Jonah was instructed by God to go to Nineveh,the capital of Assyria,to warn them of impending judgement.
He didn’t go!
Instead he travelled towards Tarshish.
The Assyrians were really thorns in the flesh of the Israelites:
They invaded the land of Israel seven times.
Altogether,they oppressed Israel for 175 years!
They were very ruthless to the Israelites.
When their wickedness got to the peak,God then informed Jonah to go and warn them.
Jonah knew God better than that.He knew if the Assyrians should hear the message,they would repent and God would not punish them.
If there was a Facebook/Twitter app then,Jonah would have expressed his mind in a post like this:
“If their cup of wickedness was full and it was time for their punishment,let it be.They were ruthless to us,let God be ruthless to them!”
Simply,his patriotism and bigoted mind led him to disobey God.