God is patient, isn’t He? At dawn the next day we read of God’s action in providing something in addition to the leafy plant that gave Jonah welcomed shade. God “provided a worm” (v. 7). Worms are good for many things — scaring moms when one is young, baiting hooks to catch fish, aerating the soil. This particular worm was created to . . . chew! And it chewed the leafy plant to such an extent that the plant withered!
A loss of comfort. How is Jonah going to respond? Like Jonah, we are thankful for comfort when it comes — and sometimes outraged when it is taken away! At sunrise, God provided one more item for His recipe of truth — a scorching east wind. That wind and the sun “blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint” (v. 8).
Again we read that Jonah “wanted to die.” God’s servant is miserable. He is ready to watch the show of judgment — and it doesn’t come. He is enjoying several elements of God’s good creation — and they are taken away. And now his head is getting sun-burned and his heart is white-hot angry with God.
Jonah’s ethical system kicks in and he says, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” And then the Lord said, “Okay.” And then he killed Jonah. (Not really) (to be continued)