Jonah | Jonah Complains
God’s love for all people is so great it may confuse us, or even anger us.
Jonah 4:1-11 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
Jonah 2:1-2 “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.”
At bed time, ask your kids, “Why is it so difficult to show love to people who are our enemies? Why do you think it’s easy to believe we are better than other people?”
Ask your kids if there’s anyone in their life that has hurt them that they feel like God might want them to forgive. If you’ve had any recent moments that you might need to apologize for, this might be a good time to even ask your kids for forgiveness.
At dinner read Jonah 4:1-11. Open up your phone and all the various emojis – ask your kids to pick which one they think most described the way Jonah felt in this chapter.
Ask your kids to tell you about their biggest rival – maybe it’s another school, another student, or maybe the sports team they hate. Ask your kids if they think it’s good news or bad news that when God loves people – he loves even our biggest rivals.