Summary: Jonah knew God’s grace, but he didn’t want God to be merciful. Jonah complains in anger, but God responds with another lesson in grace.

Jonah 4:1 (NLT)

This change of plans upset Jonah, and he became very angry.

Unrighteous Anger

• Jonah did not want to see the Gentiles spared

– He did not want to share God’s message

– The Israelites were God’s people, there was no room for anyone else

• Jonah had forsaken God’s call for His people

– To be a blessing to the nations

Genesis 22:18

Genesis 22:18 (NLT)

And through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me."

Jonah 4:2 (NLT)

So he complained to the Lord about it: "Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. I knew how easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people.

The Consistency of God’s Nature

• Jonah knew that God was merciful

– He had experienced it first hand

– God had already declared His willingness to extend grace

Jeremiah 18:7-8

Jeremiah 18:7-8 (NLT)

If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, [8] but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned.

The Consistency of God’s Nature

• Jonah knew that God was merciful

– He had experienced it first hand

– God had already declared His willingness to extend grace

Jeremiah 18:7-8

• Jonah wanted Nineveh destroyed

– Pride

– Prejudice

• God is always true to His nature

– His grace is available to all

Jonah 4:3

Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive because nothing I predicted is going to happen."

Better Off Dead

• Jonah quickly forgot the lessons learned in the belly of the fish

– Jonah was happy that he was saved

– The people of Nineveh weren’t worth saving

• Jonah was worried about his reputation

– His prophecy would not be coming true

• Nineveh would be spared

• God’s forgiveness is available to all who repent and believe

Romans 10:13

1 John 1:9

Romans 10:13 (NLT)

For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

1 John 1:9 (NLT)

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.

Jonah 4:4 (NLT)

The Lord replied, "Is it right for you to be angry about this?"

An Examination of the Heart

• God’s question revealed the condition of Jonah’s heart

– Jonah was focused on himself

– Jonah had no compassion on the people of Nineveh

• The battle of a vindictive spirit

– We want to see people pay for their wrongs

– We discredit God’s ability to transform a life

Jonah 4:5 (NLT)

Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see if anything would happen to the city.

Make ‘Em Pay

• Jonah wanted to see Nineveh destroyed

– Made himself a comfortable observation point

– He did not rejoice in God’s grace, nor did he intercede for the people of Nineveh

• Jonah was not ready to deal with the condition of his own heart.

Jonah 4:6 (NLT)

And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased some of his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.

Love on Display

• God provided for Jonah

– In spite of Jonah’s anger

– In spite of Jonah’s hard heart

• God loves you in spite of yourself

– He provides gentle reminders

Jonah 4:7-8 (NLT)

But God also prepared a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant, so that it soon died and withered away. [8] And as the sun grew hot, God sent a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. "Death is certainly better than this!" he exclaimed.

An Object Lesson

• Jonah became angry

– Things didn’t go his way

– His comfort was being compromised

• Jonah cared more for his comfort than the well being of the people of Nineveh

• What upsets you?

– The death of a pet

– The loss of something of value

– What about the spiritual desolation of a friend?

Jonah 4:9 (NLT)

Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?"

"Yes," Jonah retorted, "even angry enough to die!"

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