06 Jun Jonah 4:5-9

Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. So the Lord God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant. But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”

Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.”

The unwillingness to answer God’s question and the defiant actions of Jonah indicate his attitude; in angry silence, he sits outside the city and sulks. Yet, still God shows kindness to Jonah. He causes a plant to grow to shade Jonah from his misery. Now, is that the hot sun or Jonah’s lack of compassion God is concerned about? Despite all this, Jonah cannot make the connection between God showing him grace and him showing the Ninevites grace. I think the plant was God’s object lesson to Jonah of God’s mercy on Nineveh. When God removes the plant, He shows Jonah what it would feel like if He removed His mercy from him. Jonah’s thinking is messed up. When he answers God’s question about being angry at the plant with the fact that he does not want to live with a God who would show mercy on whomever He wants, Jonah shows his utter lack of godliness and love. No Christian should be showing judgment and disdain toward sinners. To turn away a young girl who gets pregnant out of wedlock or a young man who is struggling with his sexual identity is evidence of a person who denies the grace of God to others and has become a hypocrite of the highest order. The only person the Scripture tells us to judge is ourselves.