Lesson 11: May 14, 2017
God’s Love Preserves: Jonah 2
Teaching Strategy: Explore the transition in Jonah 2:6-7 from despair in the face of certain calamity to gratitude for God’s protection and preservation. Relate this dramatic reversal of fortune to similar incidents in Scripture and/or in the personal experience of the participants.
Even when Jonah was in the belly of the fish, God was able to hear his prayer and God rescued him. The prophet had reached his lowest point, but at the last possible moment God lifted him up. Jonah responded with a song of thanksgiving.
Invite volunteers to share connections between their own experience(s) and those of Jonah. When have they felt at their lowest? In what ways have they called out to God? How have they felt God’s presence – or been assured that God heard their prayer(s)? In what ways did they feel protected and/or rescued by God? What changed their cry into a song of thanksgiving? To whom did they give thanks? How would their lives be different if they lived with such gratitude every day? Last but not least, how might they be called to work with God to rescue others in need?
The stories of rescue and/or hope below may help participants to generate their own stories or simply add to their understanding of the richness of the human experience that God has given to all of us.
- Stories of hope from cancer survivors (2016)
- Embedded in the story, A Deadly Addiction: Report Shows Humboldt County’s Overdose Rates Worsening, the personal account of the Eureka Rescue Mission Executive Director Bryan Hall Sr., a former addict sentenced to prison, who described finding “his current calling” as “ultimately the work of God and the help of people around him.” (2017)
- The story of a Sudanese refugee who found safety and a new life in Egypt through the work of Church World Service and its partner, St. Andrew’s Refugee Services What Education Meant to One Refugee Mother (2014)
- Rescue of Refugees at Sea (video, 2017)
- Ebola Patient Dr. Kent Brantly Says “God Saved My Life” (2014)