Heeding God’s Call

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD. But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
Jonah 1:1–6
Heeding God’s Call
The Lord is not a respecter of persons. He does not change his work or behavior because of our opinions or feelings. Jonah knew that the Lord desired and still desires everyone to acknowledge their sin, turn from it, and believe the Gospel…and live. He knew that God works mightily to save through his Word. Jonah knew that God would forgive even the Ninevites, but Jonah did not like it. We get caught in the same situation. We want and even demand vengeance for the sins that have been committed. We ponder the retribution that is owed us, and our sinful hearts dismiss the idea of forgiveness until retribution is paid. So, Jonah ran. He went in the complete opposite direction from where God wanted him to go. He fled from the presence of the Lord, but the Lord would not let him run away from his Law and his command. The Lord finds us no matter where we have gone and no matter what walls we have built to hide ourselves. The Lord insisted that there be preaching in Nineveh. He insists that sinful men do that preaching. He insists that there be preaching in your life, too. He picks sinful men, just like Jonah, to preach his Word to you. Why? His desire is that all men come to the knowledge of the Gospel and are saved. Thanks be to God for his plan of promise.  
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