I have been feeling like a teacher - you never can really share something until you have learned it fully. God has used these last 2 days to make sure I know what I am talking about. :o)
As I read through Jonah's story now I see what God was trying to teach Jonah all along. And why the book ends with God saying, "You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?", and why nothing else needs to be said.
My entry in my bible next to this verse sums it up well: This is about God's mercy. If Jonah had the love and mercy of God in his heart for Nineveh he wouldn't have been angry at God for sparing them. He could have shared in God's joy of showing mercy.
This is where I fall short many times. My heart desires something, but it isn't what God desires. When my heart is full of pride and anger I can't see as God sees. I need forgiveness and my heart changed. Then the Spirit is free to work and show me what God sees. Then I can be thankful, and merciful, and loving, and joyful, and right.
This is what Jonah missed. He was looking at himself...