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Jonah 4 second draft

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Introduction

Point: God’s heart is merciful and the heart of man evil.
Where does the anger of man come from?
The Easton Bible Dictionary defines anger as:
“the emotion of instant displeasure on account of something evil that presents itself to our view. In itself it is an original susceptibility of our nature, just as love is, and is not necessarily sinful. It may, however, become sinful when causeless, or excessive, or protracted”
Matthew 5:22 ESV
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Here we see an anger that is deserving of judgement. An anger towards a brother that is not justified but sinful.
Ephesians 4:26 ESV
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Here we see an anger that can be without sin so long as it does not continue to the end of the day.
Being angry because of a wrong done for instance is normal.
Colossians 3:8 ESV
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Colossians
Here we see a command to put away anger.

ANGER—the emotion of instant displeasure on account of something evil that presents itself to our view. In itself it is an original susceptibility of our nature, just as love is, and is not necessarily sinful. It may, however, become sinful when causeless, or excessive, or protracted (Matt. 5:22; Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:8). As ascribed to God, it merely denotes his displeasure with sin and with sinners (Ps. 7:11).

An anger that is allowed to brew in a heart will cause one to sin.
We are speaking of human anger. The anger that comes from man.
We are speaking of human anger. The anger that comes from man.
The bible speaks of anger.
We don’t need to look far to see how evil the world is.
Proverbs 29:22 ESV
A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.
Well, we can see anger in someone’
Evil acts come from an evil heart.
The Scriptures warn us to be slow to be angry.
There is anger where it is sin.
The book of Proverbs is right to tell us to keep or guard the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
There is an anger that shouldn’t be due to having no reason to be angry.
We need to guard our hearts because from it one becomes defiled if it is evil.
Porverbs 4:23
Matthew 15:18–19 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
There is an anger that is excessive. Meaning an anger without restraint.
Matthew
It is clear that our hearts, our desires are what brings forth evil.
And there is an anger that should not be long and held on to.
The anger of man does not produce anything good.
James 1:19–20 ESV
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
But what about the heart of God?
It is clear that having a causeless, excessive, or protracted anger is sinful.
There can be an anger that is just.
What comes out from the heart of God since it has no evil and is holy and perfect?
When we speak of what comes out we are talking about what does God do since He is holy, perfect and with no evil and sin.
What does God do since He is who He is? Answer: He gives.
God gives. And He gives not like we give.
God gives because He is a Giver.
We give somehow for something in return. It doesn’t have to be a gift in return. It can be that we give to feel good about giving. Which is still selfish.
Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
But what is at the root of anger?
What is the engine behind causing anger and sin?
At the root of anger is the sinful heart.
Ephesians 4:26–27 ESV
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
It is right to be angry over evil as an example.
It is right to be angry over evil as an example.
When a judge lets an offender go unpunished. It is right to be angry.
When
There are many reasons to be angry in a just way. But if we are honest, we can see within ourselves more anger that is found to be sinful than just.
Being sinfully angry is normal and it is the nature we all wrestle with.
We are hard wired to
Where does this anger come from? It comes from a sinful heart.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Luke 6:45 ESV
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Matthew 15:18 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
Matthew 15:18–19 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Anger comes from the heart.
Out of the heart
And because we have a sinful heart this is where sinful anger comes from.
In our text today we see clearly a sinful heart at work which comes from the prophet of God.
Someone in whom God gives His word to has anger.
And it is an anger that is completely unjustifiable and sin.
But we also see another heart at work.
There is another heart that reveals a love that is amazingly merciful and without sin.
Sinful anger comes from the heart.
And in our passage we are seeing the sinful heart at work.
But there is another heart at work.
This heart that has no sin is doing something that man in themselves cannot do.
Nor can sinful man understand and comprehend it.
While the sinful heart is at work, a holy and sinless heart is seeking to give.
This heart, in our passage today, is revealed to be glorious and the reason salvation is possible.
Even while every person in this book is found to be deserving of wrath.
We are going to look at two hearts today.
This heart even overwhelms and works despite the sinful heart of the prophet and the sinful hearts of the evil people.
One has a heart that produces evil.
This heart stand alone perfect, holy and full of compassion.
And the other is producing life and mercy.
3 Points
1: The heart of the prophet exposed (v.1-4)
2: The anger of the prophet addressed (v.5-9)
3: The heart of God (v.10-11)

