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 aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord (Jonah 1:3 NIV).
There is a Jonah in all of us! We do run away from the Lord once in a while; don’t we? Quite often we think that we are running away from the task that God has set before us. But in reality it is running away from the Lord.
But is that possible? Definitely not. But still we try; don’t we? We try even when we know that ultimately God will win and we will lose. But somehow we love to obey the hard way!
Again, we should be grateful to Jonah in one sense. For he has shown us who we really are through a kind of open heart surgery. Of course it does not refer to the physical heart.
So, before we point an accusing finger at Jonah, which we easily do, let us open our hearts and look at who we really are. As you look intently inside, it would surprise you to find a Jonah there.
Yes, we all have a Jonah in us. This makes us to run away from God-given tasks. The interesting thing is that many things happen in our favor when we run away from the Lord (Of course, before the God-sent storm comes!). Then we take it as God’s guidance that we are on the right track.
Look at Jonah. He is headed towards Tarshish (It is in quite another direction from Nineveh where God had told him to go.). As he reaches Joppa he finds a ship bound for Tarshish. He might have been happy to find that ship waiting for him there.
Aren’t we too happy to find a ship waiting for us? Don’t we take this as guidance that we are proceeding in the right direction? Like Jonah, aren’t we only eager to get on board this ship that takes us away from God-given destinations?
But the greater question to be answered is whether we are running away from the Lord or not. The waiting ship does not make things right for you if you are running away from the Lord!