The word of the Lord had come to Jonah commanding him to go to Nineveh and preach a message. Yet Jonah fled. In his disobedience, he found what he thought was an open door as he ran from God. When he reached the dock, there was a ship leaving. He had the fare to purchase a trip heading hundreds of miles away from Nineveh. Perhaps he justified his actions believing that God was providing a way out from the original call. Wasn’t it providential that a ship was heading out and he had the financial means to go?
Addressing the faithful use of our tongues, Henry T. Scholl once wrote: “For training the tongue aright God has given us the salutary example of his Son. That we may habitually conform to that example, he would fain work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Testings come in his wise providence; but these testings are no valid excuse for testiness of speech.” 3 This same idea was working in Jonah’s life for his obedience. Though fleeing was possible, these circumstances did not override the word of God to Jonah. God had told him to go to Nineveh, and no matter how many affordable rides were headed in the opposite direction, the circumstances did not change his call. Jonah took the opportunity to turn his back on God and His word, but God was not going to turn His back on Jonah.
When your circumstances, advice from others, or your own feelings contradict God’s Word, how do you come to a final decision?