Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
January 27 Devotional-Jonah 4
This passage is very interesting to me. Jonah was so angry that the people of Nineveh confessed their sin to God and that God forgave them that he went outside the city to pout.
- Verses 1-3 say, “But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.“
To find out what “this” and “that” from the passage are referring to, you have to go back to chapter 3 verse 10: When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
Jonah was mad because God had mercy on Ninevah. Why was this ironic?
- Jonah cared more for the plant than he did for the people. We see this a lot in our country today. People care about recycling, conservation, and clean air, … but not about the hearts and souls of the people. You may be adamant, like Jonah, about an issue, but you also may be dead wrong like Jonah, about your priorities. List ways your focus is correct today & areas of priority that you need to change.
- Spend some time reflecting on what God has done for you by rescuing you from your sins. Without this rescue, where would you be right now? Confess any sin in your life that you haven’t confessed to God, and surrender your heart fully to him today.
1. Help me to prioritize God’s will & God’s plan in my life.