But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.…
There is one thing most wonderful, and that is, that God should be so good as He is.
I. JONAH'S SELFISHNESS. Selfishness is one of the last evils that is rooted out of the nature of man, and it is hardly possible to limit the extent of the evil that selfishness works in us; it is the great hinderer of good. Selfishness is at the root of that exceeding anxiety lest our fellow-men should undervalue us. The great fear on the part of Jonah was lest his dignity should suffer by the repentance of the Ninevites, and lest, therefore, he should lose his character as prophet, and should be spoken of as an utterer of falsehoods. We see connected with it a slight estimation of the life and comfort of others. Thus the selfish man is continually violating the spirit of the second table of the law. We find selfishness existing in a very prominent way whenever men are found to be murmuring at God's will, if that will is opposed to their own.
II. THE LORD'S LESSON TO HIM. Now Jonah was disposed to show the same rebellious spirit as before, in objecting to the manner in which God was dealing with Nineveh. In dealing with him, God gave him comfort to prevent his suffering, and then removed the comfort. God thus deals with us constantly. We all need to be taught that creature comforts are but vanities, and that our only real comfort and consolation is in the Lord Himself.
III. GOD'S UNCHANGEABLE LOVE. We might have expected that such a man as Jonah God would have chastised and banished from His presence. What condescension we can see in His dealings with him! What a contrast between Jonah's selfishness and God's love.
(Montagu Villiers, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.