‘But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from being in the presence of the Lord [as His prophet] and went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish [the most remote of the Phoenician trading places then known]. So he paid the appointed fare and went down into the ship to go with them to Tarshish from being in the presence of the Lord [as His servant and minister].’
Jonah 1:3 (AMP)
I have no doubt you knew the story of Jonah. God sent him (Jonah) to go and proclaim against Nineveh for its wickedness. Instead Jonah did the opposite. He fled, running away from God.
Jonah’s story is such that it lingers on forever and forever in the mind of every
believer. Even children knew about Jonah as they’ve read from the children’s bibles, TVs and Sunday schools.
However Jonah’s story is a peculiar one. Just as Jonah, himself is an historical personality. There is no doubt that Jonah did not have complete understanding of God’s sovereignty. The bible says that Jonah fled. This is very significant. It was obvious that Jonah did not fully know that God is omnipresent. In his head, he
felt God is just in a specific place at a specific time. He failed to see
clearly in his spiritual opinion to know that God is everywhere. Why in the
first place did Jonah decided to hide from God?
Jonah believed God will not be able to stop him if he runs away. He thought if he goes as far as Tarshish that God will stop bothering him about going to proclaim
I would like you to know that Jonah was not the only prophet in the days of Nineveh.
God could have called His other faithful ones to carry out his instructions. However God called on Jonah. The Lord chose Jonah.
How many times you have heard God’s callings upon your life but ignored them? How many times have you run away like Jonah in your bids to avoid serving God? How many times have you concluded in your mind that you are not suitable for pastoral services simply because you, first of all, want to follow your own heart?
There were no airplanes or space jets in the days of Jonah so I bet you must have been thinking of opting for the faster transport alternatives that you can use to
flee from God. For you to think you can run or avoid God’s calling upon your
life is like toying with the unthinkable. God chooses you because He loves you.
He chooses you because He alone knows what’s best for you. You should be the
happiest person knowing that you’re counted worthy of the service of God. You
need to ask yourself what’s so special in you that make God to pick you out
among the trillion of Christians on earth.
At the end Jonah ended up obeying God and because he did, God’s wrath was lifted off Nineveh. The city and its people genuinely acknowledged their sins, and asked God for forgiveness. And God forgave them. In the same way you will be saving uncountable lost souls when you do what God calls you to do.
Do not bother thinking you can run from God. It’s a waste of time and energy because if you do, He will find you out! And you will still have to obey His callings.
So why not obey! Remember there is no one who has the audacity and the power to
hide from God. Even Satan cannot. It’s impossible!