“Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry against it...” Jonah 1:1-2
Jonah was commissioned by God to go to Ninevah – a bloody city full of lies, robbery, a multitude of whoredoms and well favored harlots, and a mistress of witchcraft. Jonah was not fascinated by the idea of being a foreign missionary, so he decided to run from Ninevah and God.
Jonah was not the only one who has been given a commission. Before we are too hard on him, let's look at how we are fulfilling our commission. Matthew 28:19-20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...” We are all, as Christians, called to some Ninevah. It may not be a foreign city; it may be a neighbor, a relative, friend, or coworker. How do we respond? Have we been faithful? Or are we, too, running?
Jonah represents the rebellion of all of us. When God says “Go to _______” and we take our own way instead, we find ourselves swallowed up in darkness of our own making. It will not be pleasant! We should become like David, who said: “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” (Psalm 40:8)
In some sense, obedience is a costly thing. But in the end, it always brings the greater blessing.