But Jonah ran away from the 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 . (Jonah 1:3)
Jonah's story is familiar. God gave him a direct command and he ignored it, hoping to flee from God. Is that even possible? This was my Bible study recently, and I want to share my notes/thoughts of encouragement/observations.
*Run to God's voice and not away from Him when He speaks. Even when what he has said seems scary, trust Him.
*There is no place we can go to escape the Lord. He is omnipresent.
*My disobedience can cause storms in other people's lives and vice versa. Is there anyone in my life running from God?
*It's funny how Jonah was the person to cause the trouble, yet he was on the boat resting peacefully during the storm. (Think about that)
*If the crew knew Jonah was running from God (Jonah told them so), why did they allow Him on the boat? Money? Because they didn't know God or His power? (Have you encouraged disobedience in the life of those around you?)
*Only after the storm did they question Jonah about who he was. He told them to throw him over the ship, yet they refused and the storm became rougher. Once they finally overthrew Him, the storm calmed. They vowed to serve God after this. I suppose Jonah running wasn't all bad. Several men were saved that day and witnessed the power of God because of Jonah's disobedience.
Though God can use even our disobedience to draw others to Him, we shouldn't make it a practice to walk in our own way. My sincere prayer for you and me is that we'll make it a practice to run to God's voice and not in the opposite direction.