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Fight or Flight

Scripture: Jonah 1:1-3; Jonah 4:2-3, 11

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”3 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.

..."That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

"And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

Reflection:

Jonah seems to think that life is about how individuals can be saved, live a comfortable life under God’s blessing, and then go to heaven when they die. In times of stress, it is natural and convenient for God’s people to retreat into Jonah’s mindset, seeking comfort during a trial, hoping for heaven, and running away from our true calling.

Jonah is not afraid to go to Nineveh. He is afraid that if he goes to Nineveh it might actually repent, and then God would not punish it. You see, Nineveh is like the capital of ISIS, or the HQ for the 9-11 attacks. His attitude? Let them rot in hell!

The devil had Jonah right where he wanted him; Live a comfortable life under God’s blessing and do not worry too much about your impact in this world. God has a different idea. Jonah, go be a blessing to this nation. Go, be a blessing to this, your enemy!

We have the same choice.

 

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