top of page

Missed opportunity

Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.” Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand. Jonah 4:9-11

The prophet Jonah was called to go to Nineveh to tell the people that they need to repent of their sin and turn to God. But Jonah was not interested in obeying God’s call so he instead went the opposite way, to Tarshish. But God will not be deterred from His plan. He arranged Jonah’s situation that he was brought to Nineveh to preach to the people. After he preached, the people responded to the message of repentance. “The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least” (Jonah 3:5). The people turned to God thus prevented the destruction. This result did not make Jonah happy instead he accused God; “That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love” (Jonah 4:2). He was not ready to be joyful for the great spiritual revival that took place in the lives of the Ninevites. The only time he was happy was when there was a plant whose leaves grew and it provided a shade for him when he was moping in the middle of the desert. “And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant” (v. 6). After a good rest under the shade, a worm destroyed the plant so it withered away. Once again, he complained to God. “The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. “Death is certainly better than living like this!” he exclaimed” (v. 8). Because Jonah already had a sore spirit for he did not have his way, he got mad even to the slightest change in his condition. His agenda was not God’s agenda. He was grateful to God when a shade was provided but when it was taken away and there was this scorching heat, he was ready to lash out to God. As God pointed out to Jonah (vv. 10-11), the event revealed what was in his heart. He has pity to the plant and not to the Ninevites who need God. The book ended with this question (v. 11), “Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” There was no response from Jonah but the fact the book was written by him proved that he understood God’s lesson and that he wanted the readers of the book to learn the same lesson he learned. Do you cherish something more than you cherish to see a life changed by God because they were given the opportunity to hear the message of salvation? “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Matthew 16:26)


Noel De Guzman

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook App Icon
  • SoundCloud App Icon
bottom of page