Then God said to Jonah, “ Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “ It is right for me to be angry, even to death!” But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left and much livestock?”
The question is often asked, “where is God when evil takes place in this world”? “If God sees the evil taking place, why doesn’t He stop it and allow suffering to continue?”
Jonah had somewhat similar perspectives and expectations of how the world should be “managed”. He was not pleased that God chose to spare the people of Nineveh, whom he was asked to preach to. In Jonah 4, God raised a plant to provide shade to Jonah. He was thankful for it. But when it was removed and the sun scorched him, he expressed desire to die. He was even adamant that he was right in being angry over the incident.
God patiently provided the bigger picture of the situation with regard to Nineveh to Jonah in Jon 4:10-11. He said that Jonah had concerns over a plant which he was not even involved in bringIng forth. Why should God not be concern for twenty thousand people in Nineveh whom He had an interest in?
There is always a bigger picture to things happening in this world that only God knows about. Our response should not be to question Him, but to submit to Him. We need to acknowledge that He is the wise Creator and the one who sustains this world. He knows exactly what He is orchestrating for His Creation. Sometimes He would review some of His thoughts to His children, like He did to Jonah. Other times, He would withhold this knowledge. Perhaps the reasons are way beyond our ability to understand the matter withheld from us. But we should always remember that it is His prerogative and God to do according to His good pleasure and purpose. As His creatures, we should just bow in humility and submit to His wisdom in what He brings to pass.