GOD PURSUES THE DISOBEDIENT
Know: Jonah refused to do what God asked of him and tried to run from God. God sent a storm and a very large fish to stop him from running.
Think: Obeying God is always my best choice.
Do: Always do what God says to do.
READ: LISTEN TO GOD
Read Jonah 1:1-17. As children, most of us learned to play “Hide and Seek.” We sought out the best places to hide and learned how to find others, even in their best hiding places. Unfortunately, we think that we can “hide” from God. Jonah learned the hard way that hiding from God is an impossibility.
PRAY: TALK TO GOD
Obey God even when it is difficult to do so. Pray that you and your family will have the faith to follow God’s will whether it seems easy or not.
DO: WALK WITH GOD
OPTION 1: We can choose whether to obey or not when God reveals His will for our lives. Sometimes God shows us a path that is out of our comfort zone. We should want to obey God no matter what. Set up an obstacle course, then blindfold each of your children and lead them through it. (You might need to adjust the course for younger children.) Talk with your children about how they should obey God even when it is difficult and even when they might not understand what He is doing.
OPTION 2: With your family, read Genesis 3:8-10, the story of Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Call special attention to the fact that Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves from the Lord. Ask, “Is hiding from God possible? What made Adam think they could successfully hide from the Lord?” Have someone read Hebrews 4:13. What can you learn? The simplest answer is, we cannot hide from God, no matter how hard we try.
Today your child learned God told the prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh to tell the people to stop doing bad things. Jonah did not want to go there, so he tried to run away from God by getting on a ship. God sent a bad storm, and Jonah was thrown into the water. Jonah was learning God’s Ways Are Best and we should always obey Him.
This week your student learned God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent of their wicked ways. Jonah disobeyed God and tried to run away from Him. But God pursued him using a storm and a large fish. God is the one, true God who shows love, mercy, and compassion. We should choose to be obedient to God.
Studying Jonah again as a teenager brings some new light on the story. Now your teen is aware of the consequences of Jonah’s disobedience for himself and for others. Now he or she can see Jonah’s prejudice as part of his motivation for running from God. Encourage your teenagers to listen to and obey the voice of God, recognizing they will be happier and safer as they do.