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Lesson: Jonah 3 - 4   Jonahís Anger and Godís Kindness

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Scripture Reading: Jonah 3 - 4.

Golden Text: Jonah 4:11.

15. Who did the people of Nineveh believe? (Jonah 3:5). What did they proclaim and what did they put on?

Note: Nineveh was one of the great cities of the Assyrian Empire and it eventually became the capital of the Assyrian Empire. It is interesting that they believed God. They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth as a sign of humility. Letís not read more into this than it says. They did not turn to God and become God-fearing people. It says that they believed what the prophet of God declared and they were willing to do whatever to abate the anger of Jonahís God.

16. What did the king of Nineveh do? (Jonah 4:6).

Note: Even the king humbled himself and fasted and put on sackcloth.

17. What did the decree that was proclaimed by the king of Nineveh say? (Jonah 3:7).

Note: The reason that the animals were required to go without food and water was because they were considered to be full members of the community. Today people even dress their dogs and cats up. People treat their pets as part of the family. They made their animals fast to prove to Jonahís God how serious they were because every one in the community stood to lose his, her or its life if this God of Jonah didnít change His mind.

18. Who did the men of Nineveh cry mightily to? (Jonah 3:8). What were they to turn away from?

Note: All of the Assyrians were required to humble themselves and change the way they viewed themselves and others. Due to the extension of their power over other people for hundreds of years, the Assyrians perceived themselves to be a superior people and they treated all non-Assyrians with disdain.

19. Were the people of Nineveh concerned about whether God would turn away from His fierce anger? (Jonah 3:9). What were they concerned about?

Note: These carnal people were very sincere. They knew that Jonahís prophecy from God meant that Nineveh would be destroyed. They hoped that they could receive mercy from Jonahís God so that they would not perish..

20. What did God see in their works? (Jonah 3:10). What did God do?

Note: God showed compassion to these Gentiles because they were willing to do what He had asked. This had nothing to do with their other gods. The deal was that they were to turn from their wicked ways and the violence that was in their hands.

21. What was Jonahís reaction to God not bringing destruction upon Nineveh? (Jonah 4:1).

Note: Why was Jonah so upset? He realized that at this point his homeland, the Northern Kingdom, was doomed, now that the Assyrians had received compassion from God. The Assyrians would continue to be there and loom as a threat. Being a prophet, Jonah was well aware of the sins of the Northern Kingdom and that God was not pleased and he knew what God would do.

22. What did Jonah pray and say to the LORD? (Jonah 4:2).

Note: Jonah was upset with Godís decision because it was contrary to what Jonah thought should be done. He was convinced that God was wrong in showing mercy to these blood thirsty Assyrians. Jonah had been very thankful for the mercy that God had shown him when he was saved from drowning and delivered from certain death but he felt that the Ninevites should be denied the same mercy even though they too had humbled themselves and repented of the error of their ways. Up to this point in the story it has been very clear that Jonah had faith, he trusted that God always knows what is best and acts accordingly. However, it is now clear that Jonah wanted God to do things the way he, Jonah, thought best.

23. What did Jonah ask the LORD to take? (Jonah 4:3).

Note: Jonah was pouting because things didnít go his way.

24. What did the LORD say? (Jonah 4:4).

Note: God ask Jonah if his reaction was the right reaction for one who has a relationship with God? God didnít chastise Jonah for his attitude instead God patiently

worked with Jonah in a merciful manner.

25. Where did Jonah go? (Jonah 4:5). What did Jonah make for himself?

Note: Jonah didnít answer Godís question, he just got up and stomped out of the city.

26. What did the LORD prepare for Jonah? (Jonah 4:6). What was Jonah grateful for?

Note: God provided this plant as an act of compassion for Jonahís physical well being and Jonah appreciated the plant

27. What did the worm do? (Jonah 4:7).

Note: Now God deals with Jonah spiritually by dealing with his physical discomfort. We sometimes need some physical discomfort to learn a spiritual lesson.

28. What did God prepare and what happened to Jonah? (Jonah 4:8).

Note: The temperature of this wind could have been 110 to 130 degrees so Jonah was very uncomfortable.

29. What did the LORD say to Jonah? (Jonah 4:9). What did Jonah then say to the LORD?

Note: Jonah had feelings of sorrow over the loss of the plant because of the benefit that he had received from the plant while it lived.

30. What did the LORD say to Jonah? (Jonah 4:10).

Note: God has led Jonah to the point of admitting that he felt the plant should have been spared. Now, Jonah was prepared for God to show him how his desire to have the plant live compared to Godís desire to allow the people of Nineveh to live.

31. Did the LORD ask Jonah whether He should pity Nineveh or not? (Jonah 4:11). How many people were in the great city of Nineveh?

Note: God had overseen the creation of Assyria and was responsible for their existence. God has great plans for Assyria in the future (Isaiah 19:24).

The repercussions of the message delivered by Jonah was a period of over 30 years during which the Assyrian Empire ceased aggressive actions against other nations.

God eventually raised the Assyrians again and they invaded the Northern Kingdom and took the 10 tribes of Israel into captivity.


Scriptures


Scripture Reading:

Jonah Preaches at Nineveh

(Jonah 3 NKJV) "Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, {2} "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." {3} So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. {4} And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"

The People of Nineveh Believe

{5} So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. {6} Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. {7} And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. {8} But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. {9} Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? {10} Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it."

Jonah's Anger and God's Kindness

(Jonah 4 NKJV) "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. {2} So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. {3} "Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!" {4} Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" {5} So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. {6} And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. {7} But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. {8} And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." {9} Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "It is right for me to be angry, even to death!" {10} But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. {11} "And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left; and much livestock?""


Golden Text:

(Jonah 4:11 NKJV) "And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left; and much livestock?"


All Questions: See Scripture Reading.