Rage against Mercy (Jonah #11)

Text: Jonah 4:1-3

God shows mercy to the Ninevites and it infuriates Jonah.  Jonah had it all right.  Things turn out exactly how he thought they would.  He has an “I told you so” moment with the Lord.  His expectation is realized and it makes him very angry.

We’re given insight into what was going on in Jonah’s mind earlier in the book from this prayer.  Jonah explains his rebellion.  Some may say this is Jonah throwing a fit, but there is a little more to it than that.  Jonah understands some things very clearly and it is those things that he understands that make him hopeless.

When God’s mercy is an indictment against what you love

  • Matthew 12:41
  • Jonah was well aware that the mercy of God would be on Israel’s enemies while the wrath of God would rest on his own people.
  • Three different kings in a matter of six months in Israel’s northern states.
  • Salvation is that way.  The death of Jesus Christ on the cross means your sin took his blood to redeem your soul.

When God’s mercy is the solution you aren’t looking for

  • Jonah even says this.
  • Jonah’s preaching in Israel had the effect of reclaiming territory God gave Israel.
  • Illustration of the Lord seeing the multitude hungry, give ye!  Not send them away. Not buy them food.  Give ye!

When God’s mercy presents a responsibility you don’t like

  • Victim mentality
  • My temptation is different. I’m disobedient for good reasons.  No temptation hath taken you but such is common to man.