Jonah and the Worm
June 26, 2009
“But God appointed a worm when
dawn came the next day, and it attacked the plant and it withered.” Jonah 4:7
We always read about Jonah and the whale. But an equally important
lesson is to be gleaned from Jonah and the worm.
Jonah had preached to Nineveh, and the Ninevites had repented.
God, honoring their repentance, spared them from his judgment.
Jonah, however, being of a rather more unforgiving nature, was
unhappy with this situation. He left the city, and, quite frankly,
sat and sulked.
So God sent a plant to grow up over his pouting prophet to shade
him from the sun. And Jonah was glad.
Then God sent a worm to destroy the plant, and brought on a localized
heat wave. And Jonah was mad.
God then pointed out that Jonah had more compassion on a single
plant than on all the thousands of people in Nineveh.
From this, we see that God doesn’t only use major crises
(whales) in order to teach us important lessons – he also
uses the minor irritants (worms) of every day life to get his point
across to us.
For example, suppose you drop a glass while cleaning up, and it
shatters on the floor. You find yourself exploding in anger. Your
response is completely out of proportion to the irritation. Why?
Perhaps, upon reflection, you realize that you have an anger-management
issue that needs to be resolved. Or perhaps, instead, you realize
that you have allowed the demands of life to get the better of
you, and you need to re-prioritize and re-order your days.
The question is, are we attuned to God’s voice … even
when he uses a worm to get across his message?
- What “worms” are
irritating you in life?
- Why do you find these situations irritating?
- Is there something inside you that needs to change in
response to the irritation?