In most judicial cases, the innocent will be absolved, acquitted and excused from any blame from a previous accusation. Truth has a way shinning light on the guilty party or parties. Meanwhile, those who walk with integrity tend to be vindicated. Unfortunately, everyone has a weakness, a blind spot where logic and reason is not always applied. Thus, if you find yourself caught with your hand in a proverbial cookie jar, there is a natural inclination to run away and hide. Perhaps, this is something human beings have inherited from Adam and Eve, a flaw that must be addressed.
Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the]presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden, Genesis 3:7-8.
Prior to original sin, there was an innocence, a freedom that existed within human beings. Yet, when you go beyond clearly defined boundaries, the consequences tarnish souls. After tasting fruit from a forbidden area of the garden, guilt infiltrated human hearts. This new feeling brought remorse, sorrow and the weight of a heavy heart, ashamed of breaking God’s only rule in the garden. All of these built up emotions led to a knee jerk reaction, hiding from God, fearful of His response. Thus, this collection of internal data influenced the earth’s first family to flee, an excuse to hide.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim [judgment] against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah ran away to Tarshish to escape from the presence of the Lord [and his duty as His prophet]. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish [the most remote of the Phoenician trading cities]. So he paid the fare and went down into the ship to go with them to Tarshish away from the presence of the Lord, Jonah 1:1-3.
Several centuries later, a prophet receive a calling from God. Afraid and unwilling to heed this call, Jonah attempts to go in the complete opposite direction of Nineveh. Depending upon which Bible commentary you prefer, there is a belief that Jonah knew the wicked people of Nineveh would repent. Feeling as if they were an undeserving nation, Jonah refused to preach a message of forgiveness. Thus, in his own mind, Jonah felt justified to run away from God. However, a hurricane, abandoning ship and a journey in the belly of whale transformed Jonah’s heart. Therefore, the next time you feel compelled to run or hide from God’s calling, repent now or you may end up experiencing a life threatening situation. May these two encounters serve as teachable moments to alter your course now.
by Jay Mankus