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Jonah 4:9-11 – A Final Question

Summary

God asks Jonah if Jonah is right to be so angry. When Jonah insists he is right, God closes the book with a question: You care about a plant that you did not make; shouldn't I care about the people and creatures in Nineveh, whom I did make?

Analysis

The book ends without the reader knowing how Jonah answers God's question. So, the question is really, how does the reader answer the question for Jonah? In part, Jonah's problem is that he knows who God is (a Lord merciful, full of loving kindness, ready to relent from punishing sin), but Jonah doesn't like this about God. Jonah wants a God who will punish evil. The question that the book asks the reader then is this: Can we accept and love God as God is?

Jonah 4:9-11

Jonah Is Reproved

9 But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?’ And he said, ‘Yes, angry enough to die.’ 10Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’

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10 February 2011

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