And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” 10 And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” Jonah 4:87-11
Have you ever wondered at the abrupt ending of the book of Jonah? Why isn’t there a chapter five? Why doesn’t the book end with a song of gratefulness for the salvation of Ninevah, a prayer of gratefulness for God’s patience with Jonah, or at least a humble response to God’s searing question?
It seems that God wants us to see ourselves at the same point of decision as Jonah. Will I desire mercy or condemnation? Will I hope for judgement or mercy toward the sinners in my life? Will I crave my comfort more than I desire to see the lost delivered? Will I love as I have been loved? Will I rejoice at God’s compassion, even to those that have caused me pain?