“And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant.”
And the Lord God prepared a plant
The word “prepared” is the keyword in the book of Jonah. In this case, it was God Himself who prepared this plant. This is a case of God’s sovereign provision for Jonah. It was an object lesson to help Jonah learn something about the nature of grace and compassion.
God clearly acts in sovereignty throughout the book. There are five things that God “prepared” in the book of Jonah:
1. God prepared a wind, 1:4
2. God prepared a great fish, 1:17
3. God prepared a plant, 4:6
4. God prepared a worm, 4:7
5. God prepared a vehement east wind, 4:8
and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery.
The design of the plant was to provide shade for Jonah in the blazing sun of the near east. Jonah did not water or prune the plant; it was an unadulterated gift of grace from God.
So Jonah was very grateful for the plant.
Jonah went from one extreme to the other. He wanted to die in verse three; now, he is “very grateful” for the plant. He was a man of extremes. He was either way up or way down. He was really mad or really glad. He was completely right or completely wrong. There was no in-between with him. Jonah expressed himself very clearly concerning his plant. This is the only place in the book where Jonah articulates any positive emotion.
Grace is God’s way of motivating us to serve Him.
God provides grace, even for those out of fellowship. His grace is a motivation for restoration. We do what we do as Christians because we love the Lord Jesus.
2 Co 5:14-16, 14 “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.”
People attach themselves to material things. Some love material things more than people.