Hey, Jonah!
There’s No Getting Away

by Pastor John Hamel


“Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah… Arise, go to Nineveh… But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish… But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea…Then the mariners were afraid… So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea… Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:1-17)


Been running from God?  You may as well just face it.  There’s no getting away from the hounds of Heaven.  They’ll pursue you over the course of your life and never turn from their assignment.  Possibly it’s beginning to occur to you that God is omnipresent, meaning that He is present everywhere. 


You cannot possibly go somewhere God is not present.  You can head south until you come to the end of the highway.  Once there you can board a ship going to sea and God will just board it with you.  You can climb the mast of that ship to escape Him and He’ll just climb it with you.  He’ll come up behind you and say, “Hey, Jonah Jr.  What are you doing up here?  I told you to go over there.  Did you think I would change My mind?  You should read My Book.  It says I never change My mind.” (Malachi 3:6)


When God told Jonah to go to Ninevah, Jonah ran to Tarshish.  He thought he had better, more important things to do.  So on the way to Tarshish, the Lord allowed a huge storm to rise up to get Jonah’s attention.  He got all knocked around by the storm, thrown overboard and swallowed by a big ugly fish. 


Sounds like you, doesn’t it?  You ran from God and everything was smooth sailing for awhile.  You thought you were getting away with something.  Suddenly, things changed.  The storms blew in and next thing you knew, life started falling apart.  You told yourself, “Things will get better.”  Only they never did.  They never will, unless, of course, you repent.  


That’s what happens when God has you between a rock and a hard place and you run.  THE PLACE YOU RUN TO IS ALWAYS A HARDER PLACE.  A MUCH, MUCH HARDER PLACE! 


The great fish of horrible circumstances has swallowed you up and it’s time to do what Jonah did.  He repented.


Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly… I will pay that that I have vowed… And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land… And Jonah began to enter into the city…” (Jonah 2:1,9,10; 3:4)


How interesting that when Jonah repented, the fish spit him up right where he was supposed to be – Ninevah.  That fish swallowed him up, turned around and started swimming right back towards the will of God for Jonah.  Ninevah.  Isn’t that something? 


One way or another God was determined that Jonah was going to Ninevah.  He also knew that His boy, Jonah, would ultimately repent.  So he hooked him up with some very positive, negative circumstances that made it easy for Jonah, in spite of how hard Jonah had made it for himself.  What a good, good God He is.  He’s never our problem.  He’s always our solution.  


Have you been running from God like Jonah was running from God?  You may not realize it but you aren’t getting away.  As a matter of fact, your present circumstances are what God is using to bring you back to the center of His perfect will for your life.  


So why don’t you just pray like Jonah prayed.  You’ll be surprised to discover your present circumstances spitting you up right in the center of God’s will for your life, too! 


God’s not mad, either.  He’s just more persistent than you’ll ever be.  He loves you too much to let you get away.  As a matter of fact, He’s right there where you are now just waiting for you to apologize. 


Pray, “Father, I’ll do as You say.  Thanks for keeping the love pressure on.  You can let up on me now.  I’ve got the message.  It’s time to come home.  Please forgive me, in Jesus’ Name.  I’ll do anything you say as long as I know it’s You.” 


Things will stop happening TO you now and start happening FOR you. 


Don’t know Jonah’s God as your Savior?  Say, “Jesus, You’re my choice.” (Romans 10:13)  


Then do as He says.  You’ll save yourself lots of needless storms and troubles!


Be Blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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