Summary: A study of chapter 4 verses 1 through 11
Jonah 4: 1 – 11
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”4 Then the LORD said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. 7 But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. 8 And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” 9 Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "It is right for me to be angry, even to death!" 10 But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
Why is God’s servant angry? Look again at verse 1, 1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. You might be agreeing with a lot of teacher’s which say, ‘Hey Jonah, God just used you to get thousands upon thousands ‘Saved’. Oh yeah? Let me ask you a personal question, and I do not want to be mean about it. How many people have you led to the Lord. Do you share the ‘Good News’ every day or as often as you can? If you are a minister do you share the ‘Salvation’ message at every opportunity especially each week from the pulpit?. You know what I am going to say, ‘this isn’t happening’.
If you are faithful in zealously preaching the Good News of our Precious Lord’s Forgiveness and Eternal Salvation, you will be both emotionally and physically affected. There is an enormous amount of God’s children who do not share their Christianity. I call them ‘Undercover Christians’. They expect everyone else to do God’s work. They keep their Christianity under wraps. They want to fit in with society. They want to be ‘cool’ and be liked by the world. Shame on you if this fits you. If you are a servant of the Lord in full time paid positions and you are not fulfilling the Great Commission by our Master and Lord Jesus Christ, get out of the ministry and go do something else.
I remember a few years ago going to California for a conference. I took along with me a few guys to show them other fruitful or you might describe ‘successful’ ministries. On a Sunday we had planned to go visit a church which is very similar to ours. We had about an hour to kill before the service. This church that we were visiting has a coffee house located on its property so we decided to hang out there. After we got our coffees we sat down together. This nicely arranged coffee club was showing a recent outdoor Christian concert. We were watching thousands and thousands of young people singing and worshiping as the bands led them. Tears were flowing. Hands were being raised in praise toward Heaven. Lips were moving silent prayers to Almighty God. The longer I watched the angrier I became.
Here were thousands of Christians coming together, why? For self fulfillment is my answer. Our Lord used 12 stinky fishermen to change the world. Here were thousands of believers and what do you think would be the outcome of this gathering? They should evangelize all of California and the surrounding states for Christ Jesus our Lord. I would say rather accurately that this entire assembly would make their ways back to their homes and colleges and life would be the same. Do you see my point? Are you getting angry at my description? Maybe I hit a nerve. Perhaps it is time for us to get off our comfortable couches and start doing what our Master requires of us.