There are as yet many unopened lessons God presents us in the book of Jonah and I heartily encourage you to consider a careful reading of the whole book at your earliest opportunity. For sake of time let us conclude this little Jonah series with just one final study from Jonah chapter 4. I want to call your attention to ‘The Wrath of Man”. [James 1:20] tells us “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God”. Probably some of you Bible veterans remember that the preceding verse tells us “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” to be “slow to speak”. God didn’t say we couldn’t get angry and in fact there are some things that ‘should’ make us angry! What we see here though is that God warned us to very careful about our anger – because anger unchecked can quickly fan itself into ‘wrath’ and the wrath of man doesn’t lead to godly behavior or godly decisions. As such we are directed “Be ye angry and sin not” [Ephesians 4:26] “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath”. Now with those wonderful counselors from the word of God lets go back into Jonah and see if they hold true. *Perhaps you may remember that last week we saw that Jonah went preaching to Nineveh that God was about ‘overthrow’ them all for their own choices and wickedness? So, the King ordered everyone, man and beast, to “turn from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands”. Which resulted in God turning away His wrath and condemnation. As we open Jonah 4:1 we find that God’s pardon and mercy ‘displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was “very angry”. Again, God’s tender mercy and gentleness has been revealed and instead of rejoicing that these pagan gentiles have responded rightly to the preaching, Jonah is outraged? Yes, they deserve wrath! Yes, they deserve Judgment! Yes, they deserve to be destroyed! But then don’t we all?! Have we not all failed to obey? But God is gentle and gracious, merciful and slow to anger and of great kindness! Praise His Holy name when a sinner will truly repent and call out for mercy the Great God of Jonah is ready to forgive! I wish our Bible recorded a different Jonah! I wish we were reading of a Jonah who rejoiced to see God’s tender mercy and kindness extended to these fellow failures. I wish we were reading of how Jonah ran among them and embraced them and rejoiced and celebrated God’s tender mercies with them. But no. Where I would prefer to read about an obedient Jonah in chapter one, I find a rebel like myself. Where I would prefer to read about a merciful Jonah in chapter two, I find a stubborn and selfish Jonah that reminds me of me. Where I would prefer to read about a Jonah who learned his lesson about grace and forgiveness in chapter four, I read of a selfish Jonah who cares more for his own comforts than for souls. Jonah is easy to condemn, isn’t he? But then, have you obeyed God’s command to tell others who are lost and condemned the gospel? Perhaps you’d better reserve condemnation of Jonah and focus on being more obedient yourself? Pastor Harrison and those at Calvary Baptist Church in Palestine hope to see you soon!