Friday, April 8, 2016

Jonah 4:5-8

Jonah 4:5-8
4:5 - 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.

Jonah grabs his Red Bull and popcorn, hikes outside of the city, and sits down to watch the fireworks as (hopefully) God destroys Nineveh.

4:6 - 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.

First, God appointed a plant.

Jonah recognized God's provision of grace to him with the rapid growth of the plant. But, with God's blessings, come God's lessons.

4:7 - But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered.

Second, God appointed a worm.

Unbeknownst to Jonah, his well received shade was under attack and disappointment was soon to come.

4:8 - 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.”

Third, God appointed a scorching east wind.

The Red Bull and popcorn are long gone, the fireworks show didn't happen, and now Jonah's shade is withered and dying. Jonah finds himself in the exact other end of the spectrum as he was in the fish's belly.

He is now hot instead of cold, dry not wet, in full light not darkness, Nineveh does not reek of death and decay because the Lord has spared it. Jonah could have relief from the elements if he were to go back into Nineveh, but that apparently isn't on the table. So, Jonah once again says to God: Just kill me already.

Paragraph Summary
With phase three of God's object lesson complete, Jonah fails it. He should have been familiar with Job's response to tribulation in Job 1:20-22:

 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

Job had much greater losses than Jonah's withered plant and yet responds in a godly, righteous way. Jonah, of course, doesn't.

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