For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. —Titus 2:11
Key Verse Thought: Read today’s key verse. Use the following definitions help you understand it:
- grace: the divine influence upon the heart;
- appeared: become visible; able to be known.
Today we are going to study a prophet that God sent to a Gentile nation (they were not Israelites, God’s chosen people). God makes His salvation known to all who need it.
Emphasis: Be encouraged to know where God wants you to be, and to be where God wants you to be. Also, to be a faithful witness wherever you may be.
Lesson Summary: As we continue studying the Historical Books, we will intermittently study a book of the Prophets as close to the timeframe in history we are studying as we can. We have learned of the deplorable condition of the nation Israel as they only had bad kings. None of them led the nation in reformation back to the one, true God. We have remembered two very influential prophets of the Lord, Elijah and Elisha. Today we will look at another prophet, Jonah. Unlike Elijah and Elisha who spoke the Word of the Lord to the people of Israel, God sent Jonah to a nation that was the enemy of Israel. King Joash (Jehoash) was the last king in Israel of which we read (we will continue with his reign in Lesson 8). Jonah came upon the scene after King Joash (Jehoash) and during the reign of the next king of Israel, Jeroboam II (who we will study in Lesson 8 — see 2 Kings 14:23, 25).
Jonah is a book in the Bible that is very familiar. One in which many people could probably relate without even having to go back and reread the book of Jonah. With that thought in mind if you are teaching a group, prepare to teach your students something about Jonah they may have never considered before. Be encouraged to never become so familiar with an account in the Bible that you don’t want to “hear it again.”
Understand and know that the events that transpired in Jonah really happened. Jesus even compared Himself to the prophet Jonah (called Jonas in the Greek). “39. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here” (Matthew 12:39–41). Proof enough to anyone that Jonah was a real prophet who spent three days and three nights in the belly of a whale.