Every visible thing is stamped with uncertainty, “ in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works tham are therein shall be burned up.” (II.Pt.3:10).
All our earthly comforts will, soone or later, wither and die.
The countenance of nature herself who is governed by unerring law, is continually changing.
Kingdoms and nations change. What changes have taken place in our homes, and among our friends. How many old faces are gone, how many new faces have come. We see change all around us. Only Jesus remains the same, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. ” (Heb.13:8).
When all earthly things shall wax old and pass away like a garment, the unchanging Saviour still remains, “For I am the LORD, I change not; (Mal.3:8).
Jonah faced a Short Lived Pleasure. “God prepared a worm the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.” God can prepare the worm as well as the gourd.
While people are enjoying their gourd of pleasure, they are apt to forget that there may be a worm at the root. or when they shall say, “Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.”(I.Thess 5:3).
How many little unseen things may be at work in the night. “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines:” (S.O.S. 2: 15).
Let us receive mercies with a humble and thankful hearts. Are there not many whose gourd has suddenly withered, “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7).
That child which used to be the delight of your eye-God prepared the worm of disease, and it has withered away.
That husband that used to cast over you his protecting hands has suddenly withered away.
That mother who used to be your gourd, in delivering you from your grief, has been cut down by the worm of death.
This world is covered with many withered gourds. Each ruin says to us, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col.3:2) for they are temporal. ” Every earthly thing has its worm. The worm of time is already working at the root of your present worldly pleasures.
That gourd of false profession will turn out a lifeless heap on the day of God’s fierce anger.
God has prepared a worm that will bring to ruin every refuge of lies.
What an awful discovery to awaken on the resurrection morning, to find our hopes, like Herod’s body, eaten up of worms, “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Ac.12:23).
The incorruptible Christ has paid an incorruptible price for our incorruptible soul. In Jesus the everlasting springs of life abide.
The heart that has laid hold on Christ has received a portion that can never fade away The heart that has laid hold on Christ has received a portion that can never fade away, the apostle Peter tells us, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,“ I.Pt.1:4).
An Overcoming Trial, “And it came to pass, when the sun did rise, that God prepared a vehement east wind, and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah that he fainted.
If your joys are bound up in your circumstances, instead of our God, it is so easy and natural to be more anxious about the gift than the Giver.
It does seem strange at first sight, how God dealt with Jonah. He prepared a gourd to cover him, then a worm to vex him, then a wind to smite him.
We may find fault, but we cannot mend it. The Divine Teacher is not obliged to explain Himself to us.
A great and merciful purpose is here. This piercing east wind upon Jonah’s defenceless head was sure trial.
The winds are in God’s hands, and are give out, not at random, but for a definite purpose, “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, to all generations.” (Ps.33:11).
Let us never forget It was by a strong east wind that the Lord divided the Red Sea.
The cutting, biting, withering winds of affiction are all for some purpose.
Let us learn to welcome affliction that drives the root of our being deeper into the things of the unseen world, and makes us more fit to stand in the time of tempest.
Jonah fainted, he was like the seed that had no depth of earth, and withered away when the scorching sun fell upon it. David said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed. ”
If we have no faith in God we have nothing to save us from fainting in the time of trial.
To you who are growing faint thinking there is no salvation for you, “Only believe. Weary people, remember, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa.40:31).
The Lord ask Jonah a direct question, God said to Jonah, “Doest thou well to be angry,” ? ” Jonah answer was that of a man who is perfectly honest, but whose heart was likely to deceive him.“ I do well to be angry, even unto death.”
The great lesson seemingly that God wished to teach Jonah was that, “Sin worketh death,“ both in the nation and individual.
Israel had turned away from God. Idolatry, like the worm at Jonah’s gourd, was eating the life out of the nation. Righteousness exalteth a nation.
Now that Nineveh was on its knees seeking mercy and righteousness, God would lift it up.
The same principle reigns to-day; the Divine word is, “Them that honour me, I will honour. “
God Iooketh on the heart. Jonah was more concerned about the gourd of his own comfort than the salvation of the heathen city. Such are certain signs of a staggering faith.
Faith in God is the death-blow to all this miserable self-interest.
God had a silencing argument for the prophet, “Thou hast had pity on the gourd, and should not I spare Nineveh. There is much in God’s dealings with us that we can never understand, and must be received by faith, the just must live by faith.
God uses one powerful arguments to silence the doubts and fears of his servant.
The argument of sovereignty. God has a right to do as He will with His own. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:” (Isa.45:5).
Proud man would even question this right and show displeasure at God’s dealings, because he cannot comprehend His meaning.
It is a awful presumption to suppose that the purposes of God are to be subject to the reasoning of men.
Paul’s argument is conclusive. Nay, Oh man, who art thou that repliest against God? “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” (Ac.9:5)
Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, “Why hast thou made me thus ? ”O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jer.18:6).
These arguments seem to have silenced Jonah, for we hear his voice no more. He quietly allows God to have the last word.
Has God settled all your difficulties and silenced all your arguments?
Don’t keep up a controversy with the Almighty. Yield your will to Him, and what you cannot grasp with the intellect, believe with the heart
Jesus Christ, who is for greater than Jonah, would win us to Himself, By the power of his convicting Spirit.
He would show us the blackness of our evil hearts, that He might bring us to repentance and confession.
Then He lavishly bestows upon us the great gifts of His grace, love, peace, joy, rest, and eternal life. He blesses all he conquers. Has He conquered you ? “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?