Jonah | Jonah Runs
Jonah runs from God, but God pursues Jonah.
Jonah 1:1-12 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)
11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
Jonah 2:1-2 “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.”
Ask your kids if they feel like they have friends and family that they can share their biggest struggles with? If they need help finding people – possibly encourage their small group as a place to find those people.
A little bit before bed time, hide something that your kids care about and tell them where they can find it (ie: their phone). Then once they find it ask, “What kinds of things do people try to keep hidden from their friends? From their parents? From God?” Ask them why they think that is.
Read Psalm 139:1-5. Ask your kids who they think knows them best out of their family members? Out of their friends? How does it make you feel that God knows everything about us?
Remind your kids about the story of Jonah and the reality that Jonah runs away but God chases him down. Ask your kids, “How God pursuing us can be seen as bad news and how it can be seen as good news?”