14
** Next week: Nahum Warned of God’s Judgment (Nahum)