Reading: Jonah 1:2-3
“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
What was going through Jonah’s mind? Was he intimidated by the evil reputation of Nineveh? Was he afraid that he wasn’t ready for the “big time?” Did he fear for his life on the mean streets of sin city?
There can be no doubt that Jonah knew that God was calling. If not, then why not just stay home? Jonah ran. Nineveh lay 600 miles to the east, and Jonah set his course 2400 miles due west. Tarshish, the modern day city of Tartessus in Spain, was just about as far away as a man could get from Nineveh.
The story has a familiar and contemporary ring to it. How often do we sense the prodding of the Holy Spirit to some course of action, only to run off and do the exact opposite? Why do we run from God’s calling? Is it because we feel inadequate, ill-prepared, afraid of rejection, or are we just lazy?
We need to remember this: God doesn’t lose track of fearful fugitives. He tracks us down. He may not send a fish to swallow us up. We may get all the way to our Tarshish, but we can be sure of this – we’re not hidden at all. At any moment God might whisper, “What are you doing here?”
Maybe today you’re a fugitive from God’s call. The telephone is ringing – will you answer?
Reposted with permission from onehope.net.