READ: Jonah 1-2
THINK: “Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” – Jonah 1:3
He went down to Joppa. — Sin is always a going down. Down from the heights of fellowship with God; down from the life of high and noble purpose; down from self-restraint and high endeavor. Yes, and we know we are going down; that our self-discipline is relaxed; that our holy separation from the world is [lacking].
He found a ship. — Opportunity does not necessarily indicate either expediency or duty. Because the ship happened at that moment to be weighing anchor and the sails to be filled with a favoring breeze, Jonah might have argued that his resolution was a right one. Whether he did or not, there are many times in our lives when we are disposed to argue that [convenient] circumstances indicate the right course. But it must be remembered that they never can belie God’s summons to the soul to do his will. The court of conscience is the supreme court of appeal; and to run away from known duty cannot be right, though circumstances seem at first to smile.
He paid the fare thereof. — Yea, if we go opposite to God’s will, we always have to pay for it. The loss of self-respect, the broken piece of conscience, the deprivation of God’s blessed presence, are part of the fare. And even when we have paid and lost it all, we fail to get what we purchased; we are dropped out of our chosen vessel in mid-ocean; and God brings us back to land at his own expense, and in a ship of his own construction. The morning may be fine, but it is soon overcast: the sky may be clear at starting, but God sends a great storm after the runaways to bring them back to Himself: the ship may seem to be opportunely leaving the wharf, but disaster will over-take it.
– F.B. Meyer
PRAY: Ask God to help you identify areas in your life right now where you are going down and headed away from him, where you are taking the easy path instead of really seeking his call, and where you are paying dearly for sin. And pray that he will help you seek him instead.