Jonah 4 delves into Jonah's reaction to God sparing Nineveh. Jonah becomes angry and displeased with God's mercy toward the city, feeling that this was why he initially fled to Tarshish. He prays to God, expressing his frustration and preferring death over life. Jonah then leaves the city, sits east of it, and makes a shelter, waiting to see what will happen to the city. God appoints a plant to grow over Jonah, providing shade and relief, which Jonah greatly appreciates. However, God then appoints a worm to attack the plant, and it withers, causing Jonah to suffer from the heat and again wish for death. The chapter highlights God's lesson in compassion through this plant. God gently rebukes Jonah, pointing out his concern for the plant, which he did not labor over, and comparing it to God's compassion for Nineveh, with its vast population and many animals. The book ends with this open-ended question, emphasizing God's mercy and the value He places on all life, human and animal alike. Jonah 4 presents themes of mercy, compassion, and God's sovereign right to show pity, challenging Jonah (and the reader) to understand the breadth of God's love.

Jonah 4

1  But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

2  And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

3  Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

4  Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

5  So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

6  And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

7  But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

8  And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

9  And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10  Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11  And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

End of Jonah 4

1 Year Plan:  Dec 15 - Jon 4; Mic 1,  Ps 144

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