Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
Today's Morsel: Outreach and preaching on the streets has never been an easy thing. I've heard some of the old time ministers talk about how they had rotten eggs, rotten tomatoes, and other things thrown at them while they tried to share the love of Jesus and the Gospel with others. It takes tough skin to be a minister and servant of Christ. Jesus said that we would be hated by men for His namesake. Maybe Jonah had encountered hate for talking about God before and he wasn't about to face it again. When God told him to go to Nineveh to give them warning, Jonah ran in the opposite direction. But Jonah soon found out that you can't get away from God. As the psalmist said, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me" (Psalms 139:7-11). Sometimes God's love towards us doesn't make sense. You may say, "Well if we are afraid to go, then why should God make us go?" Moses didn't want to face Pharaoh. He had been there before and knew that he wouldn't listen. Jeremiah didn't want to go because he knew that it would land him in prison. John Mark had seen what was happening to Christians and he valued his own neck. So why would God send us and bid us to go? Because we are now the Lords, and no longer our own. We are in His Army. You see, God can't bless you until you have overcome you. If you fear and remain concerned about saving yourself, you'll never receive the blessings of the Lord. Jesus said that if you want to save your life, you must first lose it. And that means getting rid of the fear in your life so that God can do what He desires to do through you. Like Jonah, your struggle probably isn't with running from God, but with knowing exactly where He's wanting you to go. So pray, listen, and be faithful to the things you are doing and pretty soon God will show you what He wants you to do and the place He wants you to go. When you come to the end of yourself, you'll realize that Jesus is right there. As Isaiah said, "Here am I Lord send me!"
Sing: I'll go! I'll go! If the Lord needs somebody, tell Him I'll go.