Jonah in flight from the presence of the Lord does the opposite of what the Lord told him. There was a storm "sent" from the Lord to cause him to repent. There are four prepared things that were sent to Jonah. They were sent to teach him various lessons. These "sent" or prepared things were:
1. A Great Fish 2. A Gourd 3. A Worm 5. A Vehement East Wind Jonah is in the bottom of the boat and fast asleep. The Mariners were scared for their lives. They tried everything they could to lighten the ship. They even threw their cargo out. The Shipmaster (Captain) came to him and woke him up and asked him, "How can you sleep and we're in a storm?" (Paraphrased) Call on your God! Jonah let them know that he was the cause of this terrible storm.
They took Jonah up and cast him overboard. Then, the fear of the Lord came upon them all. The fear of the Lord that Jonah ran from, came upon them. They offered sacrifice to God and made vows. I guess they said any God that could upset the elements and have us scared for our very lives, He can do anything. He can do anything and He is GOD JEHOVAH and we will serve him. These men seemed as though they accepted Jehovah as their Lord and Savior (if you will).
So we encounter the four things that God Prepared for Jonah.
The first prepared thing was a Great Fish. There has been a great dispute has to what type of fish this was. Some say it wasn't a whale but whatever it was the Lord prepared this great fish. That is the point they missed he "prepared" this fish. This great fish swallowed Jonah up. While Jonah was in this great fish's belly – he prayed. He describe being in this fish as being in the belly of hell. Remember, Hell has no deliverance – once you are there you are there – no escaping. There was no escaping this great fish. The Lord is your only deliverance from the wrath to come. Jonah 2:10 says, "And the Lord spake unto the fish and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land." (KJV)
In chapter four – verses 6-7, we find the other two prepared things: the gourd and the worm. An entire city of people fasted and repented. This was a great city. Jonah 4:11 says that there were 120,000 people who couldn't discern between their right and left hands. This means that there was between 250,000 and 500,000 people (possibly more).
In Jonah 4:1 "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was very angry. Angry that all these people repented. What kind of Prophet was Jonah?
The Lord prepared a Gourd (the second prepared thing). It came up over him to keep the sun from him – keeping him cool. The Lord just prepared it, He didn't ask for it not did he erect it – it just came. A type of the grace and mercy of God. You are a recipient of his good grace and wonderful mercy.
Third prepared thing was a worm. This worm smote the gourd and it withered. He gave the gourd and he can take the gourd. This is just God's grace and it comes when we obey him.
The fourth prepared thing: A Vehement East Wind. The sun beat upon the head of Jonah. He was exhausted from the heat and wanted to die. "Did you well to be angry for the gourd?"
You had pity on the gourd. God had pity on Nineveh you hadn't work for it, nor made it grow. You wasn't the farmer, it came up in a night and perished the same night. This gourd was a personal loss to him. It was his shade! The Ninevites was a benefit to God, that a city that knew and serve him. It is God's ultimate goal that "all may know him from the least to the greatest.
He asked a question in the eleventh first and I want just to deal with the first part. "should not I spare Nineveh...?" of course Nineveh would have been a great lost to him – these eternal souls. 120,000 that couldn't discern their right and left hand – this speak of infants. If each have a mother = 120,000 + 120,000 = 240,000. If each had a mother and father = 120,000 + 120,000 + 120,000 = 360,000 that's over a quarter of a million people. These is not including sibling and grandparents. So we could easily have close to 1 million people. That is about one million souls that would've gone to hell. But God!