“So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. ” (Jonah 4:5 KJV)
The final chapter in the book of Jonah makes for a difficult discussion on the part of Jonah. It does so with all reasonableness as there is a very real struggle in Jonah between what Jonah feels is the justice of God and the mercy that God is actually extending. It is nearly the same lesson that Zechariah needs to learn in that true justice is found in administering mercy and compassion (Zechariah 7:9). Yet, there is one unmistakable attribute of Jonah in this chapter that is to his credit. He waits on the Lord! He may be angry about the situation, which is not all bad (see Ephesians 4:26), so long as he does not sin while he is angry. Even when we are upset at God, the smartest thing we can do is to pick a spot to sit down and see what He is going to do. It is at this spot that Jonah picks that the entirety of the lesson that he must learn from God takes place. Had he done his duty and immediately returned back to his home; it is unlikely that Jonah would have ever had the opportunity to see the completeness of what God was trying to accomplish. Something about Psalm 24:14 still rings true even in our most disagreeable situations. We are even then teachable should we stick around long enough to genuinely wait on the Lord. “ Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. ” (Psalm 24:14 KJV)
Oh, that those who ridiculed Jesus about “three days” would have waited at the cross (or at the tomb) for those short three days (see Matthew 27:40). You may say that this three day reference was in complete ignorance to the wrong “temple”, yet it appears a few verses later in verse sixty-three that someone thought of it correctly as His body. The soldiers posted at the tomb got to see something that those who were angry with Jesus earlier never got to see. Likewise, when we think God is doing something completely backwards, even in our anger, it behooves us to stick around long enough to see what God will do. There may be a lesson in it for us. You may even find the seed you plant in waiting is turned into one of the fruits of the Spirit in patience (Galatians 5:22).
“ Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” (James 5:7 KJV)