“But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered.”
But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm,
God “prepared” a second thing in two verses. We meet this term in verses six, seven, and eight. In the previous verse, He prepared a plant to give Jonah shade. Now He prepares a worm to destroy the plant. The worm was to show Jonah where his true values lay.
We can translate the word “prepared” as ordained. God ordained a worm! God ordained a fish in chapter one to save Jonah (1:17), and now he ordains a worm to teach Jonah about his materialistic attitude.
and it so damaged the plant that it withered.
Jonah needed to see the relative value of the temporal and the eternal, the material, and the spiritual. He needed to understand something of God’s grace and mercy to Nineveh. Jonah was so occupied with his own comfort that he forgot about the spiritual needs of others. The worm destroyed the only thing that Jonah cared for.
God introduces dissonance into our lives to make us see where our true value lies.
All of us have our blind spots. Although Jonah saw the need for grace in his life, he could not see the need for grace in the Ninevites’ lives. That is the same with us. We see the need for grace and mercy in our lives, but we find it difficult to extend grace to others.
To blast us out of our biases about what is true value, God, at times, introduces dissonance into our lives. He cares about us too much to let us go on unchecked. The Lord wants us to live at the highest standard of excellence possible.