The worm in our midst (Jonah 4; Luke 8)

“But when the dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.”  Jonah 4:7

Yes, it is true, “There are things at work beneath the surface of our lives.” Paul identifies this as spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:10-13.  Solomon describes it as follows, “out of the heart flows the issues of life.”  Question, “Are you aware of the work that is going on beneath the surface in your life?”

Think it through:

Consider Jonah, the prophet of God before us.  He is a national hero to his people.  He has a specific assignment, “Go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”  He has a beneath the surface problem, “He hates the people of Nineveh.”

Here in chapter four we see that the worm represents the judgment of God against the hard-heartedness of Jonah.  Please spend time reading Jonah 4.

Here is God’s heart:  “God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”

Here is Jonah’s heart: “He was more concerned for his comfort than he was for the eternal destination of his enemy.”

3 realties come into play as we think it through:

1.  Jonah was almost destroyed because of the worm of hatred, Jonah 1:16-2:10

2. Jonah would have destroyed the people he hated, Jonah 1,4

3.  Jonah was derailed because of his hatred, Jonah 4:9-11

Question:  “Are you facing a worm in your life because you are not dealing with the under the surface things in your heart?”

Our response:

You and I must be careful to never allow anything of sinfulness to get in our hearts, Hebrews 12:14-16.

You and I must be careful to strive to have the heart of God in all matters, Matt. 22:37-38; Phil. 2:5-11.

You and I must be careful to confess to God the sin that so easily enslaves us, Hebrews 12:1-2.

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