Then the LORD said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”
Have you ever been angry with God? Be honest. Maybe you were hoping something would happen in your life, and it didn’t happen. Or maybe you prayed for something, and God didn’t answer your prayer in the way you wanted Him to answer it. Then again, maybe God blessed someone else when you thought you were more deserving of that blessing.
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Jonah was angry with God. While he was sitting outside Nineveh, waiting for it to be judged, the Bible tells us, “The LORD God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant” (Jonah 4:6). Then the Bible says the Lord brought a worm that ate the plant, causing it to die. So Jonah said, “Death is certainly better than living like this!” (verse 8).
Jonah seemed to be more concerned about losing his shade than he was about the people of Nineveh. He missed his comfort. He missed the whole picture. The people of Nineveh repented of their sins. They called it what it was, and God sent His healing.
The problem with Jonah was that he was preoccupied with himself. While God had spared thousands of lives, Jonah missed his shade. Here was a man who survived three days and three nights in a fish’s stomach, a man who repented, prayed, and preached the truth to the people of Nineveh, a man whom God used to bring about a spiritual awakening. Yet he fell into sin.
It’s a reminder that no matter how long we have known the Lord, we can still mess up. No matter how long we have known the Lord, we still may need to be revived again.