Skip to content

JONAH SERIES: ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

September 5, 2014

CHAPTER 4
Let me start this blog with a review of the first three chapters of Jonah. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach a judgment message to the Ninevites. Jonah rebelled and got on a ship going to Tarshish. When a relentless storm arose, it was determined that Jonah was the cause and he was thrown overboard. Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish and remained in the fish for three days at which time he repented and asked God to be merciful to him. God answered Jonah’s request and he had a second chance to complete his assignment. The city of Nineveh responded positively to the judgment message and they repented; which caused God not to destroy them.

Now to chapter 4 which is a revealing and disturbing chapter on discrimination. This chapter reveals the reason Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh and it shows the depth of anger, and discrimination that a believer can have toward others.

Jonah 4:1-3 states, “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.”

First and foremost Jonah who just survived a near death experience by the mercy of God is angry because God shows mercy to the Ninevites. His attitude reveals a flaw: he does not love his enemies and neither does he want God to love and care for them. He fails to realize that even though they were an enemy to Israel God still loved them and desired to save them. God’s love goes beyond a nation; He loves all the people in the world.

He also gives the reason he fled to Tarshish: he did not want to be the messenger who caused the Ninevites to turn to God. He wanted God to punish them, not save them. Jonah wanted to be in control of the fate of Nineveh and it would not be good. Apparently he wanted his words to come true or possibly he could have felt if his judgment message did not happen people would think he was a false prophet which would bruise his pride.

Finally, his anger fueled by hatred and animosity to the Ninevites was so great he rather die than see God’s love and mercy be extended to them. Are we like Jonah? Are their individuals that we want God to destroy because they’ve hurt us or someone we loved, and are we wanting to die because our enemies appear to be prospering instead of declining? God’s answer to Jonah for his attitude and thoughts was, “What right have you to be angry?”

Jonah leaves the city and sets up camp outside of it to watch what God was going to do. What Jonah really wanted to see was the calamity of the Ninevites. Jonah failed to realize his opposition to God’s plan was aligning him with Satan. Jonah sadly preferred annihilation than redemption. He was blinded with anger and discrimination. These were not his people and besides in the past they bought destruction and mayhem to Israel. His hatred was so great it did not allow him to celebrate the success of his ministry; for his ministry saved the lives of more than sixty thousand Ninevites.

A series of events now occurs to magnify Jonah’s resentful attitude. At first God allows a gourd to grow and protect Jonah from the blazing sun which made Jonah happy. Then He allows a worm to attack the gourd and it withered. Next he sends wind and sun to beat down on the head of Jonah which causes him to be faint and desire to die. Hence, Jonah’s states, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

God notes Jonah’s sympathy for the gourd and he questions him saying, “Jonah, doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?” And he said, “I do well to be angry, even unto death.” In this chapter we see that Jonah had an anger management problem. His anger kept producing a death wish. Jonah needed a reality check. His wrong attitude opened the door to anger and anger is attempting to lead him to destruction. Satan was at work in Jonah’s life stealing his joy, killing his desire to live and attempting to destroy his ministry. This man of God was out of order, and the chapter ends not with praise from God for an assignment well done, but a rebuke for having more compassion for a thing rather than people.

This last chapter reveals my theme for the book of Jonah: a need for an attitude adjustment. Jonah, who possessed a wrong attitude, was given a mission for which he rebelled. He then repentant for his rebellion but went on the mission with the wrong attitude. I believe God is calling all believers to examine their attitude toward witnessing and ministry. The question, “Is your heart in your ministry or do you do it with regret?” For ministry to be rewarding it must also come from the heart. Compassion for souls must be reflected in our attitude; for doing things for God begrudgingly is not worth doing. This then is a prayer issue that God can help us to resolve if we admit our attitude is not pleasing to him and request Him to help us make an attitude adjustment.

Finally, this study on the life of Jonah allowed me to do a personal examination and to check my attitude. I pray that it has also helped you to do the same.

Advertisements

From → JONAH SERIES

5 Comments
  1. Your style is unique in comparison to other people
    I’ve read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark
    this site.

  2. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community
    in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable
    information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  3. Great information. Lucky me I ran across your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book marked it for later!

  4. It’s an remarkable piece of writing in favor of all the online people;
    they will obtain benefit from it I am sure.

  5. Thanks Evg. I just read this book this week. I was also lead to analyze it. Also to spiritually discern what really was going on here. Although I know the book and have read it many times. Your breakdown helps me understand even more. As this theme has been down in my spirit. That it is not really a whole lot about us in ministry. As we would tend to do ministry sometimes even unintentionally that way. We can hurt others and ourselves and ministries by selfishness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: