Summary: A sermon focusing on the anger of Jonah. Anger is one of the chief emotions that men have to battle.
Jonah 4:1-4 KJV But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.  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.  Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.  Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?
I. THE STORY OF JONAH
-The story of Jonah is one of the most famous of the stories in the Bible. It ranks up with Noah and the Ark, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors, and the Prodigal Son.
-Who can forget the disobedient prophet who specifically goes in the opposite direction that God tells him to? This story has everything in the mix:
• A rebellious prophet running from God.
• Godless and idolatrous sailors.
• Little boats and big storms.
• Big waves and a bigger fish.
• A deep ocean ride lasting three days.
• A prophet’s hell without the fire.
• A sick fish and a humbled prophet.
• A mad preacher and a repentant nation.
• A big revival and a sullen evangelist.
• A hot sun and a shielding gourd plant.
• A worm and wind from God that wilted it all.
-That fish was sort of a school house for Jonah although he didn’t quite learn as much as he should it still became a classroom for him.
-A university of sorts that taught him some things and for most of us, we will attend a Fish University too. There are lessons of faith, virtue, humility, patience, obedience, and courage that we all will have to learn there.
-We may not be swallowed by a literal fish but there will be whales that go by other names to teach us things. Big fish called sorrow, failure, defeat, poverty, trial, and even bereavement. They are all meant for the education and improvement of our soul.
B. The Revival in Nineveh
-Jonah went in preaching a great message of judgment. “If this place doesn’t repent, God is going to destroy it!” The king of Nineveh traded his royal robes for sackcloth and ashes and called for a total fast for the nation.
-God saw their humility and grief over their sin and He spared them. When Jonah sees this, it infuriates him. He really expected God to not give them much of a space to repent and he was anticipating getting to see God wipe them out.
-When God doesn’t meet his expectations, it angers Jonah. So Jonah slips off into the wilderness and starts sulking. He is upset with the goodness of God. He is offended that God responds to the cries of a repentant nation.
-Apparently Jonah did not have a missionary zeal to see the salvation of men. No doubt he thought that good bread was being given to the dogs. The Pharisees were like this too. They objected to the gospel going to the publicans and sinners.
-Even Peter struggled with this. He couldn’t see the Gentiles being saved until God showed him a vision and then used him to save Cornelius.
-Jonah had the elder brother spirit to get on him, he was angry when God saved the citizens of Nineveh.
-This is not the first time in the story of Jonah that we see him all out of sorts.
• We first find him in a state of disobedience and stubborn attitude toward the mission.
• On the ship, he is more senseless than the heathen sailors.
• He is in a state of desperate audacity toward God.
• His desire to be thrown overboard is not a great statement of faith but one of escape.
• Then he is almost reveling in the idea that Nineveh is going to be destroyed.
• Finally he is angry with God.
-Anger and selfishness will narrow a man’s spirit as nothing else will. What a sad thing to be said of Jonah that he was irritable, testy, and had an uncontrolled passion called anger.
II. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE LITTLE
-Can I remind you that life is too short to be little? There is nothing like anger that whittles us down and makes us little men and women.
Horace—Anger is a short madness.
Dean Goulburn—Anger is like the manna that corrupts and breeds worms if kept overnight in the close chambers of the heart. Then it will appear in the morbid shapes of spite, malice, revenge.