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The Prepared Worm

The Prepared Worm

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
CROSBY

1826—1891


But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the
next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. —
Jonah iv., 7.
CROSBY

1826—1891


But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the
next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. —
Jonah iv., 7.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 21, 2013
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08/18/2014

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THE PREPARED WORMCROSBY1826—1891But God prepared a worm when the morning rose thenext day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. — Jonah iv., 7.JUST when Jonah had felt the delight of the shadowing foliage and had begunto promise himself a most comfortableretreat against an Assyrian sun, the broad-leaved gourd withered. The morning hadarrived and the heat was becoming more in-tense, when the glad shelter was removed, andthe prophet's head was smitten with thescorching rays. "It is better for me to diethan live," exclaimed the fainting Jonah.And what caused this calamity? A worm.And is that all? o! God prepared theworm. The worm was under orders fromheaven, and while he, doubtless, ate into thegourd, with a good appetite, following thebent of his natural constitution, neverthelesshe was acting in direct obedience to God. Godprepared the worm. And yet in the sixthverse we read that God prepared the gourd.This is the record. "And the Lord God pre-pared a gourd and made it to come up over89THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMOSJonah, that it might be a shadow over his
 
head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonahwas exceedingly glad of the gourd." Andthen follows immediately : ' ' But God prepareda worm, when the morning rose the next day,and he smote the gourd that it withered,"Does God, then, build up in order to destroy ?And does He give comfort to His creaturesin order to torment them by its removal?So reasons the carnal heart, ready to complain,and looking on all God's conduct in its super-ficial aspect, its owti selfish and sensuous ad-vantage being the criterion of all its judg-ments. It is an easy counsel of Satan, whenwe are fainting by a withered gourd. ' ' CurseGod and die," the selfish soul is all ripe forsuch advice, — desperation is more invitingthan faith. And there are but few Jobs whocan resist the appeal to discontent and anger,in the face of Satan and wife combined, forwhen the natural depravity of our own heartsis supported by the entreaties of our nearestand dearest friends, hell's heaviest engine isbrought against us, **I do well to be angry,I even unto death," is the usual style in whichwe greet the afflictive providence of God. Buta faith like Job 's, that learns the lesson whichthe sorrow teaches, is rewarded, as was Job's,by the presence and communion of God, andby a satisfaction with His holy and righteouswill.Let us endeavor to understand some of the90CROSBY
 
facts connected ^vith our afflictions, as dis-closed by the Word of God, in order that wemay be prepared to follow Job rather thanJonah.I. In the first place, God is the author of affliction. '* Affliction cometh not forth outof the dust, neither doth trouble spring outof the ground." God asserts most positivelyin His "Word, that all the losses in the worldare sent by Him. He calls them chastisementsfrom His fatherly hand. ''I make peace andcreate evil,'' saith the Lord. This is not evilin the sense of wickedness. God does notcreate wickedness — but it is evil in the senseof affliction and trouble, the opposite of peacein the contrasted clause, ''I make peace andcreate evil." That is, God is the authorequally of prosperity and adversity to Hiscreatures. If it were not so, we should haveto imagine certain powers in God's universenot subject to His almighty control, whichwould be an absurdity. ''Shall there be evilin a city and the Lord hath not done it ? " Itis in this sense of God's hand in adversitythat the psalmist cries, *'Thou, God, hastproved us: thou hast tried us as silver istried; thou broughtest us into the net, thoulaidest affliction upon our loins"; and again,*'Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thouhast afflicted me with all thy waves." Godmay send affliction by permitting Satan toafflict, but still God is the author of the afflic-91THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMOS

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