Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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WHAT KIND OF GOD WE HAVE
JONAH 4:1-2

JON 4:1 But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry. 2 And he prayed to the \Lord\ and said, "Please \Lord,\ was not this what I said while I was still in my {own} country? Therefore, in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that Thou art a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.

INTRODUCTION:
What Kind Of God Do You Have? What Is Your Mental Image Of God? God Wants Us To See Him Through The Acts Of His Son. Jonah Had Many Correct Mental Impression Of God.

He Tells Us Of Five Attributed Or Qualities Of God.

I. WE HAVE A GRACIOUS GOD.

II. WE HAVE A MERCIFUL and COMPASSIONATE GOD.

III. WE HAVE A GOD SLOW TO EXPRESS ANGER.

IV. WE HAVE A GOD WITH ABUNDANT KINDNESS.

V. WE HAVE A GOD WHO RELENTS CONCERNING CALAMITY.
 
 

I.    We Have A Gracious God. v 2 b


# 1 ". . . a gracious God, . . . "
a gracious = Strong's # 2587 channuwn (khan-noon')
verb chnan ^2603^, "to be gracious, considerate; to show favor." occurs around 80 times in the Hebrew Old Testament,

NOUN < Gen. 6:8>: "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Adjective. channun ^2587^, "gracious." Exod. 34:6>: "And the Lord passed by before him [Moses], and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth...."

ILLUSTRATION:
I know a Father who raised his hand and his little child would flinch. I know a Father who regularly held out his hand. His little child would lovingly put their hand in the fathers.

Which Father Illustrates Graciousness? My God is a Gracious God.
 

APPLICATION:

We have a gracious God
James 1:5
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
 
 

2.    We Have A Merciful God and Compassionate. v 2 c


# 2 ". . . art a merciful, and compassionate God, . . . "
Verb.
Strongs racham ^7355^, "to have compassion, be merciful, pity." But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer" <Isa. 54:7-8>. This is the heart of salvation by the suffering Servant-Messiah.

ILLUSTRATION:
Several of us have been to the Passion Play in Eureka Springs. Most people really enjoy the teaching done by the man called the Potter. He Illustrates Many Biblical Lessons.

The Clay Out Of A Round Lump Is Brought Into Compliance By The Potters Hand. He tells us God also has the power to mold us.

APPLICATION:

God is Compassionate and Merciful.

Ps 51:1-2
1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (NAS) >
 
 

3.    We Have A God Slow To Express Anger. v 2 d


# 3 ". . . slow to anger. . . "

Strong's # 750 'arek (aw-rake'); from 748; long suffering, patient,
slow [to anger]. Strong's # 639 'aph (af);from 599; properly, the nose or nostril;

Noun. 'ap ^639^, "nose; nostrils; face; wrath; anger." It implies a changeable countenance,.

ILLUSTRATION:
At the Passion Play. A Father with a big booming voice gave instructions to his child. It seemed he enjoyed the attention he got. Latter I saw him yank his child's hand and treat him with abuse.
That father is not like our God.
 

APPLICATION: Our God Is Slow To Anger

I am amazed at the patience of God.
 
 

4.    We Have A God With Abundant Kindness. v 2 e


# 4 ". . . abundant in lovingkindness. . . "
Strong's # 7349 rachuwm (rakh-oom');from 7355;
compassionate: KJV-- full of compassion, Lovingkindness NASB

Strong's # 7227 rab (rab);
by contracted from 7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank,
kjv "many; great; large; prestigious; powerful."

ILLUSTRATION:
There is a famous painting titled, Hush child God aint dead. In this picture a family watches as their home burns to the ground. The mother is instructing her child not to cry because God is not dead.
 

APPLICATION:

Even in the midst of tragedy; We have a God of lovingkindness. He is abundant in his lovingkindness.

John 10:10
10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have {it} abundantly. (NAS) >
 
 

5.    We Have A God Who Relents Concerning Calamity. v 2 f 



". . . who relents concerning calamity. "  and repentest thee of the evil.

Strong's # 5162 nacham (naw-kham');
properly, to sigh, i.e. breathe strongly; by implication, to be sorry,
moral "evil" is not intended in this context, but rather the antithesis of
shalom ("peace; welfare; well-being").

Calamity and misfortune will follow the wickedness of ungodly men. But
God loves to relent his judgements.

