The Price of Running

Posted on: 7-15-112016

“But Jonah arose 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 from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:3

I’ve read or heard the story of Jonah many times, but when I read it today, something new jumped out at me in chapter 1, verse 3.  Four words that I’ve never given any thought to before in this story…”he paid the fare”.  Now in the context of the story, we know that the fare they are talking about is the price he paid to board the ship and travel to Tarshish.  But think about it from another perspective…Jonah paid a much bigger price than what it cost him to board the ship…he paid the price of being disobedient to God.  Not only did his disobedience send him running, it got him aboard a ship that ran into a very violent storm, putting not only Jonah’s life in danger, but also every other man on the ship. While he didn’t want to endanger others, Jonah still didn’t return to God. His continued disobedience then landed him in the belly of a big fish.  Now, I’m not sure about you, but I would hope that finding myself in the belly of a big fish would get my attention pronto.  I would hope that before the fish intestines got all over me and the stench swallowed me, I would be on my face begging God’s forgiveness and promising to do whatever He wanted me to do without delay.  Not Jonah!  Scripture records that he spent three days in the belly of that fish!  What in the world was he thinking!  That’s part of the problem…he wasn’t thinking!  Well, maybe he was thinking, but his thinking wasn’t lined up with God’s thinking and because of that,he paid a steep, smelly price.  It’s easy to wonder why Jonah was so resistant to God’s plan when God made it perfectly clear that He wasn’t giving in, but we’ve all been there.  We have all been called by God to do something we didn’t want to do and we’ve all ran as fast as we could to get as far as we could from God’s presence.  We may not have ended up in the belly of a fish, but we’ve all gotten ourselves into some pretty rough situations by running from God.  And we’ve all paid a high price for running…a price way higher than we ever expected and way higher than we wanted to pay.  It’s never worth what it costs us! If you find yourself running from God, stop in your tracks and turn around!  Run to Him as fast as you can possibly get to Him.  Otherwise, you may end up in a situation far worse than even Jonah.


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