“Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,” – Jonah 1:1
We don’t know too much about Jonah at the beginning of the book of Jonah. 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 to some degree. He was at least close enough to hear God when He spoke to him in verse 2.
“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.” – Jonah:1:2
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 traveled 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, we tend to desire to do God’s will in our life (Nineveh). As we grow in our relationship with God, our future plans should also change to match his plans. For the most part, most Christians 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 quietly filling a pew or out of church completely! Someone who used to go soul-winning every week but now always seems to have “something better to do.” That teen in the youth group that was there for every service but now has a job and chooses to work on Sundays.
“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” – Jonah 1:3
What most people don’t realize is that all of these situations start the same way… they start with 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.
1) It’s not God’s will (It’s a mix of our will and 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 (oftentimes, compromise is a one way street)
We need to watch out for compromise! Stay strong in 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!
“I would rather be in God’s will with God instead of doing my own thing without God.”