Summary: A sermon on anger based on Jonah 4:4

Notes for Jonah 4

Sermon for 7/20/2003


In a biography of the life of Mikey Mantle there is a story told about a hunting trip that Mikey and Billy Martin took together in the off season in the early sixties. Mikey Mantle was known as much for his excesses as he was for his home run power. Mikey hit hard, played hard, drank hard and when Mikey got angry, it was said that he burned hotter than most anyone and was capable of anything during his fits of anger. On this particular hunting trip the” Mick” and Billy Martin traveled to upstate New York to hunt deer on the farm of a friend of Mikey’s. Upon arriving at his friend’s farm, Mikey left the truck to notify the friend that they would be hunting on his farm that day. The friend agreed but asked Mikey to do a favor for him. The friend had an old mule that was very sick and the friend wanted to put the poor animal out of his misery but didn’t have the heart to do it so he asked Mikey if he would stop at the barn down the road and “put him down” for him. Mikey agreed but thought he would play a practical joke on Billie Martin as well as doing a favor for a friend. Mikey stormed out of the house, jumped in the truck, hurled a few expletives at the man and told Billie that the man had refused to let them hunt. As they drove past the barn, Mikey stated, “I’ll show him. I’m going to go in that barn and shoot his favorite mule; you can’t do this to Mikey Mantle and Billie Martin.” He threw the truck into reverse and skidded to a stop in the barn yard road. Mikey strutted into the barn, leveled his gun at the mule and “blam”, shoots the animal dead. As Mikey is checking to make sure the mule is dead, he hears two gun shots from the barn yard. He ran out to find Billie Martin outside the truck with his rifle against his shoulder. Mikey asked, “Martin, What are you doing?” Martin yelled back, “We’ll show that so-and-so, I just shot two of his cows.”

One might wonder how Martin could get caught up in a practical joke to that degree. But, apparently he had seen Mikey do some things in anger and thought that he was capable of getting angry enough and losing control enough to shoot a friend’s mule dead.

Have you ever shot any mules? Are you capable of shooting mules? Have others seen a side of you that would lead them to believe that you are capable of such fits of anger?


A. In our text today Jonah displays anger. He doesn’t go off and shoot any mules or cows but he does throw a fit and says that he wants to die. Like a three year old who doesn’t get there way.

B. Everyone gets angry. It is an emotion that is necessary and built into the human race.

C. Why? Why do we need anger? Anger is an emotion in response to a real or perceived injustice or wrong doing. Anger focuses our attention and moves us to a state of alertness or preparedness.

D. Our heart rate goes us, adrenaline enters the blood stream. Our sense of justice has been violated and we feel like we must respond.

E. We must respond. If we do not anger often causes ulcers, high blood pressure, impatience, critical spirits and even depression. If we respond in a fit of rage, we might end up in the jail.

F. (Eph 4:26 NIV) "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

G. This is the problem. Most times anger leads to sin.

Thesis: When we have anger in our lives we need to ask ourselves the question, “Do I have a good (Biblical) reason (NASB) to be angry?” Vs. 4

For instances:

1. Yes!

A. Reasons that are correct for anger

2. Moses was hot with anger after Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. Pharaoh had promised that if Moses prayed to stop the plagues then he would let the people go. After the plagues were gone, Pharaoh would not let the people go. Pharaoh deliberately broke his promises. He lied.

3. Nehemiah made a covenant with the people of Jerusalem and with God that they would rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. They all signed a document stating what they would do. While they were working on the wall, the bills pilled up and so many of the rich were foreclosing on the poor people. Even though they had all signed the covenant, while they all were working, the rich were taking advantage of the poor. Nehemiah reminds these nobles, the rich that this is not right and so they stop. Nehemiah is very upset about this.

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