So to run away from him is in fact to run into the disaster. If you keep ignoring him, going your own way, you are only headed to your own destruction. Instead, run to him. Run to him. Right now. If you do, you will find not a wrathful, angry, condemning God but a loving, merciful, smiling Father. His love might be coming for you right this very second. Don’t run away. You can’t anyway. Just surrender.
Then God asked Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“Yes, it’s right!” he replied. “I’m angry enough to die!”
And the LORD said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow.”
— Jonah 4:9-10
Jonah didn’t do anything to get that plant; it was freely given to him. And he was acting like he deserved it, like he earned it somehow. Jonah is acting very self-righteously. He’s more concerned about his own comfort, which he thinks he himself deserves, than he is the idea of lost people going to hell, which he thinks he himself doesn’t.
Imagine for a moment if God treated us the way we often wish he’d treat others. Imagine if God treated us the way we treat others. We’d be in real trouble, wouldn’t we?
Jonah has a strong sense of justice, but it is distorted. Is it unjust for God to love the undeserving? The answer is no, first because God cannot be unjust. Everything he does is just, because he is a just God. And God is essentially holy but he is also in and of himself love. 1 John 4:8 tells us that.