Anger Issues… Who Me? Who You? – Jonah 4

Jonah 4

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Psy 101- (courtesy of Wikipedia.org) Three types of anger are recognized by psychologists: The first form of anger, named “hasty and sudden anger” by Joseph Butler, an 18th-century English bishop, is connected to the impulse for self-preservation. It is shared between humans and non-human animals and occurs when tormented or trapped. The second type of anger is named “settled and deliberate” anger and is a reaction to perceived deliberate harm or unfair treatment by others. These two forms of anger are episodic. The third type of anger is called dispositional and is related more to character traits than to instincts or cognitions. Irritability, sullenness and churlishness are examples of the last form of anger. Please read more at your convenience- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anger

 

We learn in this last chapter why Jonah chose to flee from God. (vs.2) Oh my word! (TYHS) Doesn’t this remind you of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? Key words- “I knew… ”

** Main lesson learned- When it comes to God, it’s best that you KNOW, not “Knew” **

We also learn that Jonah became angry with God. After all that he went through…Who Jonah? He had the nerve to become angry with God? He is the one who took a chance to flee from his destiny, pleas with God; gets saved by God; is released from the belly of the great fish, i.e. blessed by God to serve Him as originally asked; chose to serve Him, and then have the nerve to become angry with God after serving Him? Whoa! Pull that reel back in before you fish for an answer! 😛  Step back and spell Mississippi the old fashioned way before you answer. For those who are not aware of the old spelling technique taught to some toddlers reared in the South. Here goes…

M- I- crooked letter(s), crooked letter(s)- I, crooked letter(s), crooked letter(s)- I, hump back(p), hump back (p)- I.. Mississippi. Put ourselves in Jonah’s wet clothes for a sec. We’ve all been there.

Now get in front of a mirror and ask self…Anger issues-Who Me? (pointing to self) Who You? (pointing to the mirror)

Lesson- God understands when we become displeased or angry with Him and with others. Don’t go sit your bottom in a corner, away from others, or under a tree sulking in anger because you thought you knew the mind of God. I used to think being angry period was such a terrible sin. Is there such as thing as righteous anger? (Spell Mississippi break)   I was reminded that several others became angry with God throughout the bible. Most are familiar with Moses’ anger. I was also reminded…Anger is one of God’s attributes. Many verses tell us that He is either “slow to anger” or “became angry.” We were made in His image…eh?

We have a tendency to overlook this verse that tells us who God actually becomes displeased and angry with. (Psalm 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. )This proves to me that anger is indeed one of God’s attributes, and that there is only ONE category of people that angers Him “every day.” You choose the correct answer… Wicked or Righteous? What’s intriguing is that we have either been in this category and/or some are still in it and deny it to self.

I have learned on this journey through Jonah that I did not know ME as well as ME thought I KNEW. Whenever you read The Book of Jonah, substitute your name for his. (TYHS) It is one of the books of the bible that place focus on the sole attitude and actions of a messenger God chose and called. It’s an “about me” book.  As Popeye would sing …“I yam, what I yam cause I…” Do you really know who you are? I also learned why my Papaw spent a lot of time with me showing me that God worked through him, teaching me that God Is, and training me to write his Sunday school lessons beginning at the age of 4.  PTL!!! As they say hindsight is 20/20.

I am glad that a challenge was put forth to our congregation for each individual to focus on their walk with God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit for 40 days. I also pray that others discovered who they are and how their actions as an individual affect the Body of Christ. I pray that those who are reading this make the same discovery when you choose to seek God and walk with Him. Leave NOTHING to chance, Choose GOD. If  more than 120, 000 can repent and be saved within a 40 day period, what do you think the odds are of 1 person repenting and being saved who can’t discern their right hand from their left? Look to self and choose God.

Lesson Goals

  • To KNOW God. Rend your hearts, it’s the only way.
  • To KNOW what The Lord’s Will for us is as an individual and to Do it. Only then, as a congregate on the ONE, will the Body of Christ be glorified. Do your part.
  • Be not angry at God and learn to accept His decision when He decides to spare the wicked. Keep your judgments of others to yourself, let go, let God. For it is He only who can prepare a gourd, a worm and a wind in a blink of an eye to teach YOU that His Will supersedes your anger issues and that He is ALWAYS in control. (Jonah 4:9-10)

Besides, who best of all would know to ask you, “Doest thou well to be angry?”

We have a lot of work to do with self ahead of us. I hope you have gained some insight through my journey with Jonah, just how great the Lord works period. Amen. Jonah knew not the hour of the Lord’s appearance (Jonah 4:5- So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city) We will not know the hour when Jesus returns (Matthew 24:42)  We know as Jonah did, He is coming.

Are you swallowed up in the big fish of Anger? Call out to God. Please pray with me Psalm 7, which I prayed as I closed out my Lent 2014 journey through The Book of Jonah.

 

Popeye: Hey, I wants me girl!Sindbad the Sailor: Oh, yeah? Popeye: Yeah!

Sindbad the Sailor: Who are you?

Popeye: [sing-song] I’m Popeye the Sailor Man! Who are you?

Sindbad the Sailor: Who am I?

Popeye: You heard what I said.

Sindbad the Sailor: WHO AM I?

Popeye: That’s what I said.

Sindbad the Sailor: Who’s the most remarkable extra-ordinary fellow?

Everyone: YOU! Sindbad the Sailor!

Sindbad the Sailor: Who’s the most phenomenal extra-special kind of fellow?

Everyone: YOU! Sindbad the Sailor!

Sindbad the Sailor: I’m afraid of nobody under the sun/ All I say is “Boo!” and my enemies run! Who’s the most remarkable extraordinary fellow? (Who Me? Who You?…LOL) 

Popeye: Popeye the Sailor! You got a long way to go, young fellow… (I love this response…ha ha ha. We can all relate)

Sindbad the Sailor: [enraged, grabs Popeye] Well, let’s see how brave you are!

[throws him into the talons of the roc] ”

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