Sitting under a makeshift shelter, Jonah was not just ticked off - he was angry enough to die! Angry and displeased at God for making him look like a fool in front of 120,000 people! "How could God do this to me," he thought to himself, "especially after all the grief and aggrevation I've been through to get here?"
As the sun rose, scorching wind blew in from the east and the sun blazed hot on Jonah's head. He was not only "hot under the collar" angry, but also faint from the heat as well; "It would be better for me to die than to live," he moaned.
His mind reverted back to when all this misery began just a few days ago...
The skies were blue and the wind calm as he boarded the ship at Joppa, payed his fare and sailed out of the harbor headed for Tarshish. However, within an hour a violent storm arose, threatening to break the ship in two. The Captain, fearing for the safety of the ship and crew, ordered the sailors to throw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship's load.
The Captain came down and found Jonah asleep in the hole of the ship, and yelled at him: "How can you sleep at a time like this? Tell us, stranger, who are you? What do you do? From what country are you? And is it you that have hexed us with this terrible storm?"
After giving the Captain his name, Jonah copped out that he was a jinx; as he was running away from the Lord; "I know this is my fault, so just pick me up and throw me into the sea and it will be calm, I promise you."
But the crew couldn't bring themselves to just throw him overboard, so they tried rowing towards land instead - but the waves became even wilder and rougher making it impossible.
Finally, with prayers to the Almighty for forgiveness, they tossed him overboard, and the sea immediately became completely calm.
God, of course, had prepared a great fish to swallow him up, and for three days and three nights he was tangled up in seaweed and slept with a squid and some other gross and smelly things he'd rather not recall.
Three days later God commanded the fish to vomit him out on dry land...which did nothing to enhance his fish scent as he entered the big city of Nineveh; but he was grateful to be alive and happy not to spend another night fending off octopus tentacles and squid arms.
Humbled by the experience, Jonah wasted no time in beginning his mission of telling the residents of Nineveh to "Beware, Beware! You have forty days before your city will be destroyed - unless you repent and rid your city of evil and wickedness. So says the Almighty God who made heaven and earth. Listen up you people and repent!" he shouted throughout the city streets.
Which brings Jonah back to the present; sitting in the hot sun sulking and getting more angry by the minute. "How could He do this to me?" he shouts aloud. "After all the troubles and tribulations I've gone through, God changes His mind and spares the city - just because every person, including the King, repented and got rid of the evil and wickedness...and He spared them! Making ME, Jonah the prophet, look like some kind of an idiot or fool!"
God looked down and said, "Jonah, have you any right to be angry with me?"
"I do", he replied, "I am angry enough to die."
"But Jonah," God said to him, "Am I not a God of love and compassion? Did I not spare you by rescuing you from certain death in the sea? And because you warned the people of Nineveh and they listened, I should not spare these 120,000 people from death and destruction also?"
Oh, Jonah, if we could only tell you what your fascinating story means to us in our world today; You are truly a blessing sent from Heaven above...a huggable reminder of God's unfailing love and unfathomable compassion for mankind. Bless you, Jonah, and thank you.
Reference: Book of Jonah 1-4
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