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Jonah 4:1-4

Talks for Growing Christians

Jonah is Angry that Nineveh Didn't Receive Judgment

Jonah 4:1-4

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Lesson Number 8

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers may be obedient but not joyful.
  2. Believers may be orthodox but not merciful.

Practical Application

  1. Do you have a good reason to be angry?

Questions

  1. In Jonah chapters three and four, two second chances were given. Who was offered these second chances and why?
  2. What was Jonah’s attitude when he said the words of Jonah 4:2?
  3. What was God’s attitude toward Nineveh?
  4. What was the angels’ attitude toward the great awakening in Nineveh?
  5. Although Jonah came to repentance and was back in fellowship with the Lord, and although he obeyed when he was recommissioned, there was something lacking. What was it?

Answers

  1. In Chapter 3, God gave Jonah a second chance. In chapter 4, Jonah gave God a second chance, hoping that he would still judge Nineveh.
  2. It was not in an attitude of thanks and praise, but of displeasure and anger.
  3. God was long-suffering, not willing that any should perish (see 1 Peter 3:9).
  4. There was joy in the presence of the angels because the Ninevites repented. See Luke 15:10.
  5. Jonah became an obedient prophet, but not a joyful prophet. Why? Because he did not have the mind of the Lord. Jonah’s idea of what God should and should not do, were not in accord with what God was actually doing. Jonah was obedient, but not joyful about it.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Jonah’s ideas and God’s ideas did not line up. Who was wrong? Jonah finally came to the place of obedience, but not joyfully. Jonah was like a pouting child having a temper tantrum because he didn’t like what God was doing. Have you ever been obedient but not joyfully? Remember how God dealt with Jonah. God will deal with His joyless children. If there’s a conflict in your mind right now, settle it with God’s word, and let the joy of your salvation be evident in your life.
  2. Jonah was orthodox in his theology, but he was self-centered. What about your attitude? God loves all sinners. Do you love all sinners? When we step outside our comfort zone, we can know that God has put a Nineveh in our way. What will you do with your Nineveh?

Challenge

  1. “The Lord asked Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’” Jonah 4:4. Is God asking you that question right now? What is your answer?

Key Verses

  • “Jonah was displeased and became angry.” Jonah 4:1
  • “I know that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness.” Jonah 4:2
  • “O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:3

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