Introduction: What kind of God do we serve? Is He a God who is an
“absentee landlord?” Is He a God who knows His people and no others?
Is He a God who knows about the intimate details of your life? Can
you hide from God? Let’s jump into our lesson and see what we can
learn about our God!

  1. The God Who Notices

    1. Read Jonah 1:1-2. Were the Assyrians God’s special people?
      (No. They were generally the enemy of God’s people. See, 1
      Chronicles 5:26, 2 Kings 18:13, Hosea 11:5-7.)

      1. Why would God pay attention to the Assyrians?

      2. If God pays attention to those who have not chosen
        Him, what kind of attention does He give to those who
        have chosen Him?

      3. Notice that the wickedness of the Ninevites came to
        God’s attention. What is God’s reaction to Assyrian

        1. Why doesn’t God say, “The Assyrians are just
          being Assyrians. What can you expect?”

        2. Read 1 Corinthians 5:12-13. What should our
          reaction be to wickedness outside the church?

    2. We will study in great detail later that part of the Jonah
      account where he is caught in a ship in a storm. Right
      now, let’s just look at what the captain of the ship says
      while in the storm. Read Jonah 1:4-6. What kind of a view
      of “gods” did this captain have? (Sometimes they noticed
      and sometimes they did not.)

      1. Was the phrase “sometimes they notice” true of
        Jonah’s God? (No! Not only was the true God keeping
        tabs on the citizens of Nineveh, but He was keeping
        very close watch on Jonah.)

      2. There is a modern heresy that everyone has equally
        valid religious beliefs. What kind of view of other
        religions do you think this captain possessed?

        1. What effect, if any, did imminent danger have on
          his theology?

      3. Notice the theology of the sailors recounted in verse
        5. What are the elements of their faith? (1. They
        were afraid. 2. They cried out to their god. 3. They
        lightened the ship.)

        1. How does their theology compare to yours?

          1. Do you fear?

          2. Do you cry out to God?

          3. Do you work while awaiting an answer?
    3. Read Luke 19:1-4. What kind of man was Zacchaeus?

      1. What kind of an attitude did he have towards Jesus?

      2. How would you compare the Ninevites to him?

    4. Read Luke 19:5-6. Is there anything that strikes you as
      being unusual about this? (There are several unique
      features to this, but the one that the lesson points out
      is that Jesus called Zacchaeus by his name.)

      1. What does the fact that Jesus called Zacchaeus by
        name teach us about God’s interest in those who seek

        1. What does it teach us about God’s interest in

  2. The God Who Knows

    1. Read Psalms 139:1-4. What does God know about us?

      1. Notice verse 4. In God’s eyes, what is the difference
        between thinking something and saying it?

      2. The United States Supreme Court has declared a
        constitutional protection that cannot be found by
        reading the constitution. This declared right is the
        right to privacy. Would you like to sue God for more
        privacy? Or, are you glad that God knows so much
        about you?

        1. What advantage is there in God knowing
          everything about you? (When you are honestly
          looking for help you want people to know and to
          care. You want them to pay attention to you.)

        2. In our church we have a time during worship
          where people can share their praises and prayer
          requests. Some use this opportunity to give
          little “sermon” and exhortations to the rest of
          the congregation. Why do you think they do that?
          (They want us to pay attention to them.)

          1. Are there people in your church who want
            more attention from you?

    2. Read Psalms 139:7-10. What could Jonah have learned from
      these verses?

  3. The God Who Can Be Trusted

    1. Read Jonah 1:3. Based on our discussion last week, and our
      discussion this week, why do you think Jonah ran instead
      of obeying?

    2. Read Matthew 10:28-31. Some of you said that Jonah ran
      because he was afraid. We saw that the sailors on the
      ship were afraid because of the storm. What does God say
      about our fear?

      1. Who is it that can kill both the body and the soul?

        1. What does this text suggest about the popular
          doctrine that the wicked never die – their souls
          live in immortal torture? (It suggests it is

      2. Had Jonah made the right decision about his fear? (He
        feared the citizens of Nineveh more than he feared

      3. These verses in Matthew 10 seem quite odd at first
        reading. They start out (v.28) by telling us we
        should fear God. Then end up (v.31) by saying “don’t
        be afraid.” How can you make sense out of this?

        1. Are we supposed to fear or not?

        2. What does the fact that God knows not only our
          name (as in Zacchaeus’ story), but the number of
          hairs on our head, teach us about fearing God?
          (I think the key is verse 29. God knows you and
          He will not allow anything to happen to you
          without making an “executive decision” on it. If
          that is okay with you, then have nothing to
          fear. If that is not okay with you, then you are
          naturally afraid.)

          1. How do we get to the point of trusting God
            whatever happens?

    3. Friend, God knows about you and He cares about you. You
      cannot run and you cannot hide from Him. If you have been
      running from God, why not give it up, repent and trust

  4. Next Week: Jonah and the Judgment.