1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 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. 4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” (Jonah 1.1-6, ESV)
Memory Verse: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me” (Jonah 1.2, ESV)
The Word of the Lord came to Jonah and said, “Arise go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before Me” (vs. 1-2). God called to Jonah, and only Jonah to go on a mission, a very important mission, to the city of Nineveh and preach to them that God has seen
their wicked deeds, and they need to repent.
Jonah was given one task, one goal, one mission, get up from whatever he was doing and go over to this great city, this Gentile city, who’s evil, or wickedness had come up to the Lord. Now, it is not that God had not been paying attention to what was going on. He is always watching everything, but like with parents there is a breaking point, God will only put up with so much before He says, “Enough is enough and it is time of judgement to fall.”
Think back to the great flood in Genesis 6, prior to the flood, the world had gotten increasingly wicked. Moses said,
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6.5-7, NIV).
Most of you know the rest of the story, in Genesis 6-11, God called out Noah and his family to build an ark to save two of every kind of animal and 7 of certain animals. Noah and his family was also saved, but God’s love was amazing, even though the human race was wicked, and did not love God or anything about Him, He called Noah to build the ark and preach to them about the coming disaster, to repent and be saved. However, even though Noah preached 100 years, they refused and all died, except Noah, his three sons and all their wives, eight total people (Genesis 7.6; I Peter 3.20).
When God calls us to a task we must answer, we must obey, we must go! But many times we feel like the task is too simple, or beneath us, or too hard, not what we want to do, or a place we watn to go. The problem is when we ask Christ into our lives, we are called to confess Him as Lord, to believe God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10.9-10). We should believe He has all the power, because He said, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and earth” (Matthew 28.18).
So, when we decide we are not going to ‘Go,’ we are saying we know better than God, we are saying, ‘No,’ to the One who has supremacy over us, we are just flat out being disobedient. This is what Jonah did, he got up and fled from the presence of the Lord (vs. 3). Now like this is possible, we should know by now we cannot hide from God, He is omnipresence meaning He is everywhere all the time. The Psalmist said it best when he wrote;
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
No matter where we try to run and hide from God, He is there, David so eloquently put it, “it does not matter where I go, God, You are there.” This holds true for us today, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, therefore, we take Christ with us EVERYWHERE!
Jonah tried to run from God, when God called him to a task. He tried to go as far away from the situation as he could. He paid the price, “went down,” “found a ship,” “paid the fare.” Anytime we decide to run from God it will always cost us, it will also cause us to go down, down some path or some place we would not normally go. It will cause us to do things we would not normally do, hang out with people, or seek out something or someone we would not normally look for. And finally, we will have to pay the fare, pay the price for our disobedience. There is always a cost for running from the task God has set before us, and as we will see tomorrow our running most likely will affect others’ lives too.
God, My God, creator of all things, thank You that You never leave me nor forsake me. No matter how much I might run from the things You call me to do. You still seek me out, draw me back and desire me to serve You. Lord I thank You, for Your longsuffering and mercy, for Your kindness and love, that wait on me, for Your forgiveness that cleanses my soul and makes me right in Your sight. Oh God, I need Your grace to continue to flow through my life as I seek daily to help those in need, to seek Your will and follow Your leading. I, Thank You for Your Son’s sacrifice on the cross, and His loving gift of eternal life. Give me wisdom as I seek to share Your gospel with someone today, may I be bold and not ashamed of You. All these things I pray in Christ’s precious name, Amen.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jon 1:1–6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The New International Version. (2011). (Ge 6:5–8). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 New American Standard Bible, 1995 Edition: Paragraph Version. (1995). (Ps 139:7–16). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
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