Sunday, July 25, 2021
Jonah 1:1-3 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 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.
Drawing closer to the presence of God or heading further away from the presence of the Lord?
Jonah actually put effort into getting away from the presence of the Lord:
Went down to Joppa (south), rather than Nineveh (north)
Did the research and found a ship heading west to Tarshish (@ 3000 miles away from Nineveh)
Purchased a ticket (used his financial resources) and upon boarding refused to remain on deck (physically hid himself)
However, despite all those efforts, Jonah discovered the same truth that the Psalmist proclaims in Psalm 139:
Psa 139:7-10 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.
Fleeing from the presence of the Lord is almost laughable to God.
It is comforting knowing that God’s grace is available even in our fleeing away from His presence.
It is comforting knowing that 3000 miles away instantly evaporates in God’s eyesight.
It is comforting knowing that God wants and even pursues our presence.
It is alarming knowing that not wanting God’s presence can actually be part of our hearts!
Escaping God is something none of us will ever be able to achieve. Regardless of our direction, one day all of us will find ourselves before God. The hope is that when we arrive before God, we arrive there with Jesus, and not without Jesus.
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.