The Lord Has to Remind Jonah about His Mercy
1 Jonah was very upset about this, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the Lord, “Lord, isn’t this what I said would happen when I was still in my own country? That’s why I tried to run to Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, patient, and always ready to forgive and to reconsider your threats of destruction. 3 So now, Lord, take my life. I’d rather be dead than alive.”
4 The Lord asked, “What right do you have to be angry?”
5 Jonah left the city and sat down east of it. He made himself a shelter there. He sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 The Lord God made a plant grow up beside Jonah to give him shade and make him more comfortable. Jonah was very happy with the plant.
7 At dawn the next day, God sent a worm to attack the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God made a hot east wind blow. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he was about to faint. He wanted to die. So he said, “I’d rather be dead than alive.”
9 Then God asked Jonah, “What right do you have to be angry over this plant?”
Jonah answered, “I have every right to be angry—so angry that I want to die.”
10 The Lord replied, “This plant grew up overnight and died overnight. You didn’t plant it or make it grow. Yet, you feel sorry for this plant. 11 Shouldn’t I feel sorry for this important city, Nineveh? It has more than 120,000 people in it as well as many animals. These people couldn’t tell their right hand from their left.”