We've reached the end of Jonah!! Let's see how the story plays out. If you haven't read the previous chapters with me, check out the first few: the first here, the second here, and the third here.
"Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
4 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”"
So what just happened with Jonah is that he obeyed God and told Ninevah about the Lord's wrath and how they need to obey Him, and they ended up stopping all of the hate and destruction! The Lord then stopped His destruction and saved them and thanked Jonah.
Chapter 4 starts with Jonah actually getting angry with God because he doesn't think it is right to just let it slide that these people were absolutely terrible towards all things righteous. He is so angry that he's even asking God to take his life so he doesn't have to see those people live. God says, "Excuse me, what?" Can you imagine getting upset at God for his mercy and grace and love? Still, God is patient with Jonah and provides shade for Jonah while he pouts, essentially. However, the Lord needs Jonah to understand the lesson so he makes it super hot and un-comfy all of a sudden, basically telling Jonah, "no, this isn't what you want, but this is what you asked for" and to prove a point with the plant. Jonah pouts about the plant that was supposed to give him shelter but failed, and God says, "you're upset, but you did nothing to fix it or help it. The same goes for the people of Ninevah." God wants Jonah to know that regardless of what's going on in someone heart, He will fight for them. He has concern and care for them, just as he had concern and care for Jonah.
God will not forget you, even if you are miles away. God knew that the journey to save Ninevah was not just for the Ninevites, it was for Jonah to witness how much faith we need to have in God through all types of journeys and all types of challenges. Jonah needed faith when he was asked to go to the city, then he needed faith to understand God's process and grace. God cares for everyone, and knows that Jonah will be a great guide for those people, even if it seems pointless to him.
Sometimes our journeys and callings may seem pointless, but God knows that there is a point to everything He gives. We need to have strong faith when this happens. We need to accept that He is there for us more than anything.