The Opposite Direction

“But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.” – Jonah 1:3 

Today, we are going to talk about Jonah. We have referenced Jonah for the last couple of days. So, who was Jonah? He was a prophet of God. The Bible tells us that Jonah prophesied during the time of Jeroboam. God also gave him the privilege of delivering the good news that Israel would experience a time of safety and prosperity. 

Jonah loved God and was a prophet of God, but God called Jonah out of his comfort zone. He called him to that invisible border in Jonah’s life where we see his YES turn into a NO, and we see his obedience to God quickly shift to disobedience. 

God called Jonah to go somewhere he didn’t want to go—the great city of Nineveh. The city was known as a hub of wickedness in that day. That is why the Lord told Jonah to go and “preach against it because their evil has come up before me.”  

But instead of obeying God and heading to Nineveh, Jonah chose to disobey God and head in the opposite direction to Tarshish. Jonah chose to run from God.  

I want you to take note of what we’ve seen so far: Jonah was devoted to God. Then, God called him out of his comfort zone, and his discomfort led him to choose disobedience. And not only did Jonah disobey God, but he ran in the opposite direction of obedience. 

What about you? Have you ever “ran to Tarshish?” Has God ever instructed you to do something that was outside of your comfort zone? But instead of obeying Him, you decided to run the opposite way? My friend, there is nowhere safer to be than in the center of God’s will. Jonah found that out the hard way. 

If you want to truly be safe despite your fears or worries, obey God. He will take care of the rest! 

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bible verse

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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