On the Journey to Tarshish

“But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”

– Jonah 1:3

Positive that he would not survive the Lord’s directive to go to Ninehvah, Jonah got on a boat to Tarshish, which was about as far as he could possibly go in the other direction. Breathing a sigh of relief once on board, he was about ready to settle in when a violent storm came up and threatened the lives of everyone on the vessel. As the passengers were freaking out, the crew cast lots, and the burden of guilt pointed to Jonah. 

Jonah confessed that he was running from God and told the ship’s help to throw him overboard so things would get better. They tossed him from the ship, and immediately, a huge sea creature swallowed him up. Jonah enjoyed deluxe accommodations in the fish’s belly for three days and made his peace with the Lord there. After he prayed a prayer of repentance, he was vomited up on the shore. Though it might have looked like God’s mercy to allow him to finish the journey to Tarshish, the Lord showed favor to his servant by bringing him straight to Ninehvah! 

Friend, when you flee from the uncertain or scary things Jesus calls you to, there is a negative impact in other areas. As you run toward the Tarshish in your life, whether it’s an addiction, compulsive behavior, or unhealthy action, your world shrinks and your escape only gives way to deeper anxiety. Thankfully, the Lord will never give up on you, and when you pray, He will always bring you back to the point of your departure! His goodness and mercy won’t allow you to keep heading in the wrong direction because He always wants the best for you! 


Jesus, thank you for the blessing of trouble on the road to Tarshish.


What or where is your Tarshish?

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