1. Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2. “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3. 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.
I would like to know what was going through Jonah’s mind when he arrived at the port that day where a ship was preparing to leave. Perhaps he said, “This must be my lucky day.” Maybe he said, “I timed this just right.” He might even have said, “This ship is God’s will.” Jonah was a man on the run from God and Satan was holding the door wide open. We all have periods in our lives as Jonah did . Periods of direction and call, followed by an overwhelming fear that causes us to doubt our ability to come through for God. “Open doors” are tricky things. Jonah had what he thought was an open door, but was clearly not of God. The life of Jonah teaches us this. If the believer desires to run from God, there will always be a ship leaving for Tarshish.