Ninevah Repents, Jonah Resents

By Pastor Dan Williams, July 26, 2020

MAIN MESSAGE: Our Lord is a God of boundless compassion not just for insiders like “us” but also for outsiders like “them”.

MAIN STORY: A subversive story about a rebellious prophet who despises his God for loving his enemies.

BIG IDEA: (3:3-4:11) Is something under the surface getting in the way of you expressing God’s compassionate forgiveness to the people you despise?

Jonah 1:17–2:10 (NLT) 10 Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.

God shows His boundless compassion to wicked “outsiders” when they repent.

3:10 When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

  • No matter what you’ve done (or loved one),
    • no one is outside or beyond God’s patient compassion and merciful forgiveness.
    • nobody can out-sin God’s boundless compassion and grace.
  1. Jonah is by God’s mercy toward his enemies.

Jonah 4:1–4 (NLT) This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. 2 So 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! 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. 3 Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”

4 The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”

  1. God arranges Jonah’s discomfort to expose what is his behavior.

6 And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, … 7 But God also arranged for a worm! 8 And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah.

  • anger. God exposes Jonah’s heart and what do we see?

9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?” “Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”

  • . Jonah loved his own shade plant more than lost people.

10 Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, ... 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals.

  • : “As long as I’m living in the “shade”, I’m content with my enemies facing judgement & death.

  • : “You care more for your own personal comfort, I care more for people living in spiritual darkness.”

  1. God poses one final question to Jonah ( and to ) :

“11b...Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

Let’s ask ourselves this question:

  • Shouldn’t I let God use me to extend his compassion to my enemies?

    • What idols might be in your way ?

    • What self righteousness might be driving your behavior?

      • “I’m right , they’re wrong.”
      • “I’m the victim here!”
      • “I’m favored, they’re not!”
      • “I deserve it, they don’t.”