Background

1: Jonah flees from what the Lord told him to do. Which was to go to Nineveh (1:1-16)

The word of the Lord came to Jonah and told him to go to NinevehNineveh was a pagan cityNever before did God send a prophet specifically to a nation to repent other than the covenant people of IsraelThe prophet was stunned that God would send him thereSo he fled from where God told him to go

2: Jonah’s Prayer (1:17-2:10)

Jonah trying to flee on ship was thrown out into sea and God appointed a great fish to swallow him upGod preserved the prophet in the belly of the great fish for three days and the prophet praysThe great fish vomits the prophet out into dry land

3: Jonah Goes to Nineveh (3:1-10)

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second timeHe arose from where he was and he entered the cityHe told them of what God said and they all repentedThen God relented of the disaster that he said He would do ()This made the prophet angry. Which is our first point.

1: The heart of the prophet exposed (v.1-4)

Jonah 4:1
Jonah 4:1–4 ESV
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 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. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”

a. The prophet was displeased and angry (v.1)

The actual language of the text helps us to understand how deep Jonah’s anger was.
He was so angry that it was actually an irrational anger because he thought, according to the actual language used, he thought God’s actions to be “morally objectionable.”
The prophet being displeased meant that he thought God’s actions to be “morally objectionable.”
Meaning that God’s actions were, to put it softly, unjust and to put it strongly, wrong and evil.
The actual language gives a very strong picture of how angry the prophet was.
Jonah was angry at God showing mercy to a people who needed saved.
Remarkable in that we should pay close attention to it since his anger is caused by what God has done.
Shouldn’t it be taboo to be angry at anything God does? How can anyone be angry with what God does?
Proverbs 18:30
2 Samuel 22:31 ESV
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 18:20 ESV
From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Proverbs 18:20 ESV
From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
How can anyone be angry with what God does?
Proverbs
His way is perfect. Which is why I believe it to be right to call his anger irrational.
Which is why I believe it to be right to call his anger irrational.
Think about it Jonah was displeased exceedingly, he was angry at God showing mercy.
This is why he left the first time God gave him a word to go to Nineveh.

b. The prophet fled to Tarshish because He knew the heart of God (v.2)

Jonah 4:2 ESV
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.
He knew God to be merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
Because He knew God to be merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
He knew God’s heart.
He knew God’s heart. He knew God desired to forgive an evil people.
He knew God desired to forgive an evil people.
He knew God would relent from disaster if genuine repentance was found.
He knew God would relent from disaster if genuine repentance was found.
He knew that God would never turn from someone who genuinely repents from sin.
He knew that God would never turned from someone who genuinely repented from sin.
God never turned from someone who genuinely repented from sin.
There has never been a time ever, where God denied someone mercy who genuinely repented.
The prophet knew this about God as we should today.
God will never turn from someone who repents genuinely. That is why we must preach an authentic gospel.
The gospel is the only way someone can come to saving faith and genuine repentance.
That is why we do not put social in front of the gospel.
That is why we do not put prosperity in front of the gospel.
We simply need to say what God told us to say. That is all that is needed to bring about genuine repentance.
Jonah knew that if he spoke what God told him to say, God would extend mercy to those who come to genuine repentance. This is the heart of God.
This is the heart of God.
The prophet’s prejudice came from his heart in having no desire to see God’s mercy being extended to his enemies.
Anger was so entrenched in his heart, so much that he would rather die than to see this come to pass.

c. The prophet wanted to die (v.3)

Jonah 4:3 ESV
Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
What does this tell you about where the prophet’s heart was?
It tells us that he did not have the same heart God had for a people needing salvation.
There was no joy in the salvation of a people who were lost. But heaven has a different or we can say opposite view from the prophet.
Luke 15:7 ESV
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Luke 17
Can you imagine how heaven rejoiced when a whole city came to repentance and salvation?
But here we see the prophet angry.
How evil is the heart of man!
Remember that he was so angry to the point of wanting to die because God showed mercy to an evil people.
The prophet had a sinful heart and this sinful heart was producing hatred, irrationality and anger towards what God had done.
How does God deal with this?
He asks the prophet a question.

d. The prophet is asked a question from the Lord (v.4)

Jonah 4:4 ESV
And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Giving a question to point out sin is exactly what Jesus does in the New Testament.

