Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Dealing with Anger
Jonah 4:1-5

NKJV 1 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. NKJV 
TLB 1 This change of plans made Jonah very angry. 2 He complained to the Lord about it: "This is exactly what I thought you'd do, Lord, when I was there in my own country and you first told me to come here. That's why I ran away to Tarshish. For I knew you were a gracious God, merciful, slow to get angry, and full of kindness; I knew how easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people. 3 "Please kill me, Lord; I'd rather be dead than alive [when nothing that I told them happens]." 4 Then the Lord said, "Is it right to be angry about this?" 5 So Jonah went out and sat sulking on the east side of the city, and he made a leafy shelter to shade him as he waited there to see if anything would happen to the city. TLB 
 

Introduction
A minister rode his bike passed a 12 year old boy who was cranking away on a lawn mower. The lawnmower would not start, and the boy looked frustrated to the point of tears. The minister said "I will trade you this bike for your mower. The boy's face lit up and he said "okay". The minster took the mower home and worked on it a little, and then tried to start it. It just would not start. He worked on it some more then he cranked and cranked but it still would not start. He went looking for the boy and found him gleefully riding the bike. He said "young man you got the best of me in our trade for I can't get the mower to start. The lad said "you have to give it a good cussing, and then it will finally start." The minister said "I am a minister and it has been so long since I cussed I have forgotten how". The lad said "keep cranking on that mower and it you will get angry enough it will come back to you."

Today Bible believing people need to be angry about the encroachment of sin in our world, but some time we are angry when we should not be. Paul tells us in "Eph 4:26-27 26 Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. NKJV

Jesus expressed anger; Mark 3:5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. NKJV

So we should be angry at times but to many are angry when they should not be. In the text Jonah is an example of the wrong kind of anger.

We must fault Jonah because of his anger.

1.    Jonah attempted to arrange his theology to fit his prejudiced views of the Ninevites

2.    Jonah would rather see God deliver judgment than extend mercy

3.    Someone said - A man is most angry when he is the most wrong
 
 

1.    Dealing with The Kind of Anger that Is . . Displeasure with God. Vs 1-2
        1 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.

A.    Notice the . . Admission of Jonah about this Anger. v 1
            But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.

Intro: Jonah's displeasure: OT:1419 gadowl or (shortened) gadol ­

Displeased OT:7489 ra`a` ­
    1) to be bad, to be evil
        a) (Qal)

    2) to be displeasing
    3) to be sad

Exceedingly, great OT:1419 gadowl
    a) large (in magnitude and extent)
    b) in number
    c) in intensity
(from The Online Bible Thayer's Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright (c)1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, Ontario, Canada. Licensed from the Institute for Creation Research.)

        1.    Why was he so mad? There are several reasons. Here are a few:
                a. The marks of a true prophet was that his prophecies always came true, Deut. 18:20-22,
                    and some would say his prophecy did not come true.

                b. His fellow Jews would be angry with him for preaching a message that brought
                    salvation to their enemies. They might see him as a traitor.
 
                c. Jonah hated the people of Nineveh! Nothing would have pleased him more than seeing
                    them all destroyed by God!

B.    Notice the . . Appealing to God about this Anger. v 2a
        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;

        1.    Jonah prays a mediation kind of prayer, but it is a mediation between his anger and God,
                not an interceding for another.

C.    Notice the . . Acknowledgment to God about this Anger. v 2b
    "for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in
    lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm."

Illustration
In his autobiography, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle. Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked in with his friend. Mantle's friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, and he didn't have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him.

When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn't let them hunt. "I'm so mad at that guy," Mantle said, "I'm going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!" Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, "We can't do that!" But Mickey was adamant. "Just watch me," he shouted. When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule.

As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to the car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. "What are you doing, Martin?" he yelled. Martin yelled back, face red with anger, "We'll show that son of a gun! I just killed two of his cows!" Anger can be dangerously contagious. As Proverbs puts it, "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man ... or you may learn his ways" (Prov. 22:24-25). - Scott Bowerman Bishopville, South Carolina

Application

Dealing with The Kind of Anger that Is . . Displeasure with God.
 
 
 

2.    Dealing with The Kind of Anger that Is . . Death Wish Anger.   Vs 3-4
        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?"

A.    The . . Cocky Death Wish Anger. v 3
        3 Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die
            than to live!"

        1.    Jonah tells God what is best for him.
        2.    The Prophet wanted God to kill him!
        3.    Why do people think about Suicide?
            a.    Financial Reasons
            b.    Love Lost Reasons
            c.    Dreams Unfulfilled.
            d.    Pressures of life.

B.    The . . Challenge to the Death Wish Anger. v 4
        4 Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?"

Illustration
Do normal healthy people ever think about asking God to take their life?

Moses made a similar request. Num. 11:13-15 13 Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.' 14 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now--if I have found favor in Your sight--and do not let me see my wretchedness!" NKJV

Elisha: 1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, "It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!" NKJV

Application

Have you ever entertained such a thought? Seek help from man and God. Your life is valuable, and God has a plan and purpose for your life.

Dealing with The Kind of Anger that Is . . Death Wish Anger. Vs 3-4
 
 
 

3.    Dealing with The Kind of Anger that Is . . Disappointment Anger.  v 5

        A.    The . . Sheltering Kind of Disappointment Anger. v 5 a
            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,. . . "

        B.    The . . Sour Kind of Disappointment Anger. v 5 b
            ". . . he might see what would become of the city."

Illustration
A cobbler at Leyden, who used to attend the public disputations held at the Academy, was once asked if he understood Latin. "No," replied the cobbler, "but I know who is wrong in the argument." "How," replied his friend. "Why, by seeing who is angry first."

Illustration     Revenge: Joke
A lady was sick, so she went to the doctor. He examined her, did a number of tests and told her the bad news. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I'm afraid you've contracted rabies." The doctor left the room for a minute, and when he returned the woman was busy writing on a piece of paper. He asked, "What are you doing, writing your will?" She said, "No, I'm making a list of all the people I'm going to bite."

We have a statement today that says "just deal with it."  Basically God told Jonah to deal with
his anger, but to realize He would be there to help if Jonah sought His counsel and way.
 

Dealing with The Kind of Anger that Is . .

        Displeasure with God Anger.
 
                Death Wish Anger.
 
                    Disappointment Anger.