The story of Jonah revolves around Nineveh!
Nineveh was a city full of cruel, wicked, violent and mean people. The Ninevites were known to skin their enemies alive and then impale their bodies on sharpened stakes. Conquered parents were often forced to watch their children be burned alive, just before the parents themselves were set aflame. The Ninevites would bury their enemies up to their necks in the sand and leave them there to die of hunger, thirst and the attack of wild animals. Entire cities were known to commit suicide rather than let themselves fall into the hands of the Ninevites. In the Book of Jonah, the Ninevites were focusing their aggressive attention on Israel.
That blood thirsty nation was about to go after the People of God! Is it any wonder why Jonah struggled with the concept of God wanting him to extend mercy to such mean people?
I want you to notice that in Jonah 1:1, God calls Nineveh a, “great” city.
God knew that Nineveh was a metropolis full of sinful pagans and yet He chose to see that city as what it could be as God followers which was GREAT! Here is the point! There is mercy for mean people! God looks beyond the faults of human beings, even our enemies, and sees their need! God saves whomever He wants to save! God specializes in saving people who do not deserve to be saved! That is how you and I came to be saved!
As a matter of fact, you and I probably have more in common with the Ninevites than we realize!
We ought to thank God every day that He chooses to have mercy on people who do not deserve it. Praise God! There is mercy for mean people, tall people, short people, undeserving people and even people that rub you the wrong way and since you, as a Christian, were and are a recipient of God’s mercy, shouldn’t you pass it on to others because that is how someone who follows Jesus lives.