Disappointed with God

Jonah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Last week, we left Jonah angry with God. If you have your Bibles, turn with me to Jonah 4:1
Jonah 4:1 NIV84
But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.

Disappointed with God

Jonah was disappointed with how God was handling things. Remember, from the beginning, we said that Jonah really wanted God to destroy Nineveh. So when he realized that God had turned from his anger back in 3:10,
Jonah 3:10 NIV84
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
He was angry with God and disappointed to boot. Look at his response to God!
Jonah 4:2–3 NIV84
He prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee 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. Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
This is exactly, what Jonah was afraid of. “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”
This was exactly what Jonah was afraid would happen—Nineveh would repent and God would relent. In fact, that is exactly why Jonah went the opposite direction—to Tarshish.
Now look at God’s response to Jonah.

God’s Response

Jonah 4:4 NIV84
But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”
God asks Jonah if he has any right to be angry. Of course the answer, should be “No!”
I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I’m just like Jonah—I get mad at the way God handle things. And God often asks me the same question. Do I have have any right to be angry with Him.
Jonah knows the answer should be “No,” but he is mad. And there are times when I know the answer is “No” but like Jonah, I’m too am mad at God.

Jonah Goes Out to Pout

Jonah 4:5 NIV84
Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.
Jonah outside the city, and builds a makeshift shelter to shade him from the sun.
He went out there to wait and see what God was going to do. Remember, he really wants God to destroy Nineveh. So why not sit back and see what God is going to do. You see, the problems is that Jonah had the wrong motives.
Jonah is mad at God, because God didn’t work the way Jonah wanted Him to work!
There have been times when I’ve been mad at God and decided to go out and sit and wait to see what would happen next—believing that whatever God does, will not be good!
But even then God still loves me, just like He still loves Jonah.

God’s Love!

Look at verse 6.
Jonah 4:6 NIV84
Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine.
God provided a vine. This vine grew up overnight and provided shade for Jonah.
Even in the midst of my disobedience, or in the midst my 2 year-old like temper tantrum, God still loves and cares for me.
And just like Jonah, I get happy about the provision that God gives me—Jonah was happy about the vine!

God’s Lesson for Jonah

God has a lesson for Jonah to learn. Look at verse 7.
Jonah 4:7–8 NIV84
But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
First God sends worm to kill the vine and make it wither.
Then God sends a scorching east wind.
So now the wind is hot, and the sun is beating down on Jonah. And Jonah is growing faint.
So Jonah tells God he wants to die, and he tells God he would rather die than live!
God asks Jonah another question that He often asks me. Verse 9.
Jonah 4:9 NIV84
But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” “I do,” he said. “I am angry enough to die.”
Do you have a right to be angry? This could be translated “Are you really going to get so angry about a little plant?”
God often asks if I should be so angry about what He does in my life. And Just like Jonah, I often believe I have a right to be angry about the things God does.
I’ve also experienced God asking me if I’m really going to get so mad about something so small and insignificant—something so stupid!
And like Jonah, I answer, “Yes!”
Jonah believed he had the right to be angry, because he believed he had the “right” to make God conform God’s actions to Jonah’s desires.
You see, it turns out that God was being merciful to Jonah, but God does NOT have to be merciful. Look at Romans 9:14-15.
Romans 9:14–15 NIV84
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
Now what I love about this story is that unlike me, Jonah actually gets an explanation from God.
Jonah 4:10–11 NIV84
But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
God explains that Jonah’s priorities are messed up.
Jonah cares more for a little vine that he had nothing to do with making grow, but doesn’t care about the lives of people!
God on the other hand is willing to use a vine to teach Jonah a lesson—the lesson is God loves people! And God actually sent Jonah to Nineveh they would repent!
120,000 people, who did not know right from wrong, believed God and changed the way they lived! And that thrilled God.
God closes His conversation with Jonah with a question, and this question closes the book.
Should I [God] not be concerned about that great city?
So the book ends without a response from Jonah. He is left angry, confused, depressed. Yet, God’s message to Jonah, and God’s message to us. The teachings of this book can be summed up in five simple but profound thoughts:
God is gracious toward ALL people—even those we don’t like.
God is sovereign. He is the supreme ruler with absolute power and control!
God punishes rebellion
God expects obedience—maybe a better way to say it is God “requires” obedience.
God does not accept anyone’s limits of his love and grace—not even His faithful followers.

SO WHAT?

So what about us?
Are we more concerned about the stupid stuff of life than we are about the people around us.
Are you and I really concerned about the people around us who and evil? Because God is concerned about them.
Do you believe you have rights? Rights to get God to do whatever you want Him to do? If so it is time for us to acknowledge that we have no rights when it comes to God—because it is ALL about God!
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