Jonah 4:1-11 open_in_new
The final picture of the controversy between Jonah and Jehovah reveals most vividly, through Jonah, the attitude of the ancient people which his story was intended to correct, and Jehovah's care for, and patience with, all sinning peoples, which they so little understood. The prophet went out of the city, and in distress and resentment sat in a booth of his own making to watch the course of events.
Again the overruling of Jehovah was manifest in the prepared gourd, the prepared worm, and the prepared sultry east wind. So great were the anger and anguish of the prophet that he fainted, and asked again that he might die. Jehovah repeated His question, but with a new application, "Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?" He who had been angry that the city was not destroyed, was angry that the gourd was destroyed; and he answered the inquiry by affirming, "I do well to be angry, even unto death."
Thus the last picture we have of Jonah is of a man still out of harmony with the tender mercy of God, and the last vision of Jehovah is of a God full of pity and compassion even for a city such as Nineveh, and willing to spare it if it returned to Him in penitence.