Faith and Obedience


Parenting is a “learn on the job” skill. There are useful books and studies to help you along, but the only real teacher is experience. I eventually learned a method that was somewhat useful in disciplining my four children, and that had to do with repetition. “Don’t make me say it again,” I would chant. It may not have always led to my desired result, but at least they knew I was serious. In our passage today, Jonah gets the equivalent of “Don’t make me say it again.” 

  • Think of a time when God gave you an additional chance to allow faith and obedience to work in your life. How did you respond?


3:1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Describe the way God commissioned Jonah in this passage. How is it similar or different from previous attempts to send Jonah to Nineveh? What was Jonah’s response?
  2. How was Nineveh described in this passage? Why are these details important?
  3. What was Jonah’s terse message? What are other biblical or significant references to the number 40?
  4. Where does discipline come from in your life? How do you respond to discipline in your life?


God gave Jonah a “do over.” We don’t know about his attitude at this point, but he did take advantage of the opportunity. Despite any concerns or frustrations, Jonah put his faith into action with obedience. Thankfully for Jonah and the people of Nineveh, God is persistent. Just as Jonah and the Ninevites received a gracious second chance from God, we also receive multiple opportunities for “do overs.”

  • Take time today to thank God for the additional chances we receive to exhibit our faith through obedience. 
  • Ask God to show you where you need to be obedient in response to him today.