Runaway

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jonah 1:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord." Jonah 1:3

Have you ever been asked to do a job you really didn’t want to do?

Did you a] do it anyway or b] try to avoid it. If you tried to avoid it - how?

Jonah was an avoider. One day God gave him a job. “Go to the city of Nineveh and preach against its wickedness.”

But Jonah didn’t want to. Instead, he went the opposite direction. In the city of Joppa he bought a ticket and set sail for Joppa.

Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992

Soon a violent storm came up. The wind and waves tossed the boat so fiercely the sailors were sure they would all sink. They threw baggage into the sea and prayed to their gods to stop the storm.

All the while, Jonah was sleeping. The captain found him. “Get up. Pray to your God,” he said.

But still the storm raged. Finally the sailors decided to find out if anyone on board was responsible. They cast lots (sort of like picking straws or flipping a coin). The lot fell to – Jonah.

“Who are you and what have you done?” the sailors asked.

“I’m a Hebrew,” he answered. “And I admit, the storm is my fault. I’m running away from God. If you throw me overboard, the storm will stop.”

The sailors didn’t want to do that. Instead they threw more cargo overboard. But it didn’t help. Finally, in desperation, they did what Jonah said. They threw him into the churning water.

Immediately the storm quieted.

Jonah tried to get out of doing what God asked by running away. Of course he couldn’t. How about you? Could you ever run far enough or hide well enough so God couldn’t find you?

PRAYER: Dear God, You know exactly where I am at all times. Help me to always live with that in mind. Amen.

MORE: God Watching – Comfort or Problem?

Knowing that God sees us always can be either a comfort or a problem. Most of the time it’s a comfort. But it could also be a problem. Put an X beside each time, below, when God seeing you would feel like a problem:
1. ___ You helped a friend with homework.
2. ___ You cheated on a test.
3. ___ You got lost in the woods.
4. ___ You helped a person in a wheelchair.
5. ___ You took money from Mom’s purse.
6. ___ You’re having fun at Disneyland.

ANSWERS

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