You Cannot Hide
In the first chapter of the book of Jonah, we read how "the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.'" (Jonah 1:1,2). However, instead of heeding and obeying the word of the Lord, "Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD" (Jonah 1:3). Jonah decided to run. However, he soon learned that although he could run, he could not hide.

Many in our present age would do well to pay attention to this Old Testament account as they resist and run away from God and His inspired word. Mark Twain once said, "Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they don't understand, but for me I have always noticed that the passages that bother me are those I do understand."

Now friends, Mark Twain wasn't a prophet, but I think he made a good point. And I believe the truth behind that point is the reason why so many run away from God's word; they understand all too well what the Bible teaches, and it bothers them. Therefore, they run away as fast as they can from the light of the sacred text.

You see, the Bible is a mirror against which we see our own reflection--whether good or bad. From this reflection we cannot hide "for the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). When we examine our life against the truth of God's word, there will be times when we find ourselves falling painfully short of the mark He has set.

Granted, it's one thing to be bothered by a passage of scripture and to be struck with the realization that a change needs to be made in one's life, but why do so many people struggle against, speak against, and run away from God's word with all their might? The answer, simply put, is that they do not respect it. They find the Bible too restrictive. Instead of seeing God's word as the key that will unlock the gate to freedom, they see it as the heaviest of chains. As a result, they determine to live their way instead of God's way. However, some do not stop there. In order to make themselves feel better about their irreverence and disobedience, some hide behind political correctness and manmade laws, striving to squelch any mention of Jesus, God or His word. Instead of speaking against God directly, they cower behind legal maneuvering in an attempt to silence those who hold fast to the word of truth. Sadly, in many parts of our country, the vocal minority is winning.

Dear listeners, we live in a day and age where many will not endure sound doctrine and have turned their ears away from the truth (II Tim. 4:3,4). While we should be aware that such is taking place today, we should not let it discourage or dissuade us. Never forget, the victory has already been won! The task before us is to live faithfully, to show others the saving truth of God's word, and to proclaim with firm conviction that all are subject to the gospel. From God, there is no hiding place and, "there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Heb. 4:13). It is indeed tragic, but, unless they repent and obey the gospel, those who are determined to run away and hide from God in this life will be eternally separated from Him in the next (II Thess. 1:8,9).