A Detailed Comparison of the words . . Repent and . . Relent

Strong's # 7725 shuwb (shoob); a primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbial, again: KJV-- ([break, build, circumcise, dig, do anything, do

evil, feed, lay down, lie down, lodge, make, rejoice, send, take, weep]) X again, (cause to) answer (+again), X in any case (wise), X at all, averse, bring (again, back, home again), call [to mind], carry again (back), cease, X certainly, come again (back), X consider, + continually, convert, deliver (again), + deny, draw back, fetch home again, X fro, get [oneself] (back) again, X give (again), go again (back, home), [go] out, hinder, let, [see] more, X needs, be past, X pay, pervert, pull in again, put (again, up again), recall, recompense, recover, refresh, relieve, render (again),

requite, rescue, restore re, retrieve, (cause to, make to) return, reverse, reward, + say nay, send back, set again, slide back, still, X surely, take back (off), (cause to, make to) turn (again self, again, away, back, back again, backward, from, off), withdraw. ***. Shuwba'el. See 7619. (DIC)
 

The words underlined in the verses below are all translations of the same Hebrew word. Please note the many ways this Hebrew word is translated in the KJV.

Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (KJV)

Gen 8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. (KJV)

Gen 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. (KJV)

Gen 50:15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. (KJV)
 

Exodus 4:7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. (KJV)

Exodus 22:26 If thou at all take thy neighbor's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: (KJV)

Num 5:7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed. (KJV)

Num 23:20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. (KJV)

1 King 2:16 And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on. Kjv

1 King 8:47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; (KJV)

Neh 2:20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. (KJV)

Job 39:12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will _____bring ___home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? (KJV)

Ps 74:11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom. (KJV)

Prov 25:13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters. (KJV)

Isaiah 47:10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. (KJV)

Ezek 9:11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, ____reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me. (KJV)

Hosea 4:9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. (KJV)
 

RETURN, TO
A. Verb. shub ^7725^, "to return or go back, bring back." This verb occurs in several Semitic languages (not in Phoenician-Punic and Ethiopic) including Ugaritic (1550-1200 B. C.) and in all periods of Hebrew. It occurs about 1,060 times in biblical Hebrew and about 8 times in biblical

Aramaic (in the form tub). The basic meaning of the verb is movement back to the point of departure (unless there is evidence to the contrary). In the first occurrence of this verb God told Adam that he and Eve would "eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" <Gen. 3:19>. Used in this emphasis, shub can be applied specifically of returning along a path already traversed: "So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir" <Gen. 33:16>.

The word can mean "turn away from," as in <Ps. 9:3>: "When mine enemies are turned back...," or "reverse a direction," as in <2 Kings 20:10>: "...let the shadow return backward ten degrees." It can mean the opposite of going out, as when the raven Noah sent forth was constantly going "to and fro" <Gen. 8:7>-- this phrase, however, may also mean merely constant movement; the raven went about constantly "here and there" (cf. NASB). In <Gen. 8:3> the word is used of the receding of the flood water; the water went (halak) down (shub, "returned") steadily. The verb can also mean "to follow after": "Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister-in-law" <Ruth 1:15>.

Shub can imply the cessation of something. In this sense, the word can imply "to go away or disappear": "And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away" <Gen. 27:44>. It can refer to the initiation of the cessation of something. In some cases violence is the means of bringing something to cease: "How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants..." <2 Kings 18:24>. In <Isa. 47:10> the verb implies both turning away and

destroying: "Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee...." In the case of spiritually returning (metaphorically) to the Lord, shub can mean "turning away from" following Him <Num. 14:43>, "turning from" pursuing evil <1 Kings 8:35>, and "to return" to Him and obey Him <Deut. 30:2>. The verb can also be used in close relation to another verb to indicate the repetition of an action presented by the other verb: "...I will again feed and keep thy flock" <Gen. 30:31>.

B. Nouns. meshubah ^4878^, "backturning; apostasy." This noun occurs 12 times, and it refers to "backsliding" in <Hos. 14:4>: "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him." Other nouns related to the verb shub occur less frequently. Teshubah is found 8 times, and it may mean "return" or "beginning" <1 Sam. 7:17> and "answer" <Job 21:34>. Shubah occurs once to mean "coming back" or "turning back" <Isa. 30:15>. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words) (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Strong's # 5162 nacham (naw-kham'); a primitive root; properly, to sigh, i.e. breathe strongly; by implication, to be sorry, i.e. (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): KJV-- comfort (self), ease [one'sself], repent (-eringself,-,).

