Summary: We can learn some things from the story of Jonah. We don’t have to go through the experience of being swallowed by a whale. But we’re going to have to lose some of the "gourds" in our lives. What is a gourd? It’s anything we value more than our Lord.

Have You Totally Lost Your Gourd?

Sunday a.m., April 6, 2003

Jonah 4:1-11

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. 7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. 8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?


We all know the story about Jonah and the whale. God called Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh. Jonah didn’t want to go so he took a ship and went off in the opposite direction of Nineveh. A storm came up and threatened to sink the ship. Jonah knew it was God. He confessed to the sailors on board. They threw Jonah overboard, the storm calmed down. Jonah didn’t drown but was swallowed by a whale which later up-chucked Jonah on shore. God told Jonah that he had better head for Nineveh this time and tell the people that the city of Nineveh and all the people would be destroyed unless they repented.


The whole world has been focused on the war in Iraq.

Actually this didn’t start with Saddam Hussein and his regime. It can be traced back several thousands of years to the King of Babylon named Nebuchednezzar. Saddam believes he is the next Nebuchednezzar.

But we can go even beyond Nebuchednezzar and find out that it really began right after the flood in Noah’s time. Noah and his family of eight people were saved. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Ham was a rebel and rebellious nature passed down to a grandson named Nimrod.

The Bible says “Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord”. What that means is that Nimrod was defiant before the Lord. The name “Nimrod” means “let’s revolt” and he lived up to his name. After the flood Nimrod settled on the plains of Shinar, today we know that same area as Iraq.

Nimrod led his people away from the Lord and to gods of their own making. He united the people into building the Tower of Babel which they believed was going to reach heaven.

The goal of Nimrod was a one-world system, one-blood line, one language and one great world kingdom with him king. If that sounds familiar it’s because it was the same goal of the Devil from the time he was cast out of Heaven.

God confused the language of the people so they couldn’t understand each other. Building the Tower was put on hold while the people went separate ways into the world.

But that same spirit of Nimrod lingers in the area of Babylon to this day and I believe that is what motivates Saddam Hussein.


1. Jonah ended up in Nineveh where he preached to the people.

2. He told them that if they didn’t repent, God was going to destroy them in 40 days.

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