Jonah was serious, hardcore angry to flee from the presence of the Lord. How angry do you have to be with God to run away from Him? Are you running away from Him today?
God is a speaking god, and He gave Jonah an assignment, to go to Nineveh, to preach a warning to the people, that they would turn from their ways and follow Him. God never assigns His people anything bad or wrong to do, all His commands are good and fulfill His will and purpose. God was extending forgiveness, mercy, and grace to an evil people, and when the word of the Lord comes, to individuals, to a community, to a nation, He will not be denied. “My word will not return void, it will complete its purpose. My word is living and breathing, a two-edged sword, cutting and confronting and dividing and exposing.” Jonah knew this and should have been on-board with the Lord’s plan.
But, Jonah said, “NO!”, so much that he ran in the opposite direction, paid money, went down into the bottom of a ship to hide, and fell asleep, all to avoid the task God gave him. He was angry against the people God was giving a second chance to. He was angry with God’s good plan and purpose. He was saying, “I don’t like who you are, I know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it and I disagree. I won’t do it.” He tried to escape, and trying to escape God is like trying to escape air or light. Where could he go to be away from God? Silly Jonah, ignoring what he knew about the Lord. The Lord is with you and knows you and goes with you. He will not leave you nor give you up. Just as a mother cannot forget her nursing child, so will God not forget His people. He is with them always, to the end of the age. How could he run away?
Maybe you are like Jonah today. Are you running away from God? Why are you running away? Are you angry with Him? Where could you go? Nothing can stop Him from prevailing in the end. God says, “Your running away, your sleeping, won’t stop me.” God pursues. God won’t let you sleep or run away. His will be done, He will get His way. It’s better to obey the first time. Jonah was imperfect, as we all are. Stop being angry with God today, stop running.