Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa.”
Instead of going to Nineveh to preach the Word, as God commanded him, Jonah disliked the job to which he had been called and went down to Joppa to escape from it. There are occasions when God’s servants shrink from duty. But what is the consequence? What did Jonah lose by his conduct? He lost the presence and comfortable enjoyment of God’s love.
When we serve our Lord Jesus, as believers should do, our God is with us. Though we have the whole world against us, what does it matter? But the moment we start back and seek our own way of doing things, we are at sea without a pilot. Then may we bitterly lament and groan, “O my God, where have You gone? How could I have been so foolish as to shun your service, and in this way to lose all the bright glow of your smile? This is a price too high. Let me return to You, so I can rejoice in Your presence.”
In addition, Jonah lost all peace of mind. Sin soon destroys a believer’s comfort like a poisonous tree that drops its deadly sap and destroys the life of joy and peace. He could not plead the promise of divine protection, for he was not in God’s ways. He could not say, “Lord, I meet with these difficulties in the discharge of my duty, therefore help me through them.” He was reaping his own deeds; he was filled with his own ways.
Christian, don’t be like Jonah, unless you wish to have all the stormy waves of life crashing against the house of your mind. You will find in the long run that it is much harder to shun the work and will of God than to at once yield yourself to it. Jonah also lost his time, for he ended up going to Nineveh after all. It is hard to contend with God, so let us yield ourselves to Him at once. [M&E]