Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.--Philemon 1:21
I've felt like Jonah on more than a few occasions in my life. But running from the Lord's will is always disastrous. It's not an option I want in my life. So why did Jonah run?
Because of unforgiveness. The people of Ninevah were BRUTAL. They did unimaginable things to his people--tortured them, destroyed whole families. Horrible memories flooded his head. He hated them. The last thing Jonah wanted was for these despicable people to repent and be saved. So he ran.
He got on a ship, knowing full well that God would pursue him. When a storm threatened to sink the ship, the sailors prayed to their Gods to no avail. They called Jonah from his nap in the hold. Now how could a grown man sleep through a life-threatening storm? Jonah had no problem sleeping--as long as he wasn't headed to Ninevah, he didn't mind heading to a watery grave. When they called him on deck, he admitted that it was all his fault and told them to throw him overboard and the storm would cease. He was more than willing to die.
With relectance, the sailors threw him overboard and the seas were immediately calm. Which is right about the time Moby Dick (a whale) swallowed him.
Now the sailors thought he'd been eaten by the whale--a tasty snack or something. But Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days and 3 nights. The stomach acid bleached his skin white during that time. When the whale washed up on shore and Noah climbed out through his mouth, he was a sight to see!!! No wonder the people of Ninevah repented! Jonah probably looked like a ghost. But aside from that, God had already laid the groundwork. The hearts of the Ninevites were ripe and ready to repent! And they did!
Did this make Jonah happy? No! He was in Ninevah against his will. God sent him, but Jonah's heart wasn't in it. In fact, he mourned more over a silly plant that barely shielded him from the harsh rays of the run than he did the whole city of people. (Granted, his skin was probably extremely sensitve after being bleached white.) But the point is, the whole city of Ninevah repented and Jonah was depressed over it!
Are you and I like Jonah sometimes. You bet we are. Running from God's perfect will is not an option I choose to exercise--running from God is always disastrous.
If you're running from God right now, stop. Pivot your position! Don't wait for God to get your attention. Expecially when He sends a whale to swallow you up!