The words underlined in the verses below are all translations of the same Hebrew word. Please note the many ways this Hebrew word is translated in the KJV.

Gen 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed. (KJV)

Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (KJV)

Exodus 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (KJV)

1 Sam 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. (KJV)

1 Sam 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. (KJV)

1 Sam 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel. (KJV)

1 Chr 19:2 And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him. (KJV)

Isaiah 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I ___receive ___comfort in these? (KJV)

Jonah 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? (KJV)

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. (KJV)

Zech 1:17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. (KJV)
 

REPENT, TO
nacham ^5162^, "to repent, comfort." Nacham apparently means "to repent" about 40 times and "to comfort" about 65 times in the Old Testament. Scholars assert several views in trying to ascertain the meaning of nacham by connecting the word to a change of the heart or disposition, a change of mind, a change of purpose, or an emphasis upon the change of one's conduct. Most uses of the term in the Old Testament are connected with God's repentance: "...it repented the Lord that he had made man..." <Gen. 6:6>; "And the Lord repented [NASB, "changed his mind"] of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" <Exod. 32:14>, KJV.

Sometimes the Lord "repented" of the discipline He had planned to carry out concerning His people: "If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them" <Jer. 18:8>; "If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good..." <Jer. 18:10>; "And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger... and repenteth him of evil" <Joel 2:13>. In other instances, the Lord change His mind; obviously, He changed when man changed to make the right choices, but He could not change His attitude toward evil when man continued on the wrong course. As God changed His actions, He always remained faithful to His own righteousness. In some situations, God was weary of" repenting" <Jer. 15:6>, suggesting that there might be a point beyond which He had no choice but to implement His discipline. An instance of this action was in Samuel's word to Saul, that God took the kingdom from Israel's first king and intended to give it to another; Samuel declared, "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent" (NASB, "change His mind"; <1 Sam. 15:29>).

God usually changed His mind and "repented" of His actions because of man's intercession and repentance of his evil deeds. Moses pleaded with God as the intercessor for Israel: "Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people" <Exod. 32:12>. The Lord did that when He "...repented [changed His mind] of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" <Exod. 32:14>. As God's prophet preached to Nineveh, "...God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them..." <Jonah 3:10>. In such instances, God "repented," or changed His mind, to bring about a change of plan. Again, however, God remained faithful to His absolutes of righteousness in His relation to and with man. Other passages refer to a change (or lack of it) in man's attitude. When man did not "repent" of his wickedness, he chose rebellion <Jer. 8:6>. In the eschatological sense, when Ephraim (as a representative of the northern branch of Israel) will "repent" <Jer. 31:19>, God then will have mercy <Jer. 31:20>.

Man also expressed repentance to other men. Benjamin suffered greatly from the crime of immorality <Judg. 19-20>: "And the children of Israel [eleven tribes] repented them from Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day" <Judg.21:6>; cf. <v. 15>. Nacham may also mean "to comfort." The refugees in Babylon would be "comforted" when survivors arrived from Jerusalem <Ezek. 14:23>; the connection between "comfort" and "repent" here resulted from the calamity God brought upon Jerusalem as a testimony to the truth of His Word. David "comforted" Bathsheba after the death of her child born in sin <2 Sam. 12:24>; this probably indicates his repentance of what had happened in their indiscretion. On the other hand, the word was used in the human sense of "comfort." Job asked his three companions, "How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?" <Job 21:34>; he meant that their attitude seemed cruel and unfeeling. The psalmist looked to God for "comfort": "Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side" <Ps. 71:21>. In an eschatological sense, God indicated that He would "comfort" Jerusalem with the restoration of Israel, as a mother comforts her offspring <Isa. 66:13>. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words) (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

ILLUSTRATION:
A young father had three sons. Dad's tool box was off limits. One son got into the tool box and in an improper use of a tool broke it. All three boys were call together on the carpet. All the boys expressed deep sorrow, they did not want a brother to get in trouble. The father with tears in his eyes hugged his boys and said you are forgiven.

APPLICATION:

WE HAVE A GOD WHO RELENTS CONCERNING CALAMITY.
 

CONCLUSION:

I. WE HAVE A GRACIOUS GOD.

II. WE HAVE A MERCIFUL and COMPASSIONATE GOD.

III. WE HAVE A GOD SLOW TO EXPRESS ANGER

IV. WE HAVE A GOD WITH ABUNDANT KINDNESS

V. WE HAVE A GOD WHO RELENTS CONCERNING CALAMITY.