The Russians love their children too
No one could accuse this bit of the Bible as bashing. The tone is rhetorical, the book literally ends with a question.
Jonah is a neo con. A conservative fundamentalist who wants to carpet bomb Iraq in the name of God. He has unwillingly done gods will under considerable coercion and perfunctorily proclaimed gods judgement and the need to repent. He sits out in a mountain to watch the show of gods destruction of Nineveh and feel the schadenfreude.
But it doesn’t happen because they improbably and spectacularly repented.
Double whammy, the plant God caused to grow in the desert and provide him some shade dies and he is burning up in the sun. Is he angry with God! He wants to die for the heat, and he wants to die for the mercy being shown to his enemies, who he thought were gods enemies. So angry with God right now!
God asks a series of questions back, doesn’t really preach at him. Does Jonah really think God should care more about one plant than all the children and animals in the city?
And with great economy we are left to ponder the nature of gods mercy. End of book, curtain down.
When we pray father, may we be open to your perspective, may we not try to use you for our own petty and self serving agendas.