Jonah 3: 10-4:11

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee 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. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”

Jonah went 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. Then the Lord provided a vine and made it grow up over Jacob to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 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.”

But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”

“I do,” he said, “I am angry enough to die.”

But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

A Thought

It appears that Jonah’s focus was more on himself than on the lives of the people of Nineveh. How¬†would it look for him to speak God’s judgement and then nothing was to happen? Jonah appeared to be more concerned about his discomfort at the loss of the vine than the lives of the people in whom had God created. He would rather be angry and to die. The question for us today is, “Are the souls of the people of today not more important than our comfort or pride?”

Our Prayer

Father awaken us with the power of your Holy Spirit to be intentional about sharing our witness of you in our lives to others. We are your light. Help us to shine your love in the darkness of our world of sin. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.