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Jonah demonstrated that he believed in God, and he eventually did what God wanted. But it seems God used Jonah in spite of the kind of a person Jonah was. Jonah did not want to obey God. Jonah did not want to help the Ninevites. But in spite of what Jonah wanted God used him to do His will and to save thousands of people.
If we compare Jonah to Deborah or Samuel or King David (who was a man after God’s own heart), we see three people who truly wanted to obey God and did so no matter how difficult the task.
You might ask your class to think about Christians. Are there some who say they are Christians, but they are really more like Jonah? In chapter 4, we will learn that Jonah got angry with God because God did not destroy his enemies and meet his desires.
Does God use some people to do His will in spite of who they are and what they want? Does God use some people because of who they are and what they want? Because they love God and want to serve God?
All Christians are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. None of us deserve to be saved. But after we become Christians or say we are Christians, does God then use us because we are becoming more like Christ through Christ: more loving and faithful servants of the Lord?
Or, is God using us in spite of the fact that we do not really love God or want to obey God?
King David was not perfect, but he wanted to do God’s will.
Jonah did not want to do God’s will and was angry with God when it involved his enemies.
Jesus came to do God’s will because Jesus loved His Father and wanted to obey His Father, and Jesus loved us enough to die for us.
You might ask your class what Christians can do to become more like Jesus and less like Jonah.
Go to the International Bible Lesson Commentary and International Bible Lesson for additional Uniform Sunday School Lesson Series Resources.
May God bless your teaching this Sunday!