Angry Enough to Die

Jonah went into a big city like New York — Nineveh was proportionally bigger — and he saw a massive change. He saw repentance that was culturally transforming. The people turned from their violence and evil ways. In response to this amazing thing, we’re told, “But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.” What’s going on here?

How can we explain Jonah’s mood swings, his tremendous emotional instability, able to praise God in chapter 2 and a few days later saying, “I am angry enough to die?”
The answer is a divided heart. Jonah believed in and served the true God, but he also believed and served a rival god. As a result, his heart was divided between worshipping two different things. 

Hearts divided between more than one god create that kind of instability we see in Jonah. They create the kind of misery and drivenness of Jonah. And what we see is that it could be true of us as well. Now let’s just ask two questions of the passage: 1) What’s a divided heart? And 2) how can we heal a divided heart?

This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on September 9, 1990. Series "Jonah". Scripture: Jonah 4:1-10.

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