Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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God's Lessons In Times of Discouragement
Jonah 4:6-11
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?" NKJV 
 
6 So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant. 7 But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. 8 When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, "Death is better to me than life." 9 Then God said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to death." 10 Then the LORD said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. 11 "Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?" NASU 
 

Introduction
The word "prepared" is used 3 times in these verses. It means to appoint, number, or prepare.

OT:4487 manah (maw-naw'); a primitive root; properly, to weigh out; by implication, to allot or constitute officially; also to enumerate or enroll:
KJV - appoint, count, number, prepare, set, tell.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Job 7:3 So I have been allotted months of futility, And wearisome nights have been appointed to me. NKJV

Ps 90:12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. NKJV

Prepared plant v 6

Prepared worm v 7

Prepared wind v 8
 

1.    Lesson In The . . Devotion Of The Lord. v 6
        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.

A.    The . . Preparation In The Lord's Devotion. v 6a
        6 And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah,... "

        1.    The . . Pity In The Lord's Devotion. v 6b
            " that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery.. . . "

B.    The . . Pleasure From The Lord's Devotion. v 6b
            "So Jonah was very grateful for the plant."

Illustration
Most of us brag on the Lord for the blessings we receive. What about the times when we do not see immediately how what is happening is a blessing.

Application

God blesses with the obvious, and some times the mysterious. But does work miracles in many ways.
 
 
 

2.    Lesson In The . . Discipline Of The Lord. Vs 7-8 a

A.    Discipline Through A Prepared . . Worm. v 7
        7 But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant
        that it withered.

B.    Discipline Through Prepared. . Weather. v 8 a
        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.

Illustration
In Mountain View because of the handicap system I was awarded a trophy in a golf tournament. The director of this particular tournament was a member of our church. He gave me the trophy on Saturday, but on Sunday he said "I have some bad news, we made a mistake and you dis not win the trophy you were awarded."

I gave the trophy back, but in the worship service I told what this man had done. He spoke out and said "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away."

Application

Job 1:21 The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." TLB
 
 

3.    Lesson In The . . Deliberation Of The Lord. Vs 8 b - 9
        "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!"

A.    Deliberation In . . Listening to Yourself. v 8 b
        "Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live."

B.    Deliberation In . . Learning From the Reasoning Of The Lord. v 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!"

Illustration
Has it ever seemed that God has a reasoning session with you? Have you told the Lord what is right
for you, or have you listened to His reasoning.

Application

Isa 55:8-9 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. NKJV
 
 
 

4.    Lesson In The . . Description Of The Lord. Vs 10-11

A.    Description In Contrasted . . Depiction. V 10
        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.

B.    Description In Contrasted . . Discernment. V 11
        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?" NKJV