“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2‘Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.’ 3But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up.”
The book of Jonah opens with no questions, no fuzziness, Jonah was called a prophet. Jonah was called to speak to the people of Nineveh. And Jonah, maybe said ‘yes,’ but his feet went in the opposite direction. He heads on a ship going to Tarshish. What’s even more fascinating is while verse three notes he ‘paid his fare,’ the actual Hebrew quips it is more likely he agreed to work on the boat for the ride. Jonah, so convinced that God is wrong, the people of Nineveh will not repent; he will travel as far as he can away and even work for free at a very tough job and put himself in moral danger on the sea. Yet, God wasn’t going to let Jonah go so easily…
Compassionate Creator, sometimes, we are very much like Jonah. We hear your call to go, and our hearts are not in it. Sometimes, we even actively run away from your love. Call us back, and when the storm rages, be our safe harbor. As Christ seeks those lost sheep, so do with us. Amen.