Chase Day 10 The Chase That Restores: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, The Chase That Restores!

Jonah 2:1-9 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

1 Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish:
2 I called to the Lord in my distress,
and he answered me.
I cried out for help from deep inside Sheol;
you heard my voice.
3 You threw me into the depths,
into the heart of the seas,
and the current­ overcame me.
All your breakers and your billows swept over me.
4 But I said, “I have been banished
from your sight,
yet I will look once more
toward your holy temple.
5 The water engulfed me up to the neck;
the watery depths overcame me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 I sank to the foundations of the mountains,
the earth’s gates shut behind me forever!
Then you raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God!
7 As my life was fading away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
to your holy temple.
8 Those who cherish worthless idols
abandon their faithful love,
9 but as for me, I will sacrifice to you
with a voice of thanksgiving.
I will fulfill what I have vowed.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.”
10 Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

The Questions

1) What is Jonah’s response to God’s compassionate work to save his life?

2) What was the danger in Jonah’s beliefs about God?

3) How does truth impact Jonah’s view of his circumstances?

The Findings for Intention

1) What is Jonah’s response to God’s compassionate work to save his life?Three days in the dark, disgusting, rank belly of a fish gives a person a lot of time to think.  I can only imagine how many times Jonah must have thought to himself, “How did I end up here?”  As he reflected on his past choices and present circumstances, Jonah found himself left with nothing but the truth of God’s merciful love toward him.  After this time of intense reflection and solitude, Jonah offered a thoughtful prayer of thanksgiving to God for sparing his life.  Not only that, Jonah also made a commitment to “fulfill what [he had] vowed” (verse 9) by completing his mission to go to the people of Nineveh.  Jonah’s response to God’s work was to worship Him, through both his words and his actions.

2) What was the danger in Jonah’s beliefs about God?
Jonah’s heart and struggles with God are revealed in his own words as he says in verse 4, “But I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight…’”  As Jonah was drowning in the raging sea, sinking to his death, his thoughts reflected a belief that God had left him on his own, that he could somehow escape or be cut off from God’s presence.  This only reinforces what we see in Jonah 1:3 as he tries to run and hide from God on a boat headed to another city.  Jonah’s incorrect theology about God caused him to make irrational and useless efforts to control his own life, efforts which only ended up making his circumstances even worse.  

3) How does truth impact Jonah’s view of his circumstances?
Once Jonah was finally moved to the point of repentance for his own foolish efforts and beliefs, he realized the truth about God – He was always there.  In the deepest, darkest place of despair and certain death, God was with Jonah.  He came to understand that God was there when he was thrown into the waters, engulfed by the waves, and fading to his death.  Jonah recognized God was there as He sent a fish to swallow him up.  Jonah realized God was there, patiently waiting as he pondered and reflected for three days inside the fish.  And Jonah understood God was there as he finally voiced a prayer to Him that showed his change of heart and belief.  God was there all along, pursuing Jonah despite his best efforts to believe he was alone and to run away.

The Everyday Application

1) What is Jonah’s response to God’s compassionate work to save his life?Jonah’s example offers two forms worship can take: prayer and action.  Prayer is one of our primary acts of worship, as we communicate with God that we understand His holiness and our need for Him.  As we understand God’s grace toward us, we are moved to further express our worship of Him through the actions we take – this isn’t a passive faith!  How are you allowing God’s work in your life right now to lead you to personal worship?  One final thought… I love that Jonah sat for three days before he voiced the words we read.  He took time to reflect on God’s work in his life before voicing those truths to others.  We could all learn from Jonah by taking time to fully reflect on God’s work and how He is speaking to our hearts.  This might sound shocking – brace yourself – but we don’t need to post to social media every word we sense, in the very moment we hear it; sometimes God wants us to ponder, to cherish, and to soak in what He has to say, just to us, before we share with others (if we even need to share at all).

2) What was the danger in Jonah’s beliefs about God?
Nothing ceases our worship of God more than believing that we have been left alone – who wants to worship a God like that?  In fact, any incorrect belief we hold about God threatens our worship of Him. Through our study of His word and the teaching of sound doctrine in His holy Church, we have those incorrect beliefs brought to light and corrected.  But we must be willing to allow God to show us where our thoughts and actions have gone astray, so that we can worship in, “’…in spirit and truth,’” (John 4:24)  But just like with Jonah, God is willing to let us continue in our self-destructive ways until we are open to admitting that we might be wrong and are ready to accept His truth.  Is your heart willing?  Is there anything that has been pointed out to you that you have pushed aside and need to reconsider?  If so, do some studying of God’s word, and seek out a biblically wise, trusted friend, teacher or pastor who would be willing to talk through the issue with you and help you discern if you have a belief that needs to be adjusted.

3) How does truth impact Jonah’s view of his circumstances?
When we experience a time where God has corrected or changed a false belief we have held about Him, our worship takes on a new life and excitement as we see God working in ways that we hadn’t recognized before.  An example from my own life would be when I  came to realize that God is a loving father, not just an eye in the sky shaking his finger disapprovingly at all of my mess-ups.  Suddenly, I saw my circumstances with new vision as His efforts to love me, I realized that His acts of the past were His demonstrations of that love, and as I result, I was moved to return that same love through my worship.  Can you think of a time when you have had a similar experience? Correct theology and truth about God leads us to worship, which is why we must therefore continually pursue Him with both intention and intensity.

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study,The Chase That Restores!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Chase Week Two!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Chase!