God’s Mercy Makes Jonah Angry

But this made Jonah very unhappy, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “When I was still in my own country this is what I said would happen, and that is why I quickly ran away to Tarshish. I knew that you are a God who is kind and shows mercy. You don’t become angry quickly, and you have great love. I knew you would choose not to cause harm. So now I ask you, Lord, please kill me. It is better for me to die than to live.”

Then the Lord said, “Do you think it is right for you to be angry?”

Jonah went out and sat down east of the city. There he made a shelter for himself and sat in the shade, waiting to see what would happen to the city. The Lord made a plant grow quickly up over Jonah, which gave him shade and helped him to be more comfortable. Jonah was very pleased to have the plant. But the next day when the sun rose, God sent a worm to attack the plant so that it died.

As the sun rose higher in the sky, God sent a very hot east wind to blow, and the sun became so hot on Jonah’s head that he became very weak and wished he were dead. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

But God said to Jonah, “Do you think it is right for you to be angry about the plant?”

Jonah answered, “It is right for me to be angry! I am so angry I could die!”

10 And the Lord said, “You are so concerned for that plant even though you did nothing to make it grow. It appeared one day, and the next day it died. 11 Then shouldn’t I show concern for the great city Nineveh, which has more than one hundred twenty thousand people who do not know right from wrong, and many animals, too?”