Jonah 4.1-3 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 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. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
Jonah 4.9-11 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. 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: 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?
Jonah is the reluctant prophet. He has a bad attitude towards Ninevites. He’d just as soon see them burn in hell than repent. After preaching his 8 word sermon that prophesied total destruction, God granted the people repentance. A repentance that included animals as well! Hallelujah! Not for Jonah. He says “kill me”. Stewing in his anger, he watches the city from a hillside in hopes that they will go back to their Ninevite ways and perish. It doesn’t happen. But Jonah is burning under the midday blazing hot sun. God graciously provides a gourd to provide him shade and comfort. Jonah is now a happy camper, enjoying his creature comforts. Until….
God destroys the gourd. Jonah’s fuming with anger over his loss. God gives Jonah a life lesson in perspective. How easy it is for us to become more concerned for creature comforts than the souls of men. God help me! Deliver me from that self pleading, comfort seeking life that can watch the souls of men perish without me blinking an eye. What is your gourd, beloved? Father, give us hearts like Yours. May Your love for the lost consume us. Show us our gourds that we cherish while the souls of men perish. God is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance. Let us not be reluctant to declare the grace of The God of Jonah to our Ninevites today.