Do you know anybody fleeing from wickedness today? Here is a long ago story of one named Jonah.
Jonah Flees From the Lord
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 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.
Look at a map of Iraq and find Mosul, a bit south of Turkey. That was where Jonah was supposed to go. Look at a map and measure out how far to the east from say, Tel Aviv in Israel is to Spain. That’s where Jonah intended to go as he fled. Far away and in the wrong direction. And Tarshish if you can imagine it was kind of the end of the earth for most people in those days. Past there, and you were in uncharted waters of the Atlantic. Many believed there was nothing out there.
If that is the case, Jonah wanted to go in the opposite direction of trouble as fast as he could and go somewhere where there was no trouble, probably because there were no people.
Now I get his thinking. If trouble is to the east, it is so much easier to go to the west.
That’s why so many first responders train for trouble. The more they train while under stressful situations, the more they will be ready for the real trouble when it arrives.
Why God even chose Jonah to go in the first place is a mystery to me. Why couldn’t he pick someone that he knew would run toward the fire because he was confident in his training and trainer? Well, God continues to do some strange things.
In fact, he may be asking many of us to face wickedness in our day. How do you start that or prepare for that. By training, moving your body and mind in the direction of God and His will, not running from Him.
The Ninevites were as nasty as nasty could be. I never met one personally and hopefully I never do. You can read up on them if you wish, it’s not pretty. Bad to the bone nasty.
I just wonder what direction I’ll go when God asks me to go forth at His command. How will I know it’s really Him calling? Will I respond to His voice in confidence or fear. Time to train in faithfulness, confidence and courage I guess.