Chip Capo asserts that the greater lesson God was teaching through the story of Jonah’s attitude toward Nineveh, the large and prosperous capital of ancient Assyria, was the merciful nature of His character. Jonah was overwhelmed by God’s demand that he deliver a message of impending doom. But when the Ninevites repented, and God turned from this purpose, Jonah was angry. He wanted to see Nineveh destroyed; they were the enemy of Israel, and Jonah hoped their destruction might alert Israel to its own sinful backsliding. His self-righteous frustration was so precious to him that he was willing to die for it. He did not care about the fate of Nineveh, and it is unclear if his concern about Israel was truly outgoing concern, or just an attitude of judgment. Conversely, God extended mercy. Jonah should have loved and cared for the Ninevites like he cared for the plant that shaded him. Love and mercy are inherent features of God’s nature, as they must be of ours.
Ephesians 4:32 — Forgiveness — John 13:35 — Jonah — Jonah 3:1-10; 4:1 — Love your enemy — Love your neighbor — Matthew 5:43-45; 24:12 — Nineveh — Relationships