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God’s Mercy Makes Jonah Angry

But Jonah was very unhappy that God did not destroy the city. He was angry. He complained to the Lord and said, “I knew this would happen. I knew it when I was still in my own country. It is why I quickly ran away to Tarshish. I knew that you are a God who is kind and shows mercy. You don’t become angry quickly. You have great love. I knew you would rather forgive than punish them. So now I ask you, Lord, please kill me. It is better for me to die than to live.”

Then the Lord said, “Do you think it is right for you to be angry?”

Jonah went out and sat down east of the city. There he made a shelter for himself. And he sat there in the shade. He was waiting to see what would happen to the city. The Lord made a plant grow quickly up over Jonah. This made a cool place for him to sit. And it helped him to be more comfortable. Jonah was very pleased to have the plant for shade. The next day the sun rose. And God sent a worm to attack the plant. Then the plant died.

When the sun was high in the sky, God sent a hot east wind to blow. The sun became very hot on Jonah’s head. And he became very weak. He wished he were dead. Jonah said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

But God said this to Jonah: “Do you think it is right for you to be angry because of the plant?”

Jonah answered, “It is right for me to be angry! I will stay angry until I die!”

10 And the Lord said, “You showed concern for that plant. But you did not plant it or make it grow. It appeared in the night, and the next day it died. 11 Then surely I can show concern for the great city Nineveh. There are many animals in that city. And there are more than 120,000 people living there. Those people simply do not know right from wrong!”

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