God in Pursuit #4

Jonah 4:1-11

We have been looking at the life and experience of the Old Testament prophet Jonah. All of us should be able to identify personally with Jonah. God called him to complete a specific task, and he chose to rebel against the Lord. God wasn't satisfied with Jonah's answer. He began to pursue him…even though Jonah tried to get as far away from God as he could, God loved him and pursued him through the storm, the sailors, and finally through the fish. When Jonah repented (turned around in his thinking and in his action) he obeyed God's will and went to Nineveh to preach just as God had originally told him. In chapter one, we saw Jonah running from God, in chapter two we saw Jonah running back to God, in chapter three we saw Jonah obeying God, and now in chapter four we see Jonah learning from God. Our view of God has been first His great patience, His abundant pardon, His mighty power, and now His compassionate pity.

Read: 3:5-4:3

I. Jonah's Complaint to God. v1-3

II. God's curriculum for Jonah v 4-11

Now, tonight you may be saying to yourself, "Thanks pastor, that was a great story…shame on that selfish, rebellious, prejudiced, angry, preacher Jonah!" But if you are thinking that or something similar, then you are missing the thrust of this message!

(James 1:23-25) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: {24} For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. {25} But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

When we look into the Word of God, James says it is like looking into a mirror. We see a reflection of what we are, and of what we should be. We get so concerned and upset over such trivial matters. We'll sit and watch some silly movie and tears will well up in our eyes, but we seem so unconcerned when we look upon the multitudes without Christ. We get so excited over some sports event that lasts for just a few minutes, and are unconcerned over reaching lost souls who will exist throughout eternity.