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Updated March 11, 2017
"Running from God"

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"Running from God" (posted March 11, 2017)
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   Jonah arose 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 the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
   - Jonah 1:3

So Jonah started on this, the longest known journey in his day, to try to escape from his God. It would be years before he could return. Truly Jonah was trying to dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea (Psalm 139:9)!

"He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish." It is always going down when we seek to leave the Lord. This was his first outward step down, but it was by no means his last. And the outward step is generally preceded by an inward or spiritual step down. It is easier to go downward than to go up, whether it be for body or soul. Beware, dear fellow-Christian, when the path begins to go downward, when the travel is easy, and there is no hill to climb! We can be reasonably sure then that we have gotten on the wrong road.

Notice, too, that apparently with no difficulty or delay he found a ship going to Tarshish. Perhaps he thought, "This is quite providential! This is surely a sign that I am being prospered in my way." It is wonderful how easy the devil makes our downward pathway. He is always ready to provide all we need to get away from the Lord.

Do not let us think for a moment that, because the downward road is an easy one, therefore it must be right. The fact of the ship already going to Tarshish was absolutely no proof that God had prepared it (as He did at other times in 1:4; 1:17; 4:6-8). Quite the reverse was the truth, and we ever need to bear in mind that things made ready to our hand to help us do our own will are by no means prepared for us by God.

G. Christopher Willis

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