2: The heart of the prophet addressed (v.5-9)

In Jesus deals with this very issue.
Luke 15:1–2 ESV
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus responds with questions.
In the parable of the lost sheep Jesus asks,
Luke 15:4 ESV
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?
In the parable of the lost coin Jesus asks,
Luke 15:8 ESV
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
When God asks a question, its not because He doesn’t know the answer, it is because the person being asked does not see the answer.
Jonah continues to be angry with God showing mercy.
And instead of repenting for his anger, he wants to die.
The actual language states the question this way, “Is it right for you to burn with anger?”
God asks the question so that the prophet could recognize how sinful his anger was.
When he should have rejoiced at the salvation God provided, he instead burned with anger.
Meaning, Is it right for you to burn with anger? As the actual language states it.
So, now God begins to reveal something to the prophet that he needed to remember.
Was it right for the prophet to be burning in anger over God showing mercy?
Of course not. But notice that the prophet does not answer the question.
God would address the prophets anger.
What he does is what he did in the first place. He leaves from where God told Him to go.
God asks a question, the prophet leaves and God would now addressed the issue in Jonah’s heart.

2: The anger of the prophet addressed (v.5-9)

Jonah 4:5–9 ESV
Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.”

a. The prophet went out of the city to see what would become it (v.5)

It makes sense to think that Jonah would have been far enough from the city that if disaster would happen it would not have harmed him.
But why would Jonah look to see what would become of the city?
Some pointed to the prophecy given to him where God would destroy the city in 40 days and so he wanted to wait and see if that would happen.
It is possible simply that Jonah just wanted to see what else would happen or maybe he just wanted to see the conclusion.
What we do know for sure is that God relented from what he said he would do because the Ninevites did turn from their evil.
Remember the warning God gave the prophet to proclaim.We don’t exactly know the timeline between the prophet leaving the city and settling to make the booth he made.
Jonah 3:4 ESV
Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
We don’t exactly know the timeline between the prophet leaving the city and settling to make the booth he made.
We don’t exactly know the timeline between the prophet leaving the city and settling to make the booth he made.
Seems likely that he may have wanted to wait for the 40th day to see if God would carry out what he warned since he wanted to see what would become of the city.
Even though God had already relented from bringing disaster to it.
Jonah 3:10 ESV
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
Heaven rejoices at the conversion of one. Here we have a whole city come to repentance. But there is one, the prophet of God, who is not rejoicing. He is angry at God showing mercy. So God would address this in verses 6-8.
What does God do about the prophet’s anger?

b. God appoints a plant, a worm and a scorching wind (v.6-8)

God appoints a plant.
Jonah 4:6 ESV
Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant.
Jonah 4:6 ESV
Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant.
Here God appointed a plant. God sovereignly provided the prophet shade over his head, giving him comfort.
The prophet responded with being exceedingly glad because of the plant.
What is wrong with this reaction?
He wasn’t glad over a whole city coming to repentance but he would be glad to get comfort and shade from a plant that God would provide?
This is the only time Jonah is recorded to be exceedingly glad.
This is the only time Jonah is recorded to be exceedingly glad.
This is exposing where his heart is.
God appoints a worm.
A worm.
Jonah 4:7 ESV
But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.
Here God appointed a worm. God sovereignly removed the plant that He provided the prophet.
How do you think the prophet felt about that?
God would go even further by appointing a scorching wind.
God appoints scorching wind.
Jonah 4:8 ESV
When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
Jonah
Remember the first question God asked.
Jonah 4:4 ESV
And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Jonah 4
This question was due to the prophet’s anger at God showing mercy to the evil people of Nineveh who repented and showed genuine repentance.
Now this question is asked because of God removing the plant that offered shade and comfort to the prophet.
What was God’s point in bringing about provision, removal and suffering?

c. God questions the prophet again (v.9)

