Brookwood Church - Love God, Love People



Perry Duggar |

Jonah was part of a great revival, but instead of rejoicing, he resented God and the people who were saved.

Running from God – Message 5
Perry Duggar
February 14, 2021

I.  Introduction: We return again to our survey of Jonah called, Running from God.
  • Jonah 4:1. C/R: Jonah 3:10

A. The title to today’s message is Resentment.
  1. A simple definition of resentment is “anger from a feeling of having been wronged.”
  2. Background: Jonah 3:10 (NLT)—When God saw what they had done [fasted, wore burlap, prayed] and how they had put a stop to their evil ways [repented], He changed His mind and did not carry out the destruction He had threatened.
  3. Theme verse: Jonah 4:1 (NLT)—This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry.
  4. Jonah resented God for showing mercy to the Ninevites, whom he also resented.
  5. Do we feel resentment toward God or anyone else? Do we express it?

II.  Resentment results from… (Jonah 4:1-11)

A. #1 - Disagreement with God. (Jonah 4:1-4. C/R: Daniel 4:35; Romans 9:20; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4) 
  1. Jonah 4:1-2a (NLT)—1 This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. 2aSo he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that You would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! ...”
  2. Jonah was actually trying to justify his disobedience of God’s direction, to himself and to God! (“You caused this!”)
  3. Jonah knew God, His character, and had seen Him operate in many different situations.
  4. Jonah 4:2b (NLT)— I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.
  5. God did what Jonah knew He would do: He showed mercy to these evil Ninevites—and Jonah didn’t like or agree with it; in fact, he felt that God had betrayed him!
  6. These people had overpowered and dominated Israel, committed cruel and violent acts against them, so Jonah wanted God to get even with them, not forgive them!
  7. Jonah arrogantly declared at Jonah 4:3 (NLT)—Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
  8. I don’t think Jonah wanted God to kill him, I think he was so filled with bitterness and resentment that he was trying to manipulate God by saying this shocking statement!
  9. Why was he so angry? Jonah despised and feared the evil, cruel, idolatrous, Ninevites, so he didn’t mind preaching judgment against them (Jonah 1:2; 3:2), but He knew that if
  10. God forgave them, he would be humiliated.
  11. God sent him to this city with a message that He never intended to fulfill! (Daniel 4:35)
  12. Jonah felt betrayed, exploited, taken advantage of by God.
  13. He might even be called a false prophet or a traitor by his Jewish friends.
  14. If Jonah defended himself to his friends, and argued that he had wanted all to these Ninevites destroyed, they would recognize how little control he had over God.
  15. Jonah thought that he should not be used however God wanted to use him, God’s should respect his status as a prominent, prophet. (What do you see? Pride!)
  16. Jonah 4:4 (NLT)—The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”
    God asked Jonah to re-examine his attitude, to discover why he was so angry, and, more importantly, whether that feeling was right.
  17. God often asks us questions—not because He doesn’t know the answers, because He does—but because He wants us to know the answers. (APP.: What is He asking you?)
  18. Jonah did not grasp that what God does is right and we must accommodate ourselves to His will, not try to make Him conform to ours! (Romans 9:20; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4)
  19. Jonah saw Nineveh as a dangerous enemy to destroy, not as desperate people in need of faith and forgiveness, who needed to know the Lord in a saving way.
  20. Jonah resented God because God did not do what Jonah wanted Him to do.
  21. APP.: Is God doing something in your life that you disagree with?

