Jonah 4

Jonah is angry

1 But Jonah did not like that. He was certainly not happy. He became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord. He said, ‘Lord, I spoke to you about this when I was at home. So I went quickly to Tarshish. I knew that you are a kind God. I knew that you understand people. You help them. You are full of love and you do not become angry easily. You are a God who thinks about causing bad things to happen to people. But then you decide not to do it. 3 Now, Lord, kill me. It is better for me to die than to live.’

4 But the Lord replied, ‘You have no reason to be angry.’

5 Jonah went outside and he sat down at a place to the east of the city. There he made a small hut for himself. He sat under it so that the sun would not burn him. He waited. He wanted to see what would happen to the city.

4:5Maybe Jonah made the hut with some branches and leaves. It would cover him for a short time.

6 But God made a plant. The Lord God caused it to grow up over Jonah so that the sun would not burn Jonah's head. He made it so that Jonah would feel good. Jonah was very happy about the plant.

4:6The plant grew as big as a tree and it had big leaves. Maybe it grew to 10 feet (3 metres) high. God caused this to happen. This was not a usual plant! The plant was better than the hut.

7 But God had also made a worm. At dawn on the next day the worm ate some of the plant. So then the plant died. 8 When the sun rose, God caused the wind to blow from the east. The wind was very hot. The sun made Jonah's head very hot. He became weak and ill. He wanted to die. He said, ‘It would be better for me to die than to live.’

9 But God said to Jonah, ‘Should you be angry about the plant?’

‘I should,’ he said. ‘I feel so angry that I want to die.’ 10 But the Lord said, ‘You like this plant. It is important to you. But you did not plant it or cause it to grow. It grew up quickly during the night and it died before dawn. 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people. They cannot understand the difference between right ways and wrong ways. Also, they have many cows. That large city is important to me.’

4:11The book finishes very quickly. Jonah could not think what to say to God after that.
4:11This book is about Jonah but it is also a book about God. It is more about God than about Jonah. It shows us who God is. It tells us what he does. He made the world and he rules over it. So we read about the storm, the fish, the plant and the worm. God starts life and he can finish it. God does not want people to do wrong things but he shows love. So we read how God saved Jonah and also the sailors and Nineveh.
4:11This true story shows that it is impossible for someone to run away from God. God knows everything. He is everywhere.
4:11God never makes mistakes. He is powerful. He can do whatever he likes. But he is always the same as a person. He does not change but he knows about all future events. He is angry when people do wrong things. But, after that, they may be really sorry. If they are, God is no longer angry. He shows his love.
4:11The most important idea in this book is that God shows his love to everyone, not only to the Israelites. Then Jesus came to earth. Now, God shows that he loves people from every country. ‘You have no reason to be angry’ is an important group of words in the book. We ought to be happy that God shows love to everyone. We must believe that God wants to be kind to everyone. He wants to be kind even to those who have done very wrong things.