Jonah and the Worm



“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 everyday 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?

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