You Can Run…
April 24, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth. - Zechariah 4:