Application of Jonah
1) What or who evokes compassion in your heart? Contrast Jonah's heart with God's heart. How does your heart compare with God's? Does it long for the same things? Why?
2) Is there something that you know God wants you to to that you haven't done? What can you learn from Jonah's life?
3) How did Jesus view the story of Jonah? Read Matthew 12:39-41; 16:4. Will you accept as truth what Jesus accepted as fact - or did Jesus compare His resurrection to a mythological tale?
Jonah Themes of Application
Although the prophet Jonah tried to run away from God, God was in control. By controlling the stormy seas and a great fish, God displayed his absolute, yet loving guidance.
Rather than running from God, trust him with your past, present, and future. Saying no to God quickly leads to disaster. Saving yes brings new understanding of God and his purpose in the world.
to All the World
God had given Jonah a purpose - to preach to the great Assyrian city of Nineveh. Jonah hated Nineveh, and so he responded with anger and indifference. Jonah had to learn that God loves all people. Through Jonah, God reminded Israel of its missionary purpose
We must not limit our focus to our own people. God wants his people to proclaim his love in words and actions to the whole world. He wants us to be his missionaries wherever we are, wherever he send us.
When the reluctant preacher went to Nineveh, there was a great response. The people repented and turned to God. This was a powerful rebuke to the people of Israel, who thought they were better but refused to respond to God’s message. God will forgive all those who turn from their sin.
God doesn’t honor sham or pretense. He wants the sincere devotion of each person. It is not enough to share the privileges of Christianity; we must ask God to forgive us and to remove our sin. Refusing to repent shows that we still love our sin.
God’s message of love and forgiveness was not for the Jews alone. God loves all the people of the world. The Assyrians didn’t deserve it, but God spared them when they repented. In his mercy, God did not reject Jonah for aborting his mission. God has great love, patience, and forgiveness.
God loves each of us, even when we fail him. But he also loves others people, including those not of our group, background, race, or denomination. When we accept his love, we must also learn to accept all those whom he loves. We will find it much easier to love others when we truly love God.