Most articles about Jonah are about the fish. Easy to get sidetracked. Should look at the image of God and of Jonah.
Jonah is told to go to a weakened city. Why go to them and give them an opportunity for God’s grace? That’s Jonah’s thinking. He wants to go to Tarshish as it’s not Nineveh. He goes to flee. He’s a disobedient prophet. Everything God is in v2, Jonah is not. The kindness and compassion of the pagan sailors is a stark contrast to Jonah. They’re reflecting God more than him.
Jonah is spewed onto the land in a flood of gastric juices. He proclaims judgment to Nineveh. The people hear it and repent. Jonah didn’t want Nineveh to turn from their evil. God does have compassion and didn’t bring the destruction. Jonah is angry when God shows grace and mercy towards them. Jonah knows the Assyrians and in his hatred he has a determination to deny God to them.
God sent a vine to bring comfort to Jonah. He sends a worm to eat it and Jonah grew faint. He says he wants to die. God asks if he has any right to be angry. He’s more concerned about a vine than a city of 120,000 people. He’s hardened to the plight of those who face God’s judgment. He rejoices that they’re going to be sent to hell.
Jonah is a human contrast to God. We are so sure about judgment that we resent the possibility of others being saved. God will see the wicked judged but he takes no pleasure in the death of them. His desire is for all to be saved. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He knows that the biggest problem with humanity is God. The only answer to the problem is God.
We must never sit back and let Nineveh come to us. Are you prepared to open up conversations? We have no right to feel morally superior to anyone. God will not put up with resentful Jonahs. Everyone needs Christ.