Maybe you’re like me and you’ve read over a verse a hundred times and as you read the story again, you realize that something sticks out.
As I was reading the book of Jonah this past weekend, it occurred to me that God is very much in the miniscule details of our lives. I’ve heard time and time again in my life that this was the case but I guess I never percieved or even pondered how detail oriented God is in our lives.
If you read the book of Jonah, you know that it’s not a very long book considering it’s only 4 chapters and you can probably read through the whole thing in about 15 minutes. This book takes place during the Kings era where King Jeraboam (the second one) was ruling and Jonah was a prophet during that time. Considering the nature of the book, Jonah probably wrote this book as there are many details that only he would know about. But as you read the story, you learn that God has called Jonah to tell the people of Ninevah to turn from their pagan ways or they will be destroyed.
However, this was far from what Jonah wanted to do considering that he hated the people of Ninevah and actually was rooting for God to destroy them. So at first, Jonah heads the complete opposite direction towards Tarshish (most likely modern day Spain) and lands himself in a ship where he causes a great storm to come upon it. During that storm, the crew members cast lots and find out that Jonah is the reason why they are being dominated by this storm so Jonah asks to be thrown into the water where he is then consumed by a giant fish (probably a whale). He sat into the fish for 3 days and 3 nights where he prayed confidently to God.
After being vomited out of the fish, Jonah took the hint and headed to Ninevah where he told them to turn from their ways. Of course, he still hated the people of Ninevah but guess what happened? They started turning from their ways and obeying and fearing the Lord!
With all of this happening, Jonah decides to leave Ninevah to wait outside of the city to see what happens as he was most likely wanting a front row seat to see if God would still destroy them. However, it was during this time that God really showed up to me in the details. You see, God appointed a plant to cover Jonah to provide him shade and he also appointed that fish that ended up consuming him for a few days! But the one thing that really stood out to me was that after the plant provided him shade for a night, God appointed a worm to eat at the root and cause the plant to wither.
This naturally irritated Jonah as he was already in a bad mood because of Ninevah and even wished that God would just kill him. The book actually ends quite abruptly as God reminds Jonah of how much he cares for his people and the people of Ninevah.
There’s a lot of lessons that can be learned from this story but what continues to stand out to me is that God appointed a worm. A worm! Whenever I think about God’s provision for my life, I remember when Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount saying this:
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:26-27
You’ve probably read that verse before but as I think about God working through a simple worm, I’m reminded how detail oriented He is in our lives. God uses the very thing that He would’ve fed the birds of the air with and He uses this worm to illustrate point to Jonah about caring for other people.
Throughout the whole story of Jonah, you see God appoint a giant fish, a wind, a plant, and even a worm. If you ask me, I’m glad Jonah kept those miniscule details in this book because it allows me to see truly how sovereign and in control God is over everything in my situation.
Whether you’re going through something right now like a job change, the loss of a loved one, or maybe your kid is off to college for their first year and you’re worried; just know that God is very much in control of your life and He is all in the details. Not just in Jonah’s life, but in yours as well.