Jonah 1:1-3

Have you ever played hide and seek with a young child? It can be quite amusing. Tell them to go hide and they will often hide in the most obvious places. One might hide behind a curtain that doesn’t reach the floor, not realizing that her feet can easily be seen. Or, one might simply pull a blanket over his head thinking just because he can’t see anyone then he can’t be seen, not realizing the obvious hump in the blanket is easily seen by the seeker. There can be many examples, but a young child often fails to realize that the chosen hiding place is actually quite obvious. At the beginning of the book of Jonah, we see Jonah trying to disobey. Instead of going to the Ninevites as God had commanded, Jonah wanted to go the opposite way. He didn’t want to take God’s message to the Ninevites because he hated them. So what does he do? He tries to run and hide. When Jonah tries to hide from God, it is similar to a young child hiding. He is trying to hide from God, not realizing that he is easily seen. What Jonah had either forgotten or was trying to deny is that there is no place you can hide from God. Even though it isn’t even possible to hide from God, sin often makes us attempt to hide from Him. Adam and Eve tried to hide in the garden of Eden, Jonah tried to hide, and we often try to hide too. The saddest part of attempting to hide from God is that it is the opposite of what He wants from us. God doesn’t want us to run and hide from Him, he wants us to run toward Him. The Psalmist recognized that God’s presence is actually a comforting place. In Psalm 139 the Psalmist recognized God’s presence by saying…

Psalm 139: Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 

Notice what a comforting thought this was for the Psalmist. He realized that God’s hand would lead him and that God’s right hand would hold him. That is what God’s presence should be for us–a reassuring hand we run to. If you find yourself running from God today… stop. Instead turn around and run to God. Even if there is sin in your life, turn to Him because he wants to forgive, restore you, and use you for his glory. Your attempt to get away from God will prove impossible, so why not go ahead and run toward God today. In fact, pray what the Psalmist went on to say later in Psalm 139…

Psalm 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! 

If you do, you will be met with God’s patient, everlasting love to restore you.

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