Jonah 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry our against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me. But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
Are you like Jonah? Are you running from God? Well I am here to tell you, that is impossible. The presence of the Lord is EVERYWHERE!
You can very clearly see that Jonah thought he was running from the Lord in Jonah 1:2-3. But what Jonah fails to see is he actually runs right into Him. Take a look at Jonah 1:2. The Lord has told Jonah to arise. Arise and go. But Jonah was like, heck no and took off to Tarshish. He would much rather run from the Lord than to preach to a bunch of Gentiles in Nineveh.
But when we look at Jonah 1:3 we see in this verse there are two words that explain Jonah’s spiritual decline quite clearly. Those two words are “went down”. This verse states that Jonah went down to Joppa and went down into the ship. And we all know that eventually Jonah went down to the bottom of the sea in the belly of a giant fish. So it seems to me, that the farther Jonah ran from the Lord, the farther down he got. Literally till he hit rock bottom and the only way he could go then, was back up.
So I ask again. Are you running from the Lord? Good news……you can’t. He is and always will be there. If we keep reading on in the book of Jonah we see an amazing example of how the Lord always prevails.
Jonah 1:12-16 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. Therefore the cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this mans life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You. So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.
So even though Jonah was running from the Lord, the Lord was still very much present. This was a ship full of Gentiles. The same people Jonah was running from preaching to. They saw the hand of God calm those seas in a blink of an eye. They feared the Lord, (fear of God is the respect that a person has for God, causing him to turn from evil and obey Gods commandments). Those Gentiles gave their lives to the Lord, offered a sacrifice to the lord and took vows. Worshiped Him. Jonah was fleeing from a task that God wanted him to do, to preach to the Gentiles, but unintentionally converted an entire ship of Gentiles.
You can run from God but you can’t hide. Gods presence is everywhere. I pray that you stop running and turn toward God. If you have hit bottom, and like Jonah are sitting in the belly of a giant fish, I pray you let our Lord help you up. He only wants the best for you and loves you unconditionally. We all have a God given purpose while here on Earth. No one can deny that. Ask God to show you why you are here. What purpose you can fulfill. Let him guide you. Then arise and go.