Not that I need to break it down for anyone, but here's what I got out of it.
Jonah was told by God, to preach against the city of Nineveh for their wickedness. But Jonah was disobedient and ran away from God. He ends up on a ship headed for Tarshish. While he's on the boat, a storm comes a raging. They find out it is Jonah that has caused this storm and he gets thrown overboard. Where, of course, he gets swallowed up by a big fish. What's interesting to me is that even though Jonah was disobedient to God, God still protected him. Kept him from drowning in the sea.
Jonah is in the fish's belly for three days. Ha! Here's another thing noticed. When you get called by the Lord, you will have some days when you are utterly alone. Yeah, Jonah might have been in the fish's belly for only 3 days, but some of us.....it's a bit longer than that. That definitely gives us time to 'seek' God, which is what Jonah did. Prayed a very nice prayer. God heard him too and out of the fish's belly Jonah came. The Lord told Jonah again what He wanted him to do and lo and behold, this time he did it.
Jonah preached to the Ninevites and they repented and turned from their sin. So God showed them compassion and didn't bring the destruction He originally planned for them. Yeah, that didn't make Jonah happy. Not at all. He sulked because God didn't do what He said He was going to do. What right did Jonah have to be angry? Hadn't God forgiven him for his disobedience? Hadn't God even protected him during his disobedience? God was showing how His grace and mercy extended to everyone. He is a fair and just God.
Which of course, as if I didn't know it already, lends to the understanding that it makes no sense to feel or think someone deserves something just because they did wrong. Especially if they truly repent and turn away from their sins. We all fall short of the glory of God. We've all messed up at times. We've all been given grace and mercy by Him. But He loves us. All of us. Not one more than another....all the same.
Funny....when Jonah went and sulked, God provided for him, once again. Gave him a vine to shade his head. Jonah was happy about it, until it was taken away. (Isn't it interesting how we don't always appreciate the gifts that God gives us? Even if it is for a time, we need to appreciate what He provides for us....because not all the time do we deserve what He gives!)
Jonah 4:9-11"9 But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?" "I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die." 10 But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
I love it! How....what's the word....ridiculous is it to be concerned over something as little as a vine then to be concerned over something as immense as the city of Nineveh......is the vine more important than people's lives? (Never pays to run from God....never pays to be petty!)