JONAH PART 3 vs 3
God told Jonah in Jonah 1:2 “Arise, go to Ninevah…cry (preach) against it…”
Verse 3 says, “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD and went down to Joppa. And he found a ship going to Tarshish. So, he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it (cargo hold, sleeping quarters) to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”
Jonah strongly objected to the Lord’s direction. Why would he do that when he clearly knew God’s voice and instruction?
Jonah was a Jewish patriot. He knew that his people, the Jews, were God’s chosen people. God had not “chosen” people of any other nation, so why would he be concerned about Nineveh, the capitol of the Assyrian empire? They were idolatrous, fierce, warlike, and exceedingly evil. Jonah detested these heathens.
Let us surmise about an imaginary conversation that (hypothetically) Jonah could have had with God. “God, why in the world would you send me to such an evil and vicious people? You know they have no interest in You. They are totally perverse. They might even kill the messenger, me! What in the world are You thinking? Who do you think You are, God or something?”
Jonah ran away from God’s call. He hated those people. They deserved nothing good; they only deserved to be punished or destroyed. “God, I am not going!”
He booked passage to Tarshish which was in the exact opposite direction from Nineveh. Perhaps he thought God was only in Israel, and that by fleeing from Israel to some other place, perhaps he would get “out of range” of God’s voice. Maybe God would stop “bugging” him about it. It did not work, as we shall see tomorrow.
Have you ever tried to avoid something which you knew to be in God’s will for you? If so, keep in mind that God only rewards obedience. Our disobedience, or our avoidance of doing the “right” thing hinders His promised blessings to you and me. Even if it seems hard to do, you need to be obedient. Only then can He open up “the storehouse of blessings.”
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