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. 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?”
God uses the plant to help Jonah to see the bigger picture. God points out to Jonah that his focus is on his own comfort and has total disregard for what God cares about. Through Jonah’s lack of care for a simple plant, we recognize how selfish he really is.
God shows us just how fragile a life can be when it is not being cared for. He magnifies this concern by comparing the life of a plant to one hundred and twenty thousand human lives. God desires for Jonah to have compassion for what He loves and cares for most – His people.
The story ends and we do not know how Jonah responds. Although we are unsure if Jonah gets the lesson, I am hopeful that reading through the book of Jonah and studying his ways, we have all learned a lesson or two…I know this story has certainly changed my perspective. For me it has intensified God’s love and compassion. I am assured that He loves me no matter what -and I know HE loves YOU, too!
Dear God, Thank You for Your love and concern for all people. In Jesus Name, Amen