An exposition of Jonah 4:1-11. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, April 11, 2010.
It is just so “out of place.” It makes no sense. It should have been a time of great rejoicing. It should have been a time for declaring the goodness and the grace of God. Instead, God’s prophet was angry. More disturbing was why he was angry. He was angry because God was acting like God and that’s not what the preacher wanted. He was called from Galilee to preach God’s message but he was unhappy with the assignment. So, he ran away. But you can’t run from God so he didn’t get very far. God’s severe mercy brought the wayward prophet to repentance. In kindness and grace God commissioned him again. He gave his rebellious prophet a second chance. Jonah went and preached God’s message. A great revival broke out. It touched everyone from the stable to the palace. From the least to the greatest. That’s were we pick up the story in Jonah chapter 4.
Text: Jonah 4:1-11
I want to give Jonah the benefit of the doubt.
Three days and nights in the belly of a fish is bound to warp you a bit.
But this is incredible.
I’ve said the book is in 4 parts.
Rebellion – 1
Repentance – 2
Revival – 3
Regret – 4
The whole story of Jonah is the story of God’s mercy.
First God’s mercy on Jonah in calling him in the first place.
In love and kindness God called Jonah, equipped Jonah, revealed himself to Jonah and then commissioned him to go to Nineveh.
Jonah rebelled – went to Joppa, paid the fare and boarded a ship bound for Tarshish.
In mercy God brought a great storm on the sea.
In mercy God revealed to all aboard that Jonah was the problem.
But rather than repent Jonah wanted to die – “Throw me overboard.”
In mercy God appointed a fish.
In the belly of the fish – Jonah “came to himself” and found God as Savior.
God’s mercy was demonstrated again when He called Jonah a second time.
Giving him the same commission.
And again when he used Jonah to bring a great revival.
God’s mercy was shown to the sailors who first called out “to their gods.”
But later, following God’s revelation worshiped the true God.
God’s mercy was shown to Nineveh in His relenting of the disaster He promised and granting them revival.
Certainly all of this is cause for much rejoicing but Jonah is mad. He is angry with God. Let’s explore this chapter.
- A Shocking Revelation – 4:1-3
- Some Familiar and Uncomfortable Reasons – 4:1-3
- Three Probing and Disturbing Questions – 4:4-11
The book ends with a question.
There is no answer – why?
Because we all must answer it for ourselves.
The book of Jonah is about mercy.
If we have tasted of that mercy are we not obligated to take that message to our world?
If we have the mind and heart of God are we not to be merciful?