Summary: God had a lesson for Jonah to learn, did he learn it?


• SLIDE #1

• As we left Jonah in chapter 3, we see that Jonah had a successful revival meeting in Nineveh.

• Jonah’s message was preached and the people heard and were convicted that they needed to heed the message to the point of repentance.

• A happy ending to the story right? It is happy for the people of Nineveh, but for Jonah it was a different story.

• Jonah’s worst fears came to pass; the people whom he hated with every fiber of his being were going to be spared from the wrath of God.

• As we see, Jonah was so afraid that God would show mercy on the people of Nineveh that he tried to run from God.

• Do we have people that we do not want to see God remove His wrath from?

• When we refuse to reach out to the lost, we are in a sense saying that we hope that God’s wrath comes down on people.

• Try to put yourself in Jonah’s place as he surveys this incredible response to the word of the Lord. The Ninevites hear the good news wrapped up in the bad news of judgment, and the entire city repents of its evil ways. All the people put on sackcloth, sit in ashes, and fast because they believe God because of Jonah’s message.

• How would you feel if you were, say, leading a Bible study and everyone in the study responded in a mass movement to the good news of the Scriptures and turned their lives over to Christ? Wouldn’t you be excited?

• Jonah is going to learn some things that he seemed to miss somewhere along the path if his life. Jonah is going to receive an education from God Himself.

• As we look at Jonah 4 today, we will see a student who still did not get it.

• Let us look and see what God is trying to teach Jonah.

• SLIDE #2



• God had been trying to get Jonah’s attention and He seemed to get it after the taxi ride. Jonah, fearing for his life seemed to repent and wanted to do what God wanted him to do.

• As we look at the story of Jonah, it is amazing how much God put up with from Jonah.

• SLIDE #3

Jonah 4:1 ( ESV ) 1But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.

• Jonah was ANGRY with God. Jonah did not want to see those terrible people spared.

• As we get to verses four and five, we will see Jonah was REALLY angry.

• I believe that when God called Jonah for Nineveh, it was not just for the benefit of the people of Nineveh but for Jonah also. God wanted Jonah to learn a lesson that he needed.

• How many times does God teach us something when He has us doing things for the kingdom?

• Sometimes we do not learn a lot from God because we do not do a lot for God. We can learn some valuable lessons while serving Jesus.

• SLIDE #4

Jonah 4:2 ( ESV ) 2And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.

• Jonah explains in verse 2 that he did not want to do what God wanted him to do because he knew that God was merciful and Jonah did not want God’s mercy shown on Nineveh.

• What we are going to find out is that Jonah is just as guilty of idolatry as the pagans he said back in chapter 2 verse 8 when he said in prayer: "Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness,"

• Jonah’s idol is Jonah. He is more committed to his own concepts of God and how God should act than he is to God himself. All of his proclamations of love for the Lord and for his nation in his prayer in chapter 2 were like a projection of his love for himself.

• He is still clinging to his prejudice that God is the exclusive possession of Israel; that God is his own personal God. Jonah has developed a theological system in which he has locked God into a box to which he has the key, and he isn’t going to let God out. Jonah’s theology has become an expression of his stubborn will. His hard heart says, "This is what I believe about God, and even God himself isn’t going to change it."

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