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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Jonahs Shade

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Joined: 2012/6/10
Posts: 225
United States

 Jonahs Shade

Tonight in a study I attend we read through the book of Jonah. We saw something we had never seen before and are wondering about. In Chapter 4 v.5 it says Jonah built himself a hut/booth/tabernacle (as the hebrew term indicates) and rested in its shade. But then the rest of chapters main emphasis is on the fact that Jonah needed shade and God provides the plant as covering. Any ideas on this seeming discrepancy?


 2017/9/13 22:37Profile

Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1164
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re: Jonahs Shade

Jon 4:6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
Jon 4:7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

God's goodness to Jonah continues. Though the prophet is displeased at God saving Nineveh...because he knew God would turn from his wrath and spare the city. Jonah's hatred for the Assyrians continues. God prepared the gourd so that Jonah would see the smallness of his heart and the compassion God has even toward the wickedest of cities. At the death of the gourd which did him well, he laments, at the death of so many people and so many thousands of infants he has no compassion.
It's interesting you bring this up considering the conversation we have been discussing the nature of a true prophet. Jonah defies what we all would expect from a prophet. Yet God used him to spare the city.

God didn't spare Jonah any hardship, storms, great fish swallowing him, doing a job he loathed, waiting for judgment and mercy fell, the tent destroyed and the gourd dies one by the winds the other by the son. Jonah is all but exasperated at God for sparing a people who deserved more than his mind a Sodom and Gomorrah judgment. We see here that even God's prophets need their hearts broken, transformed, taught so that they might see beyond the deservings of a sinful nation and onward to the God who has plans for that nation. Nahum later foretold their doom, after some decades their repentance vanished and God did what Jonah had wanted all along.
But it was not for Jonah's sake God's judgment fell, it was because they had filled up their sins and now wrath must come upon them.

Jonah is a study in what it means to be a prophet/preacher who by all accounts is right before his people and before God...yet not all for God discovers Jonah's pettiness and hatefulness to him and leaves us with the message that even God's prophets can prefer the life of a gourd rather than multitudes of people whom God is willing to show mercy upon.


 2017/9/14 2:03Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: Jonahs Shade

Gourds grow on vines, without some kind of trellis a gourd plant would just be ground cover.
So it would appear that the booth that Jonas made served as the trellis for the Gourd that God prepared.

add : plant

 2017/9/14 8:10Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5829


Even a house is cooler in summer if there are shade trees nearby. Any meager lean-to Jonah may have made would still feel like a sauna.


 2017/9/14 8:36Profile

Joined: 2016/11/15
Posts: 267

 Glory and Grace

Well said, Marvin. Holy Spirit inspired insight!!

L Young

 2017/9/14 9:30Profile

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