Jonah Pouts. - Jonah 4.
November 28, 2022, 9:00 AM

Jonah Pouts

Jonah 4:1,2

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”

We are grieved to see the peace plans of Israel and Palestine go up in smoke when two nations and faiths hate each other and inflict all matters of injustices upon one another. Many of our national leaders have sought to broker cooperation with these nations without success. Prejudice and hatred run deep in the hearts of mankind that can only be changed by the personal faith in Jesus Christ. God’s love for the world almost seems impossible when people groups within and without are filled with hatred.

Anthropologists still condemn what the missionaries did fifty years ago trying to change the beliefs of another people-group, but don’t people see how those belief systems keep people in fear and bondage? Why do young extreme Muslims blow themselves up to kill those around them they consider infidels?

In India there is a sect of Hindus that takes a widow of a man who died and bury her alive with him or burn her along with his body because that religion says he will have her as his companion in the reincarnation experience.

There were extremists among those who called themselves Christians, who fought and killed others during the Reformation.

What right do Christian missionaries have to go to these places and preach how God came to earth in Jesus Christ to show them love and died for their sins so they can accept and believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and personally receive God’s Spirit into their lives and be saved when they repent?

The Ninevites needed to know of this God to save them from destruction for their wickedness. God instructed Jonah to go and warn them out of love, but Jonah was like the rest of the world - filled with his own hatred and prejudice, ran the other way. God had to change his mind in the stomach of the fish and bring repentance into his own life until he obeyed and proclaimed the word of God to them.

Surprisingly the nation did convert and cried out to God for forgiveness. God is not just concerned for the Jews, but for the world. He wants us to declare that love and warning, that outside of faith in Jesus Christ, outside of God’s mercy, we all are lost people. The book of Jonah is a book on missions. Jonah was still prideful. He thought that being a Jew was better than being a pagan, or Ninevite or Gentile or whatever group of people you want to identify.

In this chapter Jonah is found pouting under a broom tree and God uses this time to ask him revealing question. Where do your prejudices arise? How does God feel about the people you shun? What message do they need to hear?

We would do well to listen to His message for our own hearts?