Again Jonah wants his life to be over! After affirming God’s grace, compassion, slowness to anger, and love, Jonah is ticked that God is not sending calamity on the people of Nineveh! And he wants to die. Again.
What a strange prayer request: “Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (v. 3). If chapter one had Jonah attempt suicide by sailors, chapter four has Jonah attempting suicide by God!
“It is better for me” — How in the world did Jonah think he knew what was BETTER for him? Perhaps this is one illustration of the consequences of Adam and Eve taking the forbidden fruit: “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil,” God said. (Gen. 3:22) The test in the Garden was whether Adam and Eve would obey God rather than choose their own way.
Such autonomy produced devastating consequences. Jonah, as one of Adam and Eve’s descendants, exhibits that autonomy by evaluating what he thought was “better.” Watch out for those words in your own life — “It is better” — either thought or spoken out loud. Who are you to decide? (to be continued)