Is God Really Good? Week 3

Jonah wants his prayer to be pleasing to God, but you’ll see there was no apology to God. However, God delivers him anyway because He’s good even when we’re not.

Jonah 2:1-10 NLT

2 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. He said,

“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble,
    and he answered me.
I called to you from the land of the dead,
    and Lord, you heard me!
You threw me into the ocean depths,
    and I sank down to the heart of the sea.
The mighty waters engulfed me;
    I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.
Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence.
    Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’

“I sank beneath the waves,
    and the waters closed over me.
    Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.
I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.
    I was imprisoned in the earth,
    whose gates lock shut forever.
But you, O Lord my God,
    snatched me from the jaws of death!
As my life was slipping away,
    I remembered the Lord.
And my earnest prayer went out to you
    in your holy Temple.
Those who worship false gods
    turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise,
    and I will fulfill all my vows.
    For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”

10 Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.

1. The first chair is where the Ninevites were sitting. It is the chair of the fool.

Psalm 14:1a NLT

Only fools say in their hearts,
    “There is no God.”

– The question the fool asks from this chair is, “Who cares?”

Romans 1:18 NLT

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

2. The second chair is the chair of the judge. This is Jonah’s chair. From this chair, judgments are made concerning who deserves God’s goodness and who does not.

– The question coming from this chair is, “Who’s to blame?”

Romans 2:3-4 NLT

Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

3. The third chair is the chair of the child of God. This chair is much different. This is the chair Peter sat in as he led the early church.

– The question coming from this chair is, “Who now, Father?”

Nahum 3:1a NLT

What sorrow awaits Nineveh,
    the city of murder and lies!

Unknowingly, as judges we think we are good soldiers in God’s army; in fact, we have fashioned our own god in the image of our opinions.

4. The seat where the children of God sit is open for you.

John 1:11-13a NLT

11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—


Where your faith intersects with real life!


Each person shares a recent high and low from their life.


Use the following questions to explore what God may be saying to you through this message.

Big Idea:

God’s goodness trumps our best efforts.

Choose one or two questions for your group to discuss as time allows.

▶ Read Jonah 2. Listen for signs of Jonah’s repentance. What do you think? Was he really sorry?

▶ Is God’s heart toward us based on our repentance, His goodness, or both?

▶ Read Romans 2:3-4. Pastor Eric talked about 3 chairs, or 3 attitudes, we can have toward God and others: carelessness, judgement, or an obedient faith connection to God. Share a story of a time you were in one or more of these chairs.


Spend a moment in silence to consider your response, then share your decision with the group.

Proverbs 4:11 (NCV) says, “I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path.” Ask God if there is a “chair shift” you need to make in any area of your life.


Thank God for the highs shared and lift up the lows.

Ask God for believers everywhere to sit in the seat of the son or daughter connecting with God as He offers to guide us personally.

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