“Indifferent obedience to God’s commands is for all practical purposes disobedience. Careless obedience is dead obedience, for there is no heart in it.”1
It is written of Jonah, “But Jonah arose to flee Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1:3).
Jonah not only paid the fare of the ship to run from God, but he also paid the full price of disobedience.
Notice that during his time of disobedience, he was always going “down.”
He went “down to Joppa.” From the place of God’s favor and blessings, he went down. He went “down into the ship,” and then, down into the sea, and then, down into the whale, and then, in the whale, went down to the very bottom of the great deep! “Down” is always the price of disobedience.2
It is noteworthy, that in Judges, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, the phrase “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” is used fifty times to describe the behavior of both kings and the people, God’s chosen people!The consequences of disobedience.
It is odd how clueless they all seemed to be about the consequences of disobedience. God had chosen them, blessed them, and given them prophets, yet they still paid the terrible price of disobedience.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear. If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself!”3
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- Tom Carter, Spurgeon’s Commentary on the Great Chapters of the Bible, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 49501, Copyright 1998, p. 26
- Walter B. Knight, Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1956, p. 444.
- Our Daily Bread, 2010 RBC Ministries, Volume 55, Numbers 3, 4, and 5, June, July, August, 2010, Tuesday, July 27, p. 57