You cannot hide from God - 3 August 2018

Neville Turley

“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (GNT)

What does God require of us? In handing the Ten Commandments to Moses, God set out what He demands from each and every one of us without exception. The first four commandments stipulate our responsibilities to him.

First and foremost, God demands our total allegiance – “Worship no God but me.”

People in the ancient world worshipped many gods and did not put Almighty God first. God’s second commandment was crystal clear. “I am the Lord your God and tolerate no rivals.”

In his third commandment God demands respect. “I will punish anyone who misuses my name.”

God’s fourth commandment is equally binding. “Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy.”

None of us can with a clear conscience say we measure up to the standards set by God and Jonah was no exception. God will not tolerate being in second place to our own personal desires. Jonah however was determined to follow his own way.

God said to Jonah to go east, so Jonah went west. God had called Jonah to go to Nineveh, so Jonah headed in the opposite direction to the sea port of Tarshish.  Tarshish was a Phoenician trading post and an iron smelting centre on the Spanish coast. It was named after a grandson of Noah who founded the city.

Tarshish was as far removed from Nineveh as Jonah could go. To get there he travelled to the port of Joppa. There he found a ship sailing to Tarshish, paid the fare and went aboard with the crew.

Jonah would never reach Tarshish. God had called him to go to Nineveh, but Jonah chose to shirk his responsibility and flee instead. Jonah would learn the hard way that you can run away from God, but you cannot hide. 

When God calls, no matter how daunting the task, how ill equipped we feel we are, we must grasp the opportunity, confident that the Holy Spirit will empower us to accomplish what God wants us to do.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise and adore you. We want to be obedient to your will. Make our way clear that we may bring glory to you in Jesus name. Amen

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