03 Aug Don’t jump ship, like Jonah
“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3)
In our previous discussion, we emphasized the fact that God called Jonah with a specific assignment to preach to the people of Nineveh. As far as God was concerned, Jonah was qualified for this assignment. Our call in life is to show forth the light of God in us in darkness. Primarily, we called and chosen, like Jonah to share God’s truth to modern cities of Nineveh around us. Jonah would however not go, he declined such a mission.
Instead of heading to the great city of Nineveh, which at that time was the capital of Assyrian Kingdom. Jonah left his home at Gath-Hepher, near Nazareth in Israel (2kings 14:25), headed for Joppa, a coastal city where he boarded a ship bound for Tarshish, a city near Gilbraltar in Southern Spain.
We are told he headed for Tarshish, accordingly to go from the presence of the Lord. This move by Jonah was resisted by the all-knowing and Omnipresent God.
It is impossible for His children to escape His sight. King David said “whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into the heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there……if I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. (Psalm 139:7-12)
Am so sure that we are all familiar with the story of Jonah in the bible. There have been occasions when God had asked you and I to do certain things, and we abandon them to pursue our own desires. In such moment doing God’s will is second to all other considerations. Sometimes we make other sacrifices other than the sacrifice that God demanded from us and still expect the best of God.
The Psalmist elsewhere says “ Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: (Psalm 40:6-8).
The secret to a fulfilling life is staying in one’s calling or purpose, don’t jump ships. We put our lives and that of others at risk when we do- “ And they said everyone to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah” (Jonah 1:7). Don’t jump ships, don’t alternate, stop running pillars to poles. God created you uniquely for your assignment or purpose in life.
Memory verse: “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called” (I Corinthians 7:20).
Prayer: I pray that the Lord will enlighten my eyes of understanding, that I may know the hope of my calling in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:18).