Read Jonah 1:3-17
We all know the escape routes. Unfortunately, many of us are far too familiar with the common excuses for not responding to the Holy Spirit's urging and direction. We hear ... and sometimes feel ... His direction and tell him, "but God ..."
Seems like Jonah knew the escape routes, too. Scripture says that after hearing God's Word, Jonah took off ... in the other direction. He was heading to the ends of the known earth in a dramatic effort to escape God's will for his life.
In theory we know that living outside God's will is a miserable state. And if we're honest, we'll admit that we know this from experience, not just in theory.
But, when we're in that miserable state ... like the middle of a terrible storm, airborne as a result of our fellow travelers tossing us overboard, or struggling to figure out which way is up in a dark, unfamiliar place ... God provides.
Jonah 1:17 illustrates a crystal clear picture of God's sovereignty and love for us. "Now the LORD provided ..." Did He provide immediate peace and rescue? An escape from consequence? Another, more palatable will for Jonah's life? No, no, and no. He provided a huge fish - to swallow Jonah. Doesn't sound like your typical Divine provision to me, but Jonah had not just ignored God in his head; Jonah had run, far and fast.
Knowing the end of the story, God was completing this perfect will through Jonah for the eternal benefit of those living in Ninevah (His love for us), no matter what Jonah thought (His sovereignty).
We serve a great God who provides!