January 6

Jonah 1:2-4 2"Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." 3But 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 aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. 4Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

Some of Israel's prophets' only ministry was to foreign countries. Obediah's whole ministry was to pronounce judgment on Edom for standing by during Jerusalem's destruction. Jonah was sent to Nineveh, the capitol of Assyria. The Assyrians used psychological warfare. They were brutal warriors that skinned captured enemy soldiers alive to cause fear. That makes it a little easier to understand why he would take a ship headed in the opposite direction.

You can run from God, but you can't hide. It is serious thing to reject a clear call from God. Jonah confessed to the crew that he was running from his God. This must have surprised them, because they had never run from their idols. There is no need, for they cannot pursue. But the LORD God can pursue you. They put the name of each person on the boat on small stones and put the stones in a jar. Shaking the jar, one stone would find its way out and onto the deck. It was for Jonah! God had Jonah cornered. Jonah knew the only solution was to have him thrown into the ocean. Once the crew threw Jonah overboard, the LORD calmed the sea, just as He was going to do when He was incarnated.

Are you running from the call of God? Do you know, deep in your heart, that there is something God has called you to do? Is it something you dread? Let God give you a vision of the joy of walking in His will. He will see you through and mature you in the process. He hasn't called you to destroy you, but to bless you.

Consider: Running from God is far more dangerous than obeying God in a dangerous situation. He will be with you.