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Anger

Jonah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Lord shows compassion in Jonah's anger. The Lord shows compassion in our anger.

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Recap:

Talk about Jonah chapters 1-3.

Anger: Righteous and Unrighteous

What is anger? Anger is the emotion you feel when your expectation of justice is not met.
Anger to me is when my children do not follow the instructions I gave them before I* left the house, or when they don’t demonstrate the respect I feel should have been afforded to me as a parent. For some of you anger maybe a time when a parent punished one of your siblings different than they punished you for the same mistake. You may have anger towards a teacher that gave you a bad grade on a test that you thought you did not deserve. You may have anger towards a classmate that did or said something against you. There are many different things that make us angry each day but Anger fuels almost everything ugly, from cursing, to envy, to vengeance, to isolation, to lashing out at loved ones, to absolute hatred.
Anger is powerful, and at some point it grabs each of us in its clutches. But here is the deal with anger, not all anger is bad.
There are two types of anger, righteous and unrighteous.
Righteous anger: is anger without sin.
Righteous anger: can be a good emotion when it turns into an action of faith.
Have the youth give examples of righteous anger.....
Jesus gives us a great example of righteous anger in:
Matthew 21:12–13 ESV
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
Matthew 21:12-13
Unrighteous anger: is anger that leads to actions of sin.
Unrighteous anger: is dangerous, it feeds our expectations of justice, rather than God’s expectations of grace.
Even righteous anger can lead to unrighteous anger when its not controlled.
In other words, we maybe right in our anger, but does our actions make our righteous anger unrighteous?
In the story of Jonah we see Jonah’s righteous anger turn into unrighteous anger by his actions. Jonah was righteous in being angry at what the Ninevites were doing but he was unrighteous in his actions. He disobeyed God, He ran from God, and he had no compassion for God’s people.
So tonight we are going to see through the last part of Jonah how righteous can anger can turn into unrighteous anger when we are not in tune with God’s plan.
Read:

Unrighteous anger can make you think life with God is not worth living. (4:1-4)

Now this greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry.”
Maybe you can imagine what this feels like. How many times have you been in a situation where your parents, coaches, teachers, brothers or sisters, friends, and youth pastors have told you what to do, and because you did not like their answer you threw a royal fit. If Jonah could, he would be stomping his feet and banging his fist , and maybe he did, he was throwing a royal fit because he did not get his way. Look at what he said next:
“ He prayed ( a conversation) to the Lord and said, is this not what “I” said while “I” was still in my own land? This is the reason that I fled before to Tarshish, because “I” knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in faithfulness, and ready to relent from punishment.”
Demonstration of Jonah: “I just knew it, I told him he would do this! Does He not see what I see in these people, they are evil and they will never repent.” You have got to grow a back a back bone God, your to gracious, to merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in your faithfulness. Stop letting these people run over you, just destroy them, they deserve it!!
Now in verse 3 we see Jonah do something that a lot of us do when things don't go our way.
Look at what he says:
“Therefore Lord, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
Jonah is basically throwing himself a pity party, “just take my life from.” there is no reason to live if your not going to listen to me Lord.
Here is a modern day example of what this looks like. Have a youth give you an order. Throw a fit, stomp, pump your fist, and storm out the door. Then walk in flop on the floor and say, “just take my life now!!”
Not only is this what Jonah does in this story, this is what we do many times. Instead of being like Christ showing grace, mercy, faithfulness, and relenting, we would rather get our way and make things worse on ourselves by disobeying what God has called us to do.
We start acting like Jonah and think life is not worth living.
Then is verse 4 the Lord speaks and ask Jonah a question? A type of question a father would ask his child once they got done with their temper tantrum.
“Then the Lord said, Is it right for you to be angry”?
Unrighteous anger can make you think life is not worth living.

Unrighteous anger can make you hope for the judgement of God on others that you would not want for yourself. (4:5-8)

“ So Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city and made himself a booth there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would happen to the city.”
So Jonah leaves the city and builds a shelter of branches to make a shady spot as he hopes for life to go differently. Seemingly, he has made himself a front-row with peanuts, nachos, and cool-aid while he waits for God to change His mind again and rain down fire on Nineveh.
It’s kind of like when you tell on your brothers or sisters or even each other to an adult. Your sitting under your shade tree with your popcorn waiting for the hammer to come down, just so you can say “I told you so,” or can have something to talk about.
Here's a good example for you:
So and so has said or done something wrong to one of your friends, and you know as a Christian you should go to that person with grace, an abundant amount of faithfulness, being slow to anger and not judgmental; but because your anger has become unrighteous anger you sit under your own shade tree “movie theater” ready and waiting for the blow up that is about to happen.
This is exactly what Jonah was doing. He was hoping and waiting that the Ninevites got what they deserved in his eyes. His unrighteous anger allowed him to hope for judgement from God that he would not want for himself.
Then the Lord did something, something that made since to Jonah but then did not make since to him.
hHere’s a good example for you: plant, and it grew up over Jonah to provide shade over his head, to provide comfort from his grief. And Jonah was very happy.”
“ Then the Lord appointed a plant, and it grew up over Jonah to provide shade over his head, to provide comfort from his grief. And Jonah was very happy.”
Of course Jonah was happy, the Lord provided him comfort. Remember what we said happiness was:
Happiness is only good when situations go your way. Things went Jonah’ way here, he was comforted by the Lord, He provided a tree for shade and comfort for his grief.
But what happens when the Lord takes away?
Jonah finds out real quick.
“But at dawn the next day, God appointed a worm to attack the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah so that he became faint and asked that he might die. He said, it is better for me to die than to live.”
Pity party time for Jonah again. The Lord just gave him some comfort, but now that things get a little uncomfortable again, he’s ready to die.
That sounds just like us. We are so ready to give up when we get a little uncomfortable. We throw ourselves a pity party like Jonah and allow our unrighteous anger to cloud the judgment we deserve.
In other words: We only see the judgement of others, when we should be looking for the judgement that we deserve.
Our unrighteous anger can make us hope for the judgement of God on others that you would not want for yourself.

Unrighteous anger can make you miss opportunities to be merciful the way God is merciful. (4:9-11)

“Then God said to Jonah, Is it right for you to be angry about the plant? And Jonah replied It is right for me to be angry, even to death.” (bold statement arguing with God) The Lord said, you are troubled about the plant for which you did not labor and did not grow. It came up in a night and perished in a night. Should I not, therefore, be concerned about Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred thousand people, who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?
How can you be mad at a plant dying, when you are willing to allow women, and children dying.
He is basically saying NO!!! God don’t the plant away because that affects ME!! You can kill the Ninevites that don’t affect me.
by the Lord
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