This chapter again focuses on the disgruntled prophet’s relationship with ADONAI as they dialogue about Yonah’s anger over the mercy and grace shown by YHVH. God argues His preference for compassion, even in horrible circumstances. The LORD has compassion for His creation, no matter how ignorant, abusive, or violent the culture. Jonah is about this, so Ha'Shem gives His reluctant servant an object lesson in the form of a plant. He attempts to convince Jonah (and us) that His response of compassion is better than justice and more important than strict justice. Elohim, the God of creation and destruction, argues that, “If you, Yonah, are moved to pity over the destruction of a plant that you did not create, shouldn’t I have pity over the destruction of people and animals that I did create.” God loves all of His creation, for He is gracious and compassionate (4:2).86
What do you do when you’ve yielded to the divine intervention but things still have not turned out as you’d like. You followed God’s path, resting in the comforting thought that at least some things might work out the way you wanted. Now, after the fact, you sit in stunned disbelief. NOTHING turned out the way you’d hoped. NOTHING. Without verbalizing it, you realize that you made a deal with God. You just thought He’d hold up His end of the bargain.
“OK, God. I’ll do this if the result will be that.”
Obviously you forgot to shake hands on it because ADONAI didn’t keep His part of this one-sided deal. You’re upset. Disappointed, and angry with the Lord.
Ever been there?
Why do you think we make unspoken deals with God when choosing to yield to His will?87