We continue our study as to why Jonah was displeased by the wonderful mercy the Lord showed to the Ninevites.
I. CONSIDER A NUMBER OF REASONS WHY JONAH WAS DISPLEASED
1. A fear of the consequences from Israelites. Israel frequently turned on men of God, Jer 37:11-21, Acts 7:52. Jeremiah opposed the political thinking of the day and endangered his life as a result. Carnal men see only carnal answers to their needs.
2. A misplaced sense of patriotism. Jonah had a love for his land. Note, “my country”, verse 2. Jonah’s ministry would be seen by many as a betrayal of the nation, especially because Israel was in a state of rebellion against God, 2 Kings 14:23-29. It was a time of material and political revival and restoration as prophesied by Jonah. The sparing of Nineveh was not in keeping with carnal Israel’s hopes. It would be seen as contrary to the political interests of Israel.
3. A foolish questioning of providence. Jonah challenged the wisdom of God. That is very common today! It will get even worse! Men refuse the counsel of God’s Word and push forward on the basis of their understanding.
Present policies in Ulster are based upon this form of thinking.
II. GOD’S QUESTION FOR HIM
“Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? Verse 4.” This is a call to reflection, to self-examination of himself and his reaction to Nineveh’s deliverance.
The thinking of Jonah was of the elders in Christ’s day; of the elder brother in the story of the prodigal, Matt 11:9. It was wrong and yet how gently the Lord’s shows that to him.