3"So, God, if you won't kill them, kill me! I'm better off dead!"
4God said, "What do you have to be angry about?"
5But Jonah just left. He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together a makeshift shelter of leafy branches and sat there in the shade to see what would happen to the city.
6God arranged for a broad-leafed tree to spring up. It grew over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased and enjoyed the shade. Life was looking up.
7-8But then God sent a worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent a hot, blistering wind from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah's head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: "I'm better off dead!"
9Then God said to Jonah, "What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?"
Jonah said, "Plenty of right. It's made me angry enough to die!"
10-11God said, "What's this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted nor watered it. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can't I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don't yet know right from wrong, to say nothing of all the innocent animals?"
I have deleted and rewritten and am trying to get this just right. This book is about so much of life that it’s just not funny. It deals with all of the human emotions. Jonah is happy, Jonah is sad, Jonah is angry, Jonah is mad. On and on we could go. There is a great kingdom principle here in these last verses and I don’t want to miss it. So for the sake of being to long in this story I may split it up into a few parts.
Have you ever been where vs 3 is "I'm better off dead!" You don’t have to tell me, just be honest. It just you and God right now. Have you ever said this to God. The giver of life the very one who can grant you that request. This is a sad place to be but it can also be a growing place.
I love what God says to Jonah "What do you have to be angry about?" This is what God will ask you when you are at the point of no hope, a point of not being able to see past the horizon in life.
What do we have to be angry about? We are here for one purpose, no matter how complex we like to make our lives and how busy we make ourselves the cause of Christ is why we are here.
In verse 5 we can see a great example of how we react when we don’t get what we want. The text says "He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together..Try and follow me here as this is where it gets a little deeper. While he was pouting about not getting what he wanted and not what God wanted, look at what it says right after "he sat down and sulked. "He put together". You can call it a play on words, not theologically correct, reading into the text but one thing you can’t deny, he did it himself. He went out on his own into a bearing land, he walked away from God, he tried to do all of this against God. The whole time talking to God.
The point is simple. God had one simple request and I believe that same request is for us today. Go and preach the gospel! Just Go! Just do it! Why is that so hard for us to understand. We try so hard to make things so complex. Have we made the cause so complex that we can’t move? Have we just diluted the gospel so much that the message is not heard?