Jonah's Priorities. - Jonah 4:5-9.
December 1, 2022, 8:12 AM

Jonah’s Priorities

Jonah 4:5-9

“Jonah went 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.

Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine.

But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered.

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."

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."


Here we have the story of the plant providing shade for Jonah. God provided the shady plant, but then he also provided the worm that came and ate the plant at just the right place to cause it to whither and die. Jonah cries again, “Woe is me” “I’m better off dead”.

Then comes that question from the Lord. “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” The implication is –“What right do you, of all people have to be angry for my mercy toward people, but now how can you be so angry over something as petty as not having shade from the plant? You have more grief over the death of a plant than eternal loss of people’s souls.” Sure, the plant was used to bring comfort. You’ll notice that Jonah was exceedingly glad for the plant to save him from the heat and sun. It is true that little things can make a difference for us.

I enjoy so many conveniences. I so enjoy a warm shower at the turn of a faucet. I enjoy turning a key to have my car start. When these things don’t work, I get upset over the inconvenience, cost, and time wasted. Isn’t life horrible? I don’t think of the fact, I have money to get things repaired or I’m well fed. I just concentrate on the convenience I do not have and that puts me in a sour mood. How about you?

Jonah is more concerned about a little plant than he is about the great city of Nineveh. He is more concerned about selfish needs than the needs that are basic to others.

I’m sorry to say that is the attitude expressed by many. In all our wealth and luxuries, we are more concerned about our comforts while people dying of starvation or lost without the gospel. We have opportunities to give and serve the needy through contributions during the year.

When disappointing things come, we are tempted to say God is not fair, but if He was fair most of us would lose most of our material goods to be distributed to the bulk of the world without. You and I have been super blessed, so when you think of the fairness of God think of those in Ukraine. What are the petty issues that capture our time and money?

We experience things in life so that God might break our spirits and depend on Him. Jonah’s spirit needed broken in the stomach of a great fish and more work needed to be done in his life in the wilderness. It seems God is never done teaching us things.

The fact that the plant died makes him so angry he wanted to die. Almost sounds funny, doesn’t it? Little things capture our attention and God sometimes takes them away from us to wake us up to reality.

Application- Evaluate your priorities in view of God's concerns.

Prayer-"Lord let me have eyes to see what you see and a heart that reflects your heart toward others."