“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.” – Jonah 1:3
Over the last couple of days, we have talked about comfort zones. A comfort zone can be described as the bubble we are comfortable living inside. We might go to the edge of the bubble, but boy do we not like to step outside of it.
This was the case for Jonah. Jonah was a Hebrew prophet who walked faithfully with God, obediently living for Him…until he wasn’t. Jonah’s obedience stretched as far as his bubble. But as soon as God called him outside the bubble, Jonah ran in the opposite direction.
God called Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh. Instead, Jonah goes to Tarshish. For those who are not familiar with where these cities are located, God called Jonah to go east, and he ran west. This was an “in-your-face” kind of disobedience as Jonah intended to flee God’s presence.
Jonah ran from God. And as a result, there were consequences to pay. The ship Jonah was on went through an intense storm. As a result, Jonah was thrown out of the ship and swallowed by a huge fish. Now, by the grace of God, Jonah survived. But do you not think he was afraid? Not only in the storm, but in the mouth of a fish?
Now, understand that God did not force Jonah to go to Nineveh. God gives all of His children free will. You have the choice of whether you want to follow God or whether you want to follow your own path. As a believer, God will speak to you. But you do not have to listen. You can do what Jonah did, and you can run from God.
But understand this, when you run from God, there is a price to pay. When you run in the opposite direction, you are choosing to run from God’s presence, God’s calling, God’s protection, and God’s favor. He will give you the choice. Is it worth it to run from God?