The Book of JONAH
James J. Barker

Lesson 4

Text: JONAH 4


  1. In chapter 1, Jonah was the Prodigal Prophet.
  2. In chapter 2, Jonah was the Praying Prophet.
  3. In chapter 3, Jonah was the Preaching Prophet.
  4. Now, in chapter 4, Jonah is the Pouting Prophet (4:1-3).



I. JONAH AND GOD (4:1-4)

  1. Jonah was displeased with God.   “He was very angry” (4:1).
  2. He should have been happy that the people of Nineveh repented at his preaching (3:4-10).
  3. But rather than be pleased at this great revival, he was displeased (4:1-3).
  4. In 4:2, Jonah prayed, reminding us that backslidden believers do pray – but their prayers are not in conformity to the will of God.
  5. However, God is gracious and merciful (4:2), and He was patient with backslidden Jonah (4:4).



  1. Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city and built a booth (little shack or hut).  He decided to sit and see what would happen to Nineveh (4:5).
  2. Perhaps Jonah was hoping that God would still destroy Nineveh.
  3. The weather was hot and Jonah was in “grief,” so God graciously “prepared a gourd” for Jonah so he could sit in the shade (4:6).
  4. In Jonah 1:17, the LORD prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah.
  5. In Jonah 4:6, the LORD prepared a gourd to provide shade for Jonah.
  6. In Jonah 4:7, the LORD prepared a worm to smite the gourd.
  7. In Jonah 4:8, the LORD prepared a vehement east wind to chasten Jonah.
  8. Jonah 4:6 says, “So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.”  He was not exceeding glad of the revival in Nineveh.  In fact, he was exceedingly displeased (4:1).
  9. But “Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.”   Charles Feinberg says this gourd is called the Palma Christi and is native to that part of the world.  It attains a height usually of from eight to ten feet; and has large leaves.
  10. “Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd,” but the LORD knew things were not right with Jonah, so He prepared a worm to smite the gourd (4:7).
  11. One preacher said, God sent a little grub to destroy Jonah’s little shrub.
  12. Since that apparently was not enough to straighten out Jonah, the LORD prepared a vehement east wind to chasten him.  We are told in verse 8, “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.”
  13. Jonah was feeling sorry for himself.  He was in a miserable, backslidden condition.



  1. God was chastening Jonah, but Jonah was impenitent (4:9).
  2. His hatred for the Ninevites was so strong that he was being unreasonable and defiant (4:9).
  3. In chapter 1, Jonah was like the Prodigal Son.  Now in chapter 4, Jonah was acting like the Prodigal Son’s older brother (Luke 15:25-32).
  4. In His parable on forgiveness, our Lord said in Matthew 18:33, “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?”
  5. But God had the last word (4:10, 11).



  1. If man wrote the Bible, he would probably stop at the end of Jonah chapter 3.   But the Bible was not written by men, but by God.
  2. Second Peter 1:21 says, “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
  3. The Spirit of God portrays men as they really are – with all of their faults as well as their virtues.
  4. The Holy Spirit wants us to see what was really going on in the heart of Jonah, and in the heart of God (4:10, 11).

<< Back                                       Table of Contents >>