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A Pouting Prophet
Jonah 4:1-3

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Last week we left Jonah right after the city of Nineveh repented and God relented. God used his brief message, (5 Hebrew words) to penetrate the hearts of the people of Nineveh. The people spread the message like wild fire. When the word reached the king, he didn't allow the message to get tied up in governmental red tape. He didn't pass the buck saying, "It is impossible to legislate morality" or defer his leadership position to others. Rather, he issued a proclamation calling the nation to repentance and prayer-he acted more like a prophet than a politician. And the people followed.

What do you expect Jonah's reaction was? Did he join the people of Nineveh in repentance and marinate in God's grace? Certainly, Jonah had some repenting to do. But you say, didn't he repent in the belly of the fish? Hardly. In the belly of the fish, he reminds me more of a politician than a prophet-he said what he had to say to get delivered from his peril, but I do not sense a true heart-felt repentance, do you?

If he'd repented, wouldn't he of had a better attitude and preached with more effort than he did? You'll remember that a few weeks ago, we concluded that God used Jonah because of his obedience-paper thin as at was-Jonah was obedient, and God used him to accomplish His purposes.

How then do you think Jonah responded? Let's return to the text.

"But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry. [2] And he prayed to the Lord and said, "Please Lord, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore, in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that Thou art a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. [3] 'Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.'" (Jonah 4:1-3 NASB)

Does it surprise you that Jonah became angry? Look closely at verse 2, in it Jonah affirms that his loving God is gracious and compassionate-nothing wrong with his understanding of God, is there? But also notice how he misapplies his accurate theology. Jonah says, in essence, he'd rather be dead than witness 

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