We don’t know much about Jonah at the beginning of this book. We don’t know anything about his upbringing, his personality, or his reputation. One of the few things we know about Jonah is that he had a relationship with God of some degree. He was close enough to God to hear Him when he talked to him in verse 2.
“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.”
Like Jonah, God talks to all of His children at different times in their life. He has a great plan for everyone and desires that we choose to live for Him! But where Jonah went next is a place that most Christians don’t pay much attention to! He went to Joppa….
There are three places mentioned in the first few verses of the book of Jonah and each one represents something different in the Christian’s life.
Nineveh – God’s will for your life
Tarshish – Devil’s will for your life
Joppa – Compromise (not God’s will)
As God’s children, most people desire to do God’s will for their life (Nineveh). In fact, if you grew up in a good family, blessed with a good church, or have God honoring friends around you, chances are, you wouldn’t think twice about following the devil’s plan for your life (Tarshish).
Unfortunately, we all know someone who used to be on fire for God but is now either just quietly filling a pew or out of church completely! Someone who used to go soul-winning every week but now always seems to have “better things to do.” That teen in the youth group that was there for every service and activity but now has a job and has to work on Sundays. What most people don’t realize is that all of these situations start the same way… compromise (Joppa)!
Compromise is a very subtle, lethal tool that Satan uses every chance he gets! Jonah seems to be raised by a decent family and he apparently had at least some sort of relationship with God. But when God made his will clear to Jonah, he had a decision to make.
Maybe he didn’t plan on going all the way to Tarshish, but we know that he didn’t plan on going straight to Nineveh. Instead, he thought he was at a good middle ground, Joppa. Comprise is a dangerous thing! It will cause you to slowly head in the wrong direction, one step at a time.
Problems with Joppa (Compromise)
1) It’s not God’s will
2) Compromise is always heading away from God (vs 3 – to go with them)
3) It’s going to cost you (vs 3 – he paid the fare thereof)
4) There are ships leaving for Tarshish everyday
Watch out for compromise! Stay strong on the things of God! God’s will may not always seem easy but remember… Jesus is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother and he will never leave you or forsake you!