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Jonah 4:9-11

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lessons that Jonah Needed to Learn

Jonah 4:9-11

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Lesson Number 10

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God is more concerned about people than plants.
  2. God is more concerned about compassion than condemnation.

Practical Application

  1. Let God have the last word.

Questions

  1. How does the Book of Jonah end?
  2. How does Jonah answer God’s last question?
  3. Jonah wrote this book as a rebuke to Israel. Explain.
  4. As a prophet, did Jonah become increasingly popular in his old age?
  5. Did Jonah continue to be the proud, selfish, narrow-minded and short-sighted prophet who had fled to Tarshish?
  6. How did the Lord deal with Jonah in these last verse?

Answers

  1. Abruptly, with a question from God to Jonah.
  2. Probably with a “Yes, Lord, it is right that you should pity Nineveh.”
  3. Israel was not the light to the Gentiles that she was supposed to be.
  4. Not likely, because his book was a rebuke to the nation of Israel. Earlier, he had prophesied prosperity, which had come true.
  5. No. Now he was willing to speak out against Israel. Jonah had changed and had come to appreciate the breadth of God’s mercy.
  6. God in His grace reasons with Jonah. He points out that Jonah is more concerned with the plant than with the perishing people.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Jonah was more concerned with a plant than with perishing people. God is more concerned with people, and He wants His servants show this same concern. Do you cry and pout when the Lord chooses to take away some of your comforts? Do you cry for the lost people around you?
  2. Read Ezekiel 33:11 and 2 Peter 3:9. God is more concerned about compassion than condemnation. Jonah reversed this concern, and had to learn this lesson as God graciously disciplined him. Have you learned this lesson? Is there a Nineveh that God wants you to go to? Do you have a heart of compassion for the lost?

Challenge

  1. Jonah finally let God have the last word. He no longer questioned God’s ways. Have you come to the place where you are no longer questioning God’s ways? Does God have the last word in your life?

Key Verses

  • “God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’” “Yes, even to death.” Jonah 4:9
  • “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. Should I not pity Nineveh, that great city?” Jonah 4:10-11

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