The book of Jonah is full of contrast. The prophet Jonah runs from God, while everyone else in the book runs towards God; Jonah’s response to God has sharply contrasted the response of the pagan sailors and also the response of the wicked people of Nineveh. Here in chapter 4, we see the sharp contrast between the anger of Jonah and the compassion of God.
God is the God of second chances. He is relentless in his loving pursuit of the lost. In chapter 3 of Jonah, we see God’s patience and grace for disobedient Jonah, as well as for the people of Nineveh.
After Jonah’s defiance in running away from God and His call, God uses a great fish to not only save him from the sea but also to provide an opportunity for Jonah to contemplate his decisions and his call. God truly desires obedience over sacrifice and a changed life over empty words.
God calls Jonah to the mission field, to reach the wicked city of Nineveh. Jonah runs away from God and from his call. This sharply contrasts or expectations of a prophet of God, and it also sharply contrasts the pagan sailors who run to God as Jonah runs away.