Explore God's Word Daily

A daily blog on Christianity.com

Down, down, down

What is the strangest or most dangerous lcoation you've ever prayed in? Jonah's about to pray in a place I hope never to experience...and today and tomorrow, we're listening in on his prayer.

Time well spent

Read Jonah 1 v 17 - 2 v 1

God could have left Jonah to drown. But in His grace to the rebellious prophet, He rescues him, courtesy of a big fish

  • - What does Jonah use his 72 hours in the belly of a fish to do?

Jonah could have despaired. He is as good as dead! But instead of pitying himself, he prays to the God "who made the sea and the land" (1 v9).

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APPLY

How about you? How do you react to difficult circumstances--pitying yourself, or praying to God? Will you remember Jonah's example next time you feel you're at rock bottom?

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Who is mercy for?

Read verses 2-6a

  • - Compare 1 v 15 and 2 v 3. How does Jonah understand God's role in what has happened to him? Who threw Jonah into the sea?
  • - Chart the references to Jonah's journey down to the bottom of the sea. What impression is created?

The end point of Jonah's plunge may seem like a place from which he'll never escape: "I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever" (v 6a, ESV). But Jonah doesn't appear to think so. He speaks some amazingly faith-filled words on his way down to the bottom.

Re-read verse 4

  • - What does this verse tell us about Jonah's trust in God?

Jonah may hate the idea of God extending His mercy to pagans. But he does have a good grasp on God's ability and willingness to show mercy to him!

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APPLY

  • - Do you find it much easier to accept and enjoy God's mercy for you, than to want Him to use you to extend His mercy to others?
  • - In your heart, are you satisfied that God has saved you and unwilling to take risks to tell others about His mercy?

Linger for a while with these questions: they may reveal some attitudes you need to address.

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PRAY

Ask God to give you a passion to see His mercy extended toward others, not just yourself.

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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