This change of plans upset Jonah, and he became very angry.
So he complained to the LORD about it: "Didn't I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. I knew how easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people.
Just kill me now, LORD! I'd rather be dead than alive because nothing I predicted is going to happen."
The LORD replied, "Is it right for you to be angry about this?"
Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see if anything would happen to the city.
And the LORD God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah's head, shading him from the sun. This eased some of his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.
But God also prepared a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant, so that it soon died and withered away.
And as the sun grew hot, God sent a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. "Death is certainly better than this!" he exclaimed.
Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?" "Yes," Jonah retorted, "even angry enough to die!"
Then the LORD said, "You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. And a plant is only, at best, short lived.
But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, a not to mention all the animals. Shouldn't I feel sorry for such a great city?"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)