MEMORY VERSE: 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
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Zechariah 8-12
Tarshish simply represents a place outside the presence of the Lord. Jonah 1:3b says so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. This prophet knowingly, deliberately, willingly, intentionally, left the presence of God to go to Tarshish. When he left the presence of God, the first place he went to was Joppa. ‘Joppa’ is the middle ground between God’s presence and Tarshish. You see, no one travels from God’s presence straight to Tarshish; they have to get to Joppa first. Backsliding is not instant. It is gradual; this is why many fall without knowing. To avoid falling, you and i, must watch and pray. David had already started to backslide, long before he committed adultery with Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife). 2 Samuel 11: 1 saysAnd it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. The ark of God was at the battlefield and David stayed back at home. His Royal Highness, decided to rest before God gave him rest. The leader of the army of the Lord, the man who was meant to be fighting for the Lord, desired to rest during battle. Friends, are you resting before the finish line? Sir, have you the left the task of praying for your family, to your wife while you sleep? Sir, have you left the task of praying and interceding for the church, to the prayer warriors while you sleep?
One would have thought, the king would busy himself, with the task of praying and fasting. Instead, he slept. 2 Samuel 11:2 says and it came to pass in an evening tide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. His Excellency, King David, spent the whole day sleeping. The bible says and it came to pass in an evening tide, that David rose from off his bed. As you can see, he had begun to backslide, long before he saw the naked woman. He had left God’s presence and was now sleeping. No wonder, immediately he saw the woman, he could not resist the temptation. He fell and paid dearly for it. David left the presence of God and began to see strange things – some one’s wife bathing. Out of God’s presence are many strange things. It is when you leave God’s presence; you start to see nothing wrong in watching pornographic movies. It is when you leave God’s presence; you start to observe that, you no longer have time for yourself again. You suddenly realize, you are spending too much time for God. It is there, you start to see nothing wrong in passing the night at your fiancé’s house.
PONDER: Are you beginning, to see nothing wrong, in telling little white lies? Are you beginning, to see nothing wrong, in missing church services? Ask the Lord to wake you up.
Bro Samuel | Reaching the world for Jesus.