|Jonah 4:1 & 2
students on Thursday who was the most successful preacher according to exact numbers of
those who repented. Various answers, Peter at pentecost (3000); Paul; Elijah (whole nation
of Israel). No, Jonah had 120,000 who repented. Moreover, cattle, sheep and probably dogs
and cats too. Just 5 Hebrew words (Nineveh will be destroyed in 40 days) and such results!
vs 1 - But Jonah's
reaction is not thankfulness but anger.
a) Anger against Ninevites (worst of sinners, city built by Nimrod, idoloters, brutally
b) Anger against God. "I knew you would do a thing like this." vs 2
We discover Jonah's
reason for not wanting to go to Nineveh - he suspected that God might forgive them if
they repented. He didn't want to be associated with that. Out of sync with God. He was not
aligned to God's heart as revealed in vs 2. (sinner, have hope in the Lord, he forgave the
Ninevites and wants to forgive you. Repent like them.)
vs 3 is the second of 3
death wishes. First was 1:12 and third was 4:8. The pouting, sulking prophet. Anything
of him in you?
vs 5 and 6 finds Jonah outside
and watching and waiting. In the wrong way. He isolated himself. didn't want to be a
part of this horrible thing of God forgiving the worst city in the world.
- exceedingly mad and
exceedingly glad - at the wrong things. Verse 1 and 6. This shows his self-centredness
and absolute selfishness.
God's gentle rebuke is brushed off
by Jonah (end of vs 9). Vs 4 "do you do well...?" and vs 9 "do you do
well...?" His still small voice is an opportunity. Listen and heed.
God's heart is revealed in vs 9 - 11.
So different to is God and Jonah's heart. Like the older brother of the Prodigal son.
The city of Nineveh
rejoices with God in His pity and compassion. The only sad, mad and isolated person is the
(Hopefully, he repented
and went into the city. But God has chosed to hide this from us. Some think that Jonah
wrote the book. You provide the answer by repenting today and getting in line with God's
Matt 12:41 Ninevites will rise up and judge this generation because they repented.
But One who is greater than Jonah is here. Jesus is greater: identified with
sinners; died for them and loves them. At Pentecost Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit to
live and empower His people.
2Cor 3:17,18 speaks of us being "transformed".
How? By His Spirit. This is Pentecost Sunday. He poured out His Spirit to change us from
cold, callous Jonah's into Christlike Christians.