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Summary: Jonah is mad becxause God spared Nineveh

“Jonah: The Pouting Prophet”

Jonah 4:1-11

David P. Nolte

A man of petulant disposition demanded two eggs for breakfast one morning. His wife meekly asked, “How would you like them cooked?” He testily replied, “Fry one sunny-side-up and scramble the other!” In due time the eggs were prepared and presented to “his majesty.” As he glowered at the plate, his wife asked what was wrong. He snarled, “You messed up as usual. You scrambled the wrong egg!” Some people will pout and sulk at the least provocation. Jonah, after an eminently successful evangelism crusade in Nineveh, became the Pouting Prophet. Why did he do that? God had been so gracious to him; and to Nineveh; the sun should have been shining in his life and instead he was in the shadow of a sulk.

The repentant king of Nineveh said, in chapter 3, “‘Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.’ When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.” Jonah 3:9-10 (NASB).

“But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD and said, ‘Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. ‘Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.’ The LORD said, ‘Do you have good reason to be angry?’ Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant. But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, ‘Death is better to me than life.’ Then God said to Jonah, ‘Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?’ And he said, ‘I have good reason to be angry, even to death.’ Then the LORD said, ‘You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. ‘Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?’” Jonah 4:1-11 (NASB).

Consider the Pouting Prophet:

I. HE POUTED BECAUSE NINEVEH WAS SAVED:

A. Though his preaching seemed to be more a pronouncement of doom than an offer of salvation, the Ninevites got saved! The city repented. They turned from their wicked and sinful ways.

B. Imagine any city getting right with God because you hollered at them that in 40 days they would be destroyed! “You’re gonna be destroyed! “You’re gonna be destroyed! You’re gonna be destroyed! Nyaah, Nyaah, Nyaah, Nyaah, Nyaah, Nyaah!” But they repented and were saved! If America would likewise repent:

1. Can you see taverns shutting down; porno shops being converted to art stores; drugs no longer being sold by slinky stinkers?

2. Can you see all the cults being deserted like the sinking ships they are?

3. Can you see that? And if it happened, how would you react? Betcha you wouldn’t pout or sulk!

C. Jonah did! Jonah was indignant! “‘Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. ‘Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”

1. “Now look what You’ve done! You forgave them! I told You this would happen! Now I’m mad enough to die!”

2. He preferred death for himself rather than life for his enemies!

3. How unlike God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son!

4. How unlike Jesus who willingly gave His life to save sinners.

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