Chapter 4. vs. 1. Jonah was just not a little mad, he was a lot mad. He really did not want salvation and God’s grace to come to the Gentiles. The reason for his running from God in the first place. Jonah becomes like the elder son from Luke 15: 25-31.
vs. 2. Jonah is angry and bitter. He is not a happy camper at all.
vs. 3. People die for a lot of reasons, but wishing you were dead is not one of them. Jonah has been through the ringer, emotionally and physically, and now he is at his very rock bottom. Two prophets in scripture wanted to die. Do you know who the second one was? Elijah, following a physical and emotionally demanding experience, fleeing from Jezebel, crawled under a tree and asked God to let him die (1 Kings 19:4). A lot of us can relate to these two great men of God.
vs. 4. Dr. G. Douglas Young has given us what I believe is a much better translation here. He has translated it like this: “Is doing good displeasing to you?”—that’s what God meant. God says, “Jonah, I have saved Nineveh because I’m in the saving business and I save sinners. I wanted you to bring them the message of judgment to see whether or not they would turn to Me. If they turned to Me, I would save them. They did turn to Me, and I have saved them.” My friend, if there is joy in heaven over one sinner turning to God, they must have had a real big time up there when all the folk in Nineveh turned to God. God asks Jonah, “Is this displeasing to you that I have saved these Ninevites?”
McGee, J. Vernon.
vs. 5. Jonah still did not trust the Ninevites, so he took the high ground to the east so he could keep his eye on them. He thought they would go back to sinning and he wanted to be there to see the firestorm that the Lord would deliver to the Ninevites. Jonah made a shack to sit in the shade and wait out the forty days. Do you have to love people before bringing the Word of God to them? God is now going to move in the life of Jonah.
vs. 6. “The Lord prepared a plant.” Miracle number 8 of 10. God prepared the gourd or plant just as He prepared the great fish. Same thing, God prepared. At long last, Jonah is happy, he has a gourd. We all do the same thing. We can get attached and love something that is other than human. Jonah probably talked to his gourd. He had no one else, or nothing else.
vs. 7. God prepared a worm. Miracle number 9 of 10. Worms love gourds too, just not in the way Jonah did. Worms love to eat gourds.
vs. 8. Miracle number 10. “God prepared a vehement east wind. This would be a hot scorching wind, called a ‘sirocco.’ Again Jonah goes to ‘wishing ‘ something.
vs. 9. The only thing Jonah cared about was the gourd and now it is gone, and he wants to give up again.
vs. 10. God tells Jonah that the gourd is nothing. Jonah did not create the gourd or sustain it to life. Plants and animals are nice, but not as nice or as important as human beings that need to be told about the judgement and love of God. If they are our loved ones or they are ones we hate, we need to speak the Gospel. Catherine Booth, the wife of William Booth, founders of the Salvation Army, quote, “You are not here in the world for yourself. You have been sent here for others. The world is waiting for you!”
vs. 11. What does it mean 120,000 persons cannot discern their right hand from their left? Children. With that many kids Nineveh could have had a population of more than 600,000 people. God is saying to a great many people today, “I want you to go and take the Word of God to those who are lost.” And they say, “But I don’t love them.” God says, “I never asked you to love them; I asked you to go.” I cannot find anywhere that God ever asked Jonah to go because he loved the Ninevites. He said, “Jonah, I want you to go because I love them. I love Ninevites. I want to save Ninevites. And I want you to take the message to them.”
McGee, J. Vernon. “No answer being returned, it may be reasonably supposed Jonah, was convinced of his sin and folly; and, to show his repentance for it, penned this, narrative, which records his infirmities and weaknesses, for the good of the church, and the instruction of saints in succeeding ages.” John Gill.
Jonah, a lesson in service.
1. Disobedient, chapter 1. 1-11.
2. Afflicted, chapter 1. 12-17.
3. Praying. chapter 2. 1-9.
4. Delivered. chapter 2. 10.
5. Recommissioned. chapter 3. 1-3.
6. Powerful. chapter 3. 4-9.
Resources: Dr. J. Vernon McGee
The Evidence Bible
Halley’s Bible Handbook