But Jonah ran away to Tarshish to escape from the presence of the LORD [and his duty as His prophet]. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish [the most remote of the Phoenician trading cities]. So he paid the fare and went down into the ship to go with them to Tarshish away from the presence of the LORD.
(Jonah 1:3 AMP)
My friend, who is currently reading the Old Testament, is amused by many of the stories of its ancient kings. I find today’s passage a funny one too. Jonah tried to run far away from the presence of the Lord and his divinely appointed task, but as the old saying goes, “You can run, but you can’t hide.” Despite his reluctance, Jonah eventually came to terms with what God wanted him to do.
Are you running away from God and from what He has called you to do? Jonah’s story is an example of the futility of trying to run away from the Lord. In Psalm 139, David had quite a lot to say about the absurdity of trying to hide from the One who is omnipresent. Take a listen:
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, And the night will be the only light around me,” Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You, But the night shines as bright as the day; Darkness and light are alike to You (vv. 7-12).
So the next time you decide to run away from God, remember that you can run, but you can’t hide.