Jonah 4:9 ESV
But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.”
Here’s the point.
Notice now how the prophet answers the second question.
He didn’t answer the first because he already knew God to be right in showing compassion.
He knew already that God would.
Was the prophet right to be angry about God showing compassion? No.
This is who He is. God is gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
Really the question is dealing with the prophet being angry at who God is.
Is it right for God not to be gracious?
Is it right for God not to be slow to anger?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), .
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), .
Is it right for God not to be abounding in steadfast love?
Is it right for God to show mercy to whom he desired to show mercy?
Is it right for God to show His wrath to whomever he desired?
Is it right for God not to be God? Of course not!
God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
God’s question is dealing with the prophet’s anger because even though He believes God to be God, He did not want to believe that God could be God for others. Especially enemies.
God is well within His character to provide comfort, removal of comfort and suffering.
Is Jonah right to be angry with God at all? No matter what God does?
No. He was wrong. And his anger was sinful. So much that instead of celebrating salvation, he loathed God’s mercy given to a people who were not His covenant people.
This is how evil the human heart can be.
We can be so evil that we can loathe the mercy of God.
We can easily forget God’s forgiveness towards us.
To not want forgiveness for someone like your enemy is to deny the very character of God! You are not wanting God to be God!
This is what the prophet was blind to.
He did not see the miracle of salvation. And he was angry at God being God.
God is not bound to a tribe. God was never about a tribe or a location.
He was about bringing salvation to all who would repent genuinely. Anyone could by faith!
God’s character has and will never change.
Where does the sinful anger of man come from? It comes from not believing in who God is.
He was always a compassionate God and He was always right in showing His wrath.
This
His wrath is does not come from a sinful human heart.
Anger, when ascribed to God, denotes his displeasure with sin and with sinners.
Psalm 7:11 ESV
God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
It is a amazing that God would anyone love and compassion.
It
The prophet didn’t need to know that God was a God of love. He needed God’s heart for those needing salvation.
The prophet did not have the heart that God had for the lost.
He needed to want to see his enemies come to repentance.
The prophet was within the covenant community of God.
The prophet heard the word of the Lord.
The prophet knew the heart of God.
But the prophet’s sin, which was his prejudiced heart, caused him to be angry with God.
The prophet did not have the heart that God had for the lost.
What the prophet needed was not to have a knowledge of the heart of God.
He needed to have the heart that God had for the lost.
I want to call Jonah the Old Testament Pharisee. Except I believe Jonah to be sav

3: The heart of God (v.10-11)

Jonah 4:10–11 ESV
And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

a. The prophet was glad for the plant but not for the people of Nineveh repenting.

God is showing the prophet that he became exceedingly glad when the plant brought him shade and protection but he became exceedingly angry when God relented and gave mercy to the Ninevites.
God asked in verse 11.
Jonah 4:11 ESV
And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

b. The prophet should have had the heart of God but instead he had an angry and sinful heart that caused him to sin and disobey.

Where does sinful anger come from?
It comes from a sinful heart.
We see two hearts at work here.
The heart of Jonah was angry and doesn’t repent for being sinfully angry at God showing mercy.
The heart of God was compassionate. Without sin and perfect in all His ways.
This heart would reach to the evil people of Nineveh and save.
Without sin and perfect in all His ways.
This is the great lesson of to God’s people and to those who are evil to never forget and reject God.
As God’s people we must remember that thought we can have salvation, we can be blind to how far our hearts are from God’s.
We can easily lose sight of the great grace and mercy with which we received eternal life.
We are not exempt from being lost, not from salvation, but lost in that we are far from having actual compassion for the lost.
For those who are evil, I say repent. If you are here and you have not come to a saving faith in Christ, God will bring judgement upon you.
Because you have sinned and your evil has come up before the Lord.
e
Ephesians 2:1–5 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
The greatest evil that one commits is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord.
God, instead of bringing calamity to the evil people of Nineveh, He brought salvation when genuine repentance was found.
This is who God is.
Should God be God towards the Ninevites?
Should God be God towards the Ninevites?
God’s heart was never bound to a tribe or people group.
Rejection of Jesus is so evil that Jesus said of it in,
Matthew 12:41 ESV
The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
God’s love would be extended to all who would come to saving faith.
How would God do this? What is the greatest example of God bringing provision?
When you come to faith in Jesus Christ, God replaces your heart from a heart of stone to a covenant heart.
It was through the suffering of the Son.
The greatest display of God’s love not only came through the removal of HIs wrath but it was also shown in the suffering and death of His Son who took on the wrath of God.
God would have been right not to show anyone anything.
But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The anger of the prophet came from his sinful heart. His selfish and prejudiced heart.
If it was up to him the Ninevites would have been destroyed.
But mercy came from the heart of God. Who desires that none perish.
God desires to love those who come to saving faith.
Where does the love of God come from? It comes from God who gave His only Son so that He could make a people who were not His people His own.
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