Jonah 1: Go Where God Sends You
I’m Eric Scott, and this is the first in a six part series of blog posts on the prophet Jonah.
In the first four verses of the first chapter of the book of Jonah we read:
"The word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying, 'Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh to preach against it, because their inclination to do wickedness has at last provoked me.'
"However, Jonah got up to flee from the Lord’s constant prodding. He went down to Joppa, found a ship that was bound in the opposite direction, and paid the fare. Instead of going to Nineveh, he got on board to go to Tarshish in a futile effort to escape from the presence of the Lord.
"But the Lord hurled a violent wind on the sea; such a violent storm arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break apart."
First, notice that Jonah got a clear and simple word from the Lord, “Get up and go to Nineveh.” Then, God gave Jonah all he needed to know, “People are barreling toward destruction and ruin. And I’m sending you as my emissary to warn them that I, God, have had enough of their defiance.”
Jonah knew about the Ninevites. They were evil menaces and he didn’t like them. Why in the world would he help them out?
Besides, Jonah wasn’t such a fool that he would deliberately barge in on a violent gang? On top of that, Jonah figured he would be wasting his time. Nobody in Nineveh knew Jonah. They didn’t care who he was, and they didn’t honor his God. When he considered the mission, he saw failure written all over it. What a waste of time and effort.
Jonah thought he had a better plan for his life, if he could just somehow manage to get away from God. Beloved, that might be where you are today. Are you living apart from God’s will and guidance?
If so, you’re missing out on a huge blessing, and others might be missing out on God’s deliverance. You know when God speaks to you. You periodically hear a still small voice encouraging you to step out.
In the quietness of your soul, the message is clear and simple; “Get up and go, or do, or be … whatever it is God has been telling you he wants you to accomplish for your own good, and for his great glory.”
Oh, how foolish we are to run the other way. How blessed we are every time we drop what we’re doing and respond to his will for our lives.
Don’t launch out into the storms of life in a rickety godless boat under the command of a worldly crew. I don’t care how good a man’s credentials are, no one is going to lead you to paradise except your designated Savior. Don’t sail off to a distant land where you don’t belong and won’t be happy. God’s been calling you. He has an assignment just for you. He knows who you are, and he knows what you can do. Perhaps what you alone can do. Trust him. Go where he leads and he’ll take you to the place you were meant to be.
Step out in faith, my friend. I believe God is using my pen, right now, to tell you that you need to stop running, quiet down, and consider the unction that’s been urging you against your selfish will.
God has great things in store for you, dear friend. But you’ve got to go where God is sending you, and trust that he can accomplish his will for your good! It’s time for you to stop fighting the storm and respond to what God is laying on your heart. Today is the day. Simply trust and obey.