Thoughts on Jonah 1
“But Jonah rose 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, away from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1:3 ESV)
Repetitive? Repetition is to put emphasis, importance – there is absolutely no way we can flee the presence of the Lord.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.”
(Psalm 139:7-12 ESV)
The storm is not punishment, the storm is not coercion, the storm is love. God’s love for Jonah, and for any follower who – maybe because of a short lapse in judgement – tries to flee from God. It is a love that pursues.
We cannot remain silent regarding an ongoing disobedience, when we are secretly living in sin. The people around us can tell, they will know, Christ-follower or not.
Repent. Own up to your mistake. Accept justice.. and mercy… and grace.
And see awesome things happen.