Jonah's Fleeing

   Jonah is a great story to share with children, how a big whale swallowed him up and a few days later, threw Jonah out.  Often that tends to be the focus of Jonah and spiritual lessons are forgotten.  Jonah offers insights to struggles those in leadership positions face in their interactions with God.  
   Immediately we know what God wants the prophet Jonah (1:1-6),  to travel to Nineveh and preach against the people of that city because they were desperately wicked, wallowing and enjoying their sins.  Nineveh, which today would be in Iraq, was located on the east side of the Tigris River about 900 kilometers (550 miles) northeast of Samaria.  It would take Jonah over a month if he traveled the normal distance of 30 kilometers (20 miles) a day.  Nineveh was second in size only to Babylon and the Ninevites were the enemy.
   Rather than listening to God, Jonah heads in the opposite direction to Tarshish (probably in modern day Spain), by boarding a ship at Joppa on the Mediterranean Sea.  Jonah most likely knew of the wickedness of the city of Nineveh but certainly did not have the compassion God had for those wicked sinners.  When you are sinning, being disobedient to God, clear, biblical logic tends not to be your friend as perhaps Jonah thought he could flee and run from God and God would be unable to find him.
   Once the ship departed from the port, a great stor ...

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