Now the word of Yahweh came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.' But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. Jonah 1:1 WEB
The word of the Lord came to Jonah to go and preach to Nineveh, but Jonah fled in the opposite direction. When God told him to go to Nineveh, Jonah went to Joppa instead and took a ship down to Tarshish. Nineveh (in modern-day Iraq) was about five hundred miles east of his home in Gath-heper (2 Kings 14:25). While Tarshish (in southern Spain) was twenty-five hundred miles west. Jonah planned to be three-thousand miles away from where God wanted him to be, as soon as possible.
Rather than do what God wanted him to do, Jonah spent far more time, energy, and money, to do the exact opposite. Soon, trouble followed after him. The Lord told Jonah to do something, but Jonah refused and intentionally went the opposite direction while fully knowing what God really wanted him to do. I don't know what causes a man to do that, but I have done similar things myself. We know to do right, but just can't seem to do it. As Paul wrote 'For the good which I desire, I don't do; but the evil which I don't desire, that I practice' (Romans 7:19). Sin always starts with a thought, followed by a decision. You always stumble first in your thought life.
His life then fell apart and became a living hell. At his lowest point, when he had been eaten by a fish and was sitting alone in the dark, covered in slime and seaweed, Jonah finally surrendered his life to God and prayed. Things then changed quickly in his life and, as he stood on the beach, the exact same word of the Lord came to him a second time. God's plan had not changed because of Jonah's behavior. The word was still 'Go.'
There have been times when I thought that God was finished with me. Yet when I finally turned to Him and prayed, I heard the same word come again. His plan for you is still there, even when you knew what you were supposed to do, and yet did the opposite. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29). The Lord still has a purpose for your life, when you turn back to Him.Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for having mercy on my life. Forgive me of the times when I have lived contrary to Your will. Lead me, and I will follow. Teach me, and I will learn. Please work Your perfect will in my life and guide me into all that You have for me, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
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