Summary: Because of Jonah’s rebellion and disobedience to God’s will, Jonah couldn’t see what God was asking him to see. Are you looking for what God wants you to look for or is your vision blurred by selfish disobedience?

(adapted from a message by Stuart Jones)

TEXT: JONAH 4:1-11


OPEN: A. A five-year-old boy was having a difficult time being good. He didn’t want to do anything his

mother asked him to do, he was defiant toward her authority, and he just refused to cooperate with

his Mom in any way.

The mother became extremely frustrated and knew that disciplinary measures had to be taken.

She took the boy’s favorite little chair and sat in the corner of the living room. She placed the boy

in the chair and told him that he was not going to get out of that chair until learned how to behave.

Several times, the boy tried to get out of the chair but his mother would put him back right back

down on the seat of the chair. Finally realizing this tactic wasn’t going to work, the little boy

crossed his arms and sat and stared angrily at the wall in the corner.

His mother began to do some housework but was always where she could watch her son. He

knew she was watching and it made him even angrier. Finally, he blurted out, “I may be sitting

down on the outside but I’m standing up on the inside!”

B. Today, we reach the end of our series of messages called: “Discover Obedience: Jonah – Not Just

Another Big Fish Story”

--quick summary

1. In Chapt. One, God comes to Jonah and gives him the mission of declaring God’s pending

judgment on the city of Nineveh – capital of the Assyrian Empire

a. Even though Jonah has been a prophet of God, he know refuses to do what God wants him to


b. Instead of heading north and east to Nineveh, Jonah heads south and west toward Tarshish

c. Because of Jonah’s disobedience, God sends a fierce storm that frightens seasoned sailors

--They discover Jonah is the problem and after some prodding from Jonah, they throw him


2. In Chapt. Two, Jonah is on his way to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea

--He accurately describes what the bottom of the sea looks like

a. Jonah cries out to God

b. God sends a great fish to swallow Jonah

c. After three days and nights in the belly of the fish, Jonah has thought things over and decides

he’s ready to do what God has asked him to do

d. God has the fish pull up to a beach, and using the first automatic eject system, has the fish

vomit Jonah up onto dry land

3. In Chapt. Three, Jonah preaches in Nineveh and the Ninevites, from the servants to the king,

repent of their ways and God offers His mercy to the people of Nineveh

C. Jonah 4:1-12 – “But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, ‘O

LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to

Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in

love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better

for me to die than to live.’ But the LORD replied, ‘Have you any right to be angry?’

Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its

shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a vine and

made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very

happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so

that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on

Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, ‘It would be better for me to die than

to live.’ But God said to Jonah, ‘Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?’ ‘I do,’ he said. ‘I

am angry enough to die.’ But the LORD said, ‘You have been concerned about this vine, though

you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has

more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left,

and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?’”

D. Jonah is back to his old self

1. Insight into Jonah’s heart and mind

--Jonah 4:1-3 – “But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD,

‘O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee

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