“November 21–27. Jonah; Micah: ‘He Delighteth in Mercy,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“November 21–27. Jonah; Micah,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022
“He Delighteth in Mercy”
As you record your impressions, think about how the principles in Jonah and Micah relate to what you have been learning in the scriptures.
Record Your Impressions
Jonah was on a ship headed for Tarshish. There’s nothing wrong with sailing to Tarshish, except that it is far away from Nineveh, where Jonah was supposed to go to deliver God’s message. So when the ship encountered a great storm, Jonah knew it was because of his disobedience. At Jonah’s insistence, his fellow mariners cast him into the depths of the sea to stop the storm. It looked like the end of Jonah and his ministry. But the Lord hadn’t given up on Jonah—just as He hadn’t given up on the people of Nineveh and just as He doesn’t give up on any of us. As Micah taught, the Lord does not delight in condemning us, but “he delighteth in mercy.” When we turn to Him, “he will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and [He will] cast all [our] sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18–19).
For an overview of the books of Jonah and Micah, see “Jonah” and “Micah” in the Bible Dictionary.
Ideas for Personal Scripture Study
The Lord is merciful to all who turn to Him.
The book of Jonah shows, among other things, how merciful the Lord is when we repent. As you read Jonah, look for examples of His mercy. Ponder how you have experienced that mercy in your life. What do you learn that can help you be more merciful to others?
Witnessing the Lord’s mercy often inspires feelings of love and gratitude. However, Jonah was “displeased” and “very angry” (Jonah 4:1) when the Lord extended mercy to the people of Nineveh, who were Israel’s enemies. Why might Jonah have felt this way? Have you ever had similar feelings? What do you feel the Lord was trying to help Jonah understand in chapter 4?
Ponder the teachings in Micah 7:18–19. How could these truths have helped Jonah change his attitude about the Lord and the people of Nineveh?
See also Luke 15:11–32; Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Justice and Mercy of God,” Ensign, Sept. 2013, 16–21.
All of God’s children need to hear the gospel.
Nineveh was part of the Assyrian empire, an enemy of Israel known for its violence and cruelty. To Jonah, it probably seemed unrealistic that the people of Nineveh were ready to accept the word of God and repent. Yet, as President Dallin H. Oaks taught: “We should never set ourselves up as judges of who is ready and who is not. The Lord knows the hearts of all of His children, and if we pray for inspiration, He will help us find persons He knows to be ‘in a preparation to hear the word’ (Alma 32:6)” (“Sharing the Restored Gospel,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 58–59). What do you learn from Jonah 3 that inspires you to share the gospel even with those who may not seem ready to change?
It might be helpful to compare Jonah’s attitude (see Jonah 1; 3–4) to the feelings of Alma and the sons of Mosiah (see Mosiah 28:1–5; Alma 17:23–25).
See also 3 Nephi 18:32.
Jesus Christ quoted the writings of Micah.
It is well known that the Savior quoted Isaiah and the Psalms. Did you know that He also quoted Micah several times? Consider the following examples, and ponder why these passages might have been important to the Savior. Why are they important to you?
Micah 4:11–13 (see 3 Nephi 20:18–20). The Lord compared the latter-day gathering to a wheat harvest (see also Alma 26:5–7; Doctrine and Covenants 11:3–4). What does this comparison suggest to you about the gathering of Israel?
Micah 5:8–15 (see 3 Nephi 21:12–21). What do these verses suggest to you about God’s people (“the remnant of Jacob”) in the last days?
Micah 7:5–7 (see Matthew 10:35–36). According to these verses, why is it important to “look unto the Lord” first? Why is this counsel important today?
“What doth the Lord require of thee?”
Micah invites us to imagine what it might be like to “come before the Lord, and bow … before the high God” (Micah 6:6). What do verses 6–8 suggest to you about what is important to the Lord as He evaluates your life?
See also Matthew 7:21–23; 25:31–40; Dale G. Renlund, “Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2020, 109–12.
Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening
Your children might enjoy doing actions that tell the story of Jonah, like pretending to run away, making sounds like a stormy sea, or pretending to get swallowed by a big fish (see “Jonah the Prophet” in Old Testament Stories). Ask family members what they learn from Jonah’s experience. For one example of a lesson from Jonah, see verse 7 of “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110–11).
What did Jonah learn about sharing the gospel? Who do we know that would be blessed by hearing the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?
According to these verses, what will bring peace and prosperity to the Lord’s people? What can we do to help fulfill this prophecy in our home?
You could display a picture of Jesus as a child with His mother (see Gospel Art Book, no. 33) on one side of the room and a picture of the Wise Men on another. Read together Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1–6. How did Micah’s prophecy help the Wise Men find Jesus? Family members could move the picture of the Wise Men next to the picture of Jesus. Your family might also enjoy watching the video “The Christ Child: A Nativity Story” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” Hymns, no. 270.