Tag: #runningfromduty

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide:Running Away From Duty

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide:Running Away From Duty

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide:Running Away From Duty Part 1

“The word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Niveveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went about and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” Jonah 1:1-3 NIV

As we begin our lesson today on Jonah, Let’s get a little background on Him: his name means dove. When Jonah was a boy, he became very ill, and the prophet Elijah cried to the Lord, and the Lord heard him, and he was revived. The book of Jonah does not identify the author, but the work is accredited to him.

The first chapter of is about a prophet on the run from his duties. Jonah obviously knew the voice of the Lord because he was running.  Here in chapter one, God gives Jonah a direct command. No, he was not asking him what he would like to do. God told Jonah to “arise and go.”

In my view, Jonah’s run, stemmed from a couple of areas: first he knew the lord was gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Secondly, the thought of the Lord being merciful toward the people of Nineveh, made him angry. In Jonah’s eyes these people were not worth the trouble. To Him, they were an ungrateful, ruthless, warlike, and full of selfish ambition as they worshipped idols with no respect for God. Not to mention they were a direct threat to Israel.

Jonah felt I believe that it was his actual duty NOT TO GO. So instead, he would go into the boat and hide from God. How many of you know, that we can’t hide from Him? But our prophet was shrouded in emotional turmoil, unable to see beyond himself and his opinions, lead him to believe that he could just skip out on God. But unknown to him friends, there would consequences and repercussions from his current choices.

Jonah made it to the getaway vessel, paid his fare and went down to the inner part of the boat. Now that the boat was out on the seas, a rockin and a reelin, Jonah could feel sleep beginning to kick in on him. His eyes were getting heavy and then he fell asleep. All that running had worn him out.

But look at the power of God. The Lord sent a great wind upon the sea. I believe the crew had seen a lot of things, but there was just something not right in this storm to them. At that time all hands were on deck, but where was Jonah?  The ship’s captain, a Pegan woke up a sleeping Jonah, telling him to pray to his God.

In his mind, he knew that this storm was because of his action to run. He eventually fessed up to the captain and crew, who now knew he was the reason for the storm in the first place. Wanting the seas to still it’s roar, but at what price. These men were not killers. They were a crew without choices and at the mercy of God as they threw Jonah overboard. Can you say Man Overboard? Amen!

Remember friends, we are each others’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.