Jonah still has some growing to do at this point in the story. He is a long way from thinking the same way as God. He does not have the same compassion and love. And he is just embarrassed that what he told the people of Nineveh did not happen.
Prayer works. Only at the end of time will we realise how much disaster and destruction God has saved us from as a result of prayer. Think about how many near misses you might have had. Think of yourself and others and rejoice that God has brought you this far.
This heathen king had heard about the God of the Jews and about His fierce anger. His reputation had gone before Him! The King of Nineveh had heard that The Lord could be a compassionate God, but he was also aware that the sins of his people deserved death.
Many people will tell you that they have learned a lot through their pets, or that God sent a stray animal to be looked after just when someone needed a friend or someone on whom they could lavish love. Maybe the animals have more to teach us than we think!
What a wonderful picture of repentance this is. Even the king was dressed in sackcloth and went to sit in the dust, repenting for himself and for his people. The people in his court would have no choice but to do the same! God did exactly what Jonah expected!
Speaking about your faith at a dinner party with non believers round the table, or in an office coffee break. These things can be embarrassing. God is not concerned about our timidity or embarrassment. He is trying to break us out of our comfort zones and move His kingdom forward.
The command of God was very clear. He did not ask Jonah if he had changed his mind, nor did He ask if Jonah could find time to go to Nineveh. He just told him to go. And Jonah went! No more the reluctant prophet, at least for the moment!
Every scene here is directed by The Lord Almighty. He is the God of creation. He has total authority over all the animals He has created. In Genesis 1:26 we read that He gave that authority to man too. Although this was maybe not the first thought Jonah had here.
Often salvation from the Lord does not look like we expect it to. For Jonah, the way of being rescued from the sea was to be swallowed by the whale. Has the Lord ever rescued you from one problem only for you to find yourself in a different, bigger problem?
We are surrounded in our daily lives by people who cling to idols. Yet unless we rely totally on the Lord God, we are forfeiting, as this verse tells us, some of the grace we could receive from our Heavenly Father who loves to give good gifts to His children.