Jonah 4 beautifully builds to a climactic punch, where God challenges Jonah regarding God's mission to have compassion on all sorts of different people- even people Jonah personally hates. Of course, God is challenging us, the reader, through Jonah.
During the Sunday sermon a couple weeks ago, we ended by contemplating a few application questions brought to the surface by Jonah 4. A couple pelople asked about them, so I figured I'd post them here in case anyone was interested! I hope the Lord uses them to challenge you as they challenged me.
1) Are there certain people or groups you look down on, hate, or despise? And, if so, do you desire their condemnation or their salvation? When you come across a person or type of person you despise, do you want God’s favor for them, or God’s judgment upon them?
2) How would you respond if God showed his favor not on you and your people, but on the people you hate? Will we rejoice in God’s will being done, no matter who that blesses?
3) Do you think you are somehow more deserving of God’s grace than someone else? Do you rightly recognize that it is simply by His mercy that you have received any of God’s good gifts at all?
4) When you interact with those who “don’t know their right hand from the left,” do you feel hatred, or does your heart break with compassion and pity? Do you want to get even with them, or do you want God’s grace to get a hold of them?
5) Do you recognize that God’s mission is not just to save people like you, and do you understand that God’s mission ultimately is not about you, but is about reaching the nations for His own glory? Will you get on board with God’s purposes, even if they go against your personal allegiances, comforts, or preferences?