Resentment results from…
B. #2 - Determination to selfishness. (Jonah 4:5-8. C/R: 1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:3-4; 20-21; James 1:7-8)
  1. Jonah 4:5 (NLT)—Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city.
  2. Jonah abandoned his ministry assignment, left the city, made a shelter, then sat down to watch whether his argument with God had worked and God would bring destruction.
  3. Remember, he had told God to kill him if He didn’t do what Jonah had predicted. (v.3)
  4. Jonah could have remained in the city and celebrated with the Ninevites, then taught them about the true God. (1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:20-21)
  5. They would have welcomed his instruction and likely even offered him a place to stay,
    but he despised them, and preferred them destroyed, not forgiven!
  6. Jonah cared about his own will, not God’s; he wanted his plan carried out, not God’s.
  7. He was so selfish, so self-centered, that he cared nothing about the potential suffering of these people, so he sat…and watched…and angrily brooded. (Philippians 2:3-4)
  8. Jonah 4:6 (NLT)—And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant [gourd] to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant. [Hebrew it cheered him up]
  9. God knew Jonah was hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, still angry, in his little shelter, so He provided comfort to his pouting prophet by growing a leafy plant to provide shade.
  10. God tried to use kindness to soften His stubborn prophet’s heart, so he would repent.
  11. This break from the sun and heat improved his mood, but Jonah settled into his selfish stubbornness, still certain that he was right about these people deserving destruction.
  12. When kindness did not soften His surly, stubborn, prophet’s heart (Romans 2:4), God used a different tactic. (James1:7-8)
  13. Jonah 4:7-8 (NLT)—7But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away. 8aAnd as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah.
  14. God removed the shade and sent a hot wind, a sirocco, to cause him to sweat, to make him utterly grimy and miserable as the wind-blown sand stuck to his skin.
  15. God will often begin kindly, gently, to persuade us to repent, to change our thinking; but if we refuse, He is capable of using more uncomfortable, even painful discipline.
  16. Do you think Jonah rethought his attitude and actions?
  17. Jonah 4:8b (NLT)—The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. “Death is certainly better than living like this!” he exclaimed.
  18. Jonah declared he would rather die than change his mind toward God or the Ninevites.
  19. Jonah wanted his will carried out, not God’s; he would rather perish than repent.
  20. APP.: Is selfishness causing you to refuse what you know God wants from you?

Resentment results from…
C. #3 - Disdain for others. (Jonah 4:9-11. C/R: Matthew 5:44; Colossians 3:13; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 4:20-21)
  1. Jonah 4:9 (NLT)—9Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”
    “Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”
  2. Jonah repeatedly threatened death; he essentially devalued his life, his service to God, even his relationship with God, because God did not do what Jonah wanted Him to do.
  3. Jonah 4:10-11a (NLT)—10Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. 11aBut Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness [Hebrew people who don’t know their right hand from their left. Mark10:13-16], not to mention all the animals.
  4. The people who could not “discern between their right hand and their left hand” (4:11) were small children (Deuteronomy 1:39); if there were 120,000 of them in Nineveh and its suburbs, the total population of the area was likely above 600,000.
  5. Jonah 4:11b (NLT)—“Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”
  6. God did not try to convince Jonah that adults in Nineveh, who had engaged in sinful practices, deserved mercy, but certainly the small children and innocent animals did.
  7. Couldn’t a man who cared so much about a mere plant care about children and animals?
  8. Jesus certainly has a special concern for the children (Mark 10:13–16); but whether children or adults, all of the Ninevites all needed to know the Lord. (Matthew 5:44)
  9. Jonah cared more about a gourd that died than people who would perish and live eternally apart from God.
  10. APP.: What trivial concerns prevent us from reaching people who need to know Jesus?
  11. Jonah still had a problem with the will of God.
  12. He obeyed, went to Nineveh to preach, but his heart was not surrendered to the Lord.
  13. Jonah brought an entire city to faith in God, but he didn’t love the people he was preaching to—and certainly wouldn’t forgive them! (1 John 4:20-21; Colossians 3:13)
  14. Jonah thought he knew God—and in many ways he did—but he did not understand God’s compassion for the lost and perishing. (2 Peter 3:9)
  15. John 3:16 (NLT)—“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
  16. Yes, you can have eternal life. It is offered to you today!
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  17. Did Jonah ever change? I think he did. He wrote the book to teach us not to copy him.

Memory verse: 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NLT)—For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.

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