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Jonah Week 9 - Chapter 4 Part I

Jonah: God's man to Nineveh  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Book of Jonah Week 9 – Chapter 4 Part I –
Verse 1 “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.”
1. Jonah was clearly not happy about the repentance of Nineveh.
2. He had seen so much and come so far in his journey of running from God and going his own way, dealing with being in the fish for several days, to earnestly seeking the Lord in prayer, to speaking truth to the people of Nineveh.
3. But now we see this crazy twist of the story.
4. Jonah is very upset to see the people of Nineveh being repentant.
5. Why?
6. Do we hate to see our enemies succeed?
7. In the world of politics it hurt for me to experience the presidential election in 2012.
8. I felt like there was so much done wrong in Obama’s first term as president and I was so upset at the results of the 2012 election. This desperately hurt all of those that were in the conservative corner.
9. I hated to see the successful campaign of the democrats knowing how evil and godless their motives are.
10. When you know what is right and you know what needs to be done. You want to see the vengeance of the Lord used.
11. This is often times not at all how God works.
12. His forgiveness is a mystery that none of us can fathom or understand.
13. We already know that we don’t deserve forgiveness,
14. I know that
15. You know that.
16. So when we see vile people getting away with sin and with evil, it makes us mad.
17. We are not naturally forgiving.
18. We want to avenge.
19. We seek to conquer and to win the battle over our foes.
20. God uses forgiveness to bring repentance to Himself.
21. How can we be forgiving of others?
22. What does it feel like to be exceedingly displeased?
23. I don’t know about you guys, but I can easily relate to what is going on here.
24. If I am trying to close a deal on selling a roof to someone and provide solutions that my customer needs and another roofer comes in and then just proposes the same thing as me but just undercuts my price and doesn’t really know the product they are selling it is difficult.
25. In that moment I get angry because I know I am truly bringing what the customer needs to the table.
26. The other contractor is simply copying and pasting my proposal and changing the numbers to make it a little easier on the checkbook.
27. Jonah had been through a lot in his own sanctification and was thoroughly upset that Nineveh was able to repent so quickly and easily.
28. We like to see due process. Who knows what due process is?
29. Due process is where we work for something and because of that work; we get to enjoy the benefits of our labors.
30. With Christ’s forgiveness, due process does not come into play necessarily.
31. Although it might seem as if it were the case
32. I know that there are older men and women who live extraordinary lives of Christlikeness.
33. Sometimes we see where God grabs hold of someone’s heart and changes them quickly.
34. This isn’t to be a pat on the back for the person though.
35. It is all to bring honor and glory to God.
36. Jonah was mad they repented with such ease on his behalf.
37. He didn’t understand God’s ways and sometimes we need to just trust God because we don’t know what is best.
Verse 2 – “And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”
1. Now Jonah is thinking of something that many of us are aware of.
2. He is seeing almighty God who, in reality does not need the actual acts of men such as Jonah to proclaim God’s commands.
3. But Jonah, once again knows that God is Lord.
4. He is saying, “Why did you force me to come to Nineveh when it was you who did all of the work in the hearts of the Ninevites”
5. He is missing the point right here.
6. Why do we share the gospel?
7. Is it to bring someone to repentance?
8. Why do we stand against sin?
9. Is it to make a statement that we are not in sin and therefore they aren’t cool like us because they are sinning?
10. What is the need to share the gospel if God doesn’t need us?
11. We need to share the gospel because we have been commanded to.
12. Not because we can provide information that saves peoples lives. Although the information we are presenting is righteous. Information does not bring conviction unless the heart changes. Right?
13. How many times do we talk about this?
14. We have to get that thick point through our thick skulls.
15. We are called to be obedient, God brings the conviction and the life changing grace.
16. If you see someone drowning and you throw them a life tube with no air in it, what happens?
17. God has to put the “air” so to speak in the information that we are presenting.
18. He makes it all work, not us.
19. The reason for Jonah’s run to Tarshish is revealed.
20. Despite his blatant disobedience and narrow mindedness, Jonah understood the character of God.
21. Here he echoes a formula describing God’s mercy to an undeserving city of Nineveh.
22. Jonah clearly understood that God was over everything.
23. He was bitter as if to say “You could have just done this without me”
24. Why is it so hard to obey?
25. Because we have to have a reason for everything
26. If someone tells us something to do, we want to know why do we have to do it
27. Then once we know why we have to do it, we want to come up with reasons as to why we don’t have to.
28. Trying to justify our “right” to do what we want.
29. We want what we want, we do what we want.
30. Plain and simple.
31. What does it mean to be slow to anger?
32. It means for us to think righteously
33. It means that we need to set aside our selfish desires and base our thinking on the Word of God.
34. No matter what situation that we are in we need to immerse ourselves in prayer.
35. Jonah knew the necessity of prayer and we see this in this verse.
36. God abounds in steadfast love.
37. No matter how Jonah was treating God, God was abounding in steadfast love.
38. Who here demonstrates steadfast love?
39. Several of you are nearing close to the point in your lives when you are about to get married.
40. Marriage is something that takes a lot of work.
41. A huge part of marriage is learning how to love regardless of how someone else acts or behaves.
42. Its about selfless love, and not thinking of yourself.
43. It’s a lifelong challenge and today we see that 42% of Christian marriages end in divorce.
44. 42%, think about that. Everyone in this room has seen the effects of divorce in one way or another.
