About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Anger At The Lord's Compassion (ch. 4:1 - 11)
1 states that Jonah was really upset, really mad.
You'd think that Jonah would be happy that Nineveh
repented, but he's not. We
don't really know why he is mad, just that he is.
Many Bible teachers suggest that he is upset because in one sense
of the word, what he prophesied did not come true.
Maybe he thought he looked like a fool, or worse still a false
18:18-22 states that a false prophet must die.
Maybe Jonah felt he was a false prophet, or maybe he thought God
deceived him. God told him
appears that Jonah missed the whole point of the prophetic word he was
told to speak. Prophetic
words such as what Jonah spoke were meant to bring the recipients of the
word to repentance. If the people repent, they are free from judgment.
I have said before, there is what I call a "tipping point to
sin". Once a nation
reaches a certain place, where its sin gets so bad, and when God
actually pronounces judgment on that nation, it is too late to repent.
It appears that
is what I believe verse 2 means. First
of all, Jonah would not have liked the city of
was so upset that in verse 3 he wants God to kill him.
Jonah's mood swings are apparent. It appears to me that he was
the type of person that when he was happy, he was very happy and
everyone knew he was happy. But,
when he was depressed, he was really depressed, and everyone knew that
to. Probably no one wanted
to be around Jonah when he felt down.
verse 4 God asked, "have you any right to be angry"?
The obvious answer would be no.
Most of the time when we get angry, the same question could be
asked of us. The same answer
would also apply to us. Often
our anger, as I believe was the case with Jonah, is based on selfishness
- poor me - look at me - I need some attention.
doesn't appear that Jonah answered God.
It looks like he just left in one big pout.
He went east of
like Jonah felt that after the three days of prophesying, the city
should have been immediately destroyed, when it wasn't.
He gets upset. Leaves
the city, and waits for its destruction, that never takes place.
He gets even more mad at God.
gets very happy in verse 6. Again, we see the mood swings.
I guess God will and can use anyone.
You don't have to be a well balanced person.
The reason why Jonah is happy is because God allows a vine to
grow that gave Jonah more shade. Some
translations say this vine grew up over night.
There is a plant that does grow in that part of the world that
can grow up to 10 feet high and can grow 2 feet a day.
This might have been that plant.
didn't stay happy long. His
mood changed the next day because a worm came and destroyed the plant.
The same plant I mentioned in the last paragraph is often food
for certain worms. So Jonah
lost his shade.
when the hot sun came up that day in verse 8, and Jonah had no good
shade, again, he got mad and wanted to die.
verse 9 God asked Jonah, as He did in verse 4, when Jonah didn't answer,
"have you any right to be angry about the vine'?
This time Jonah does answer God and he says that he does have a
right to be angry and that's why he wants to die.
verse 10 God tells Jonah that he had been greatly concerned about the
vine. It grew up over night
and it died over night. Jonah
did nothing. He did not
cause the vine to grow. He
did not maintain the vine, and he did not cause the vine to die.
verse 10 God gives us a clue to why He allowed this vine to come and go.
He tells Jonah that there are 120,000 people in
the 120,000 are children, and really if they aren't, this shows that God
was concerned with both people and animals in the city, something that
Jonah didn't seem to be so concerned about.
provided the vine for protection for Jonah. He was happy, but I'm not
sure he was thankful to God for the vine, therefore the vine died.
On the other hand, unlike Jonah, those in
believe verse 9 and 10 shows us the reason why God provided this vine
for Jonah. Of course it was
for shelter, but I believe there is more to this than just shelter.
The whole vine experience might well have been a test for Jonah,
a test that he failed. He
was more concerned with the vine than the city he preached to. He
was more concerned about himself than those who he preached to.
Verse 10 says that Jonah "was concerned about this
vine". I believe that
if Jonah had of been more concerned about
thing we can learn from verse 10 is that God cares for animals, and why
not? He created them.
Another thing we can learn from this is that God is concerned for
Gentiles. We certainly see
that in the New Testament, but God's concern for Gentiles is not just a
New Testament thing.
the creation of
ironic to me that Jonah preached to a Gentile city roughly around the
same time that prophets like Amos and Hosea preached to Israel. Both the northern and
book of Jonah is often told as a Sunday school story to children and
thus is over simplified. The
problem with many Christians today is that we do not graduate from
Sunday school in our understanding and therefore fail to understand what
the Lord wants us to know in such books as Jonah.
I would suggest we all graduate from Sunday school.
book of Jonah is a small little prophetic book directed to Gentiles that
is hidden in the large number of prophetic writings directed towards