Summary: May we act in grace and mercy, try not to be easily angered, act in love, offer forgiveness.


Jonah’s Mom was So Proud

Jonah 4:1-3



Today is the day once a year since 1908 that we traditionally set aside to acknowledge and celebrate those women who are our mothers, grandmothers, and guiding lights in our lives. We appreciate our ‘moms.’ I know that over the past year or even two years many among us have lost our moms and I am sorry that you are going through this day for the first or second time. It is hard. You might feel a little bit like an orphan. May the Lord meet you in your grief and bring you comfort as only He can.

It is Mother’s Day. I normally preach on motherhood on Mother’s Day. For the past couple of weeks, we have been in the Minor Prophets… we have looked at Joel, Amos, and Obadiah so far. I was thinking about mother’s day and the story of Jonah and a funny thought came to mind: “Jonah’s mother must have been SO proud.”

INTRODUCTION… How should I make my mother happy and proud of me? (p) []

You know you can literally find anything on the internet. I was thinking and praying over our message today and had Mother’s Day on the brain and I googled: “How should I make my mother proud of me?” Boom! I found a question and answer site that dealt with this topic. Here are some answers people gave to that particular question:

“Don't live for your mother. Live for yourself.”

“Really all our parents want is for us to grow up and be self-sufficient. Relying and aching for our parents' approval isn't the best demonstration of that. Showing you can be independent and confident and make your own decisions and are happy with your life; that's the proudest thing a parent can see.”

“It is good that you want your mother to be proud of you. This probably motivates you to be the best person you can be. The lessons that she has taught you can serve as guiding principles throughout your life. Those things should make her proud.”

“Your mother should already be proud of you! Moms are naturally proud of their kids. From your first poopy diaper, potty training, graduation from kindergarden, art classes, high school, every achievement you ever achieved, has made your mom proud.”

“Choose healthy friends.”

“A million psychologists have bought yachts precisely because "mommy issues" are common and complicated.”

Jonah’s mother is not mentioned in the Bible, but what I would like to do today is go through the story of Jonah and see the ups and downs Jonah’s mother would have had with him and then I’d like to settle on Jonah 4:1-3 which is very meaningful for mothers and is a passage that more importantly is meaningful for us about God.


Jonah’s story begins with the Word of the Lord coming to him and getting an assignment. His mother must have been so proud that he was a prophet. The assignment Jonah got was not to prophesy to the People of God, but rather to preach a Word of repentance to one of Israel’s enemies. Jonah’s mom was probably even more proud that he got to travel on business because that is exciting!

Jonah does not want to do it. He literally and figuratively goes in the opposite direction than what God commands.

Between verses 2 and 3 of chapter 1 we find Jonah’s fear and anger.

Between verses 2 and 3 of chapter 1 we find a struggle within Jonah that each of us also shares at times.

Between verses 2 and 3 of chapter 1 we find Jonah flat unwilling to do what God tells him to do.

What do we call that? Sin. Disobedience. Wrong doing.

What do we call that? Stubbornness. Willfulness. Selfishness.

Well, so maybe Jonah’s mother is not so proud of him at this particular moment. That is often the way of motherhood… proud moments and not so proud moments… ups and downs. Jonah tries to leave God behind, but God sends a storm on the sea to the boat Jonah is on. The sailors figure out Jonah is the problem.

I wonder what Jonah felt as angry fearful sailors grabbed him.

I wonder what Jonah felt as he was heaved over the side of the boat.

I wonder what Jonah felt as he was falling into the raging storm.

I wonder what Jonah felt as he hit the water.

We are told in the story of Jonah that as soon as he hit the water, the storm died down. The storm was sent by God and the storm was taken away by God. God’s will was that Jonah be tossed over and it was done. God had a bit of a surprise waiting for Jonah in the water in the form of a huge fish. It swallowed him. Jonah became a resident inside the fish. Jonah felt like lunch inside the fish.

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