45. I know this is a little rabbit trail.
46. But it is essential for us to understand the work that it takes for us to have selfless love.
47. When you get married, all your bad habits come out.
48. When your dating you might get a glimpse of them but when you are married, you cant hide your flaws.
Verse 3 – “Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
1. Jonah didn’t want to go, God desired for him to go though.
2. Jonah was so frustrated that he asked God to take his life.
3. He said it was better for him to die than to live.
4. This is what I call the ultimate cop-out.
5. We aren’t done on earth until God says its our time
6. To desire death is to slap God in the face, just like Jonah had continually done.
7. It is telling God that we are done on earth regardless of what His plan is.
8. This is selfish, and God desires for us to be selfless.
9. Why do we think we can get out of difficult situations?
10. Because, we don’t like to struggle.
11. We don’t like to have to deal with the real world.
12. Something that is interesting to me is that Jonah, in his statement to the Ninevites he only presented the news of destruction.
13. We didn’t see him bringing the good news, just the condemnation
14. It didn’t matter, God still used his condemnation to bring conviction
15. Perhaps this is part of why Jonah was mad.
16. He presented a story of death, and God brought them to redemption.
17. We want to see the criminals go to jail, we don’t want to see them come to a good standing with God.
18. We don’t want people to be made right unless we have compassion for them.
19. I think its plenty fair to say that Jonah did not have compassion for the Ninevites.
20. If he did, he sure had a crazy way of showing it.
21. The thing that needs to be understood here is we have been called to be obedient, called to live lives that are constantly conforming to God’s word.
22. When Jonah didn’t get his way, he desired that God kill him.
23. As if to say that everything would be easier and over with when he died.
24. We have to learn to face the obstacles that come our way.
25. Face them head on.
26. No matter why we think we don’t have to deal with things, we do.
27. God has us. He has us in the palm of His hand, and in the middle of His plan
28. We have to learn to trust Him, and learn to seek Him.
29. If we aren’t reading Scripture, how do we know it?
30. If we are not praying, every day, how can we call ourselves Christians, when we don’t follow Him.
31. To be a Christian is to follow God, and to follow Him is to read His word, that mean have died to bring to us. And to pray to Him, because He is the creator, of all.
Verse 4 – “And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
1. I do not know about you guys but this verse really hits me in the gut. And brings conviction to my soul.
2. Do you do well to be angry?
3. What does being angry do for you?
4. Do you find that your anger resolves the problems that you have?
5. Anger is something I struggle with. I hate that I struggle with anger, but I do, and Im being honest here.
6. Who here struggles with anger?
7. Anger is so evil in God’s eyes.
8. It accomplishes literally nothing at all, outside of stirring up strife.
9. It was basically Jonah pitching a fit
10. He was pitching a fit because he didn’t like what God did.
11. Do you do well to be angry?
12. What a powerful sentence from God.
13. Jonah didn’t know how to deal with God’s miraculous plan.
14. We don’t know how to understand God’s ways
15. That is because His ways are incredibly different than our own.
16. It takes a lot of work for us to realize this and even more for us to conform to Him.
17. We have a long road of sanctification
18. We have a long road of learning to let go of our own selfish desires
19. We have to learn to embrace the ways of God and embrace the love that He shows for people that to us, seem to be unlovable.
20. I want to challenge you guys to do something this week.
21. Next week, Im going to ask you about it as well.
22. I want you to show someone who you do not particularly care for, love.
23. Even if its someone you work with and you have anger in your heart for them.
24. Im asking for you to show them love, doesn’t have to be some crazy thing.
25. But I want you to share the love of Christ to them, and I want you to come back here next week and let me know.
26. We have a responsibility to share Christ’s love.
27. We understand how wonderful forgiveness is right?
28. Lets show forgiveness to others by loving on someone. Anyone.
29. And you cant just skip Sunday school next week.
30. You have to help me out here. We need to keep each other accountable.
31. Learn to take exhortation.
32. Who knows what exhortation means?
33. Exhortation is when you encourage someone to do something good, something that demonstrates love.
34. Lets help each other and lets keep each other accountable.
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