4 : Then the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’
5 : So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made for himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city.
6 : And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant.
a) God will ask Jonah twice in this chapter, ‘Are you right to be angry?’ – here, he is angry about God’s grace and mercy being shown to the Ninevites. He is seething with rage about it.
b) Jonah builds himself a shelter – a ‘booth’ – reminiscent of Israel’s wandering in the wilderness – is this Jonah’s wilderness time?
‘Booths’ were also constructed for the annual festival of booths, a sort of harvest thanksgiving time when Israel remembered God’s faithfulness and rejoiced in his provision. However, here, Jonah is full of resentment and is having a good old sulk
c) Jonah is cheered up by this mysterious plant which suddenly grows up around him and offers him shade. Happy Jonah.
Are we only happy and content when things go our way?
King of endless worth
no-one could express
how much You deserve.
Though I’m weak and poor
all I have is Yours
every single breath.
I’ll bring You more than a song
for a song in itself
is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within
through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart.
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
and it’s all about You, Jesus.
(lyrics from ‘When the music fades’, by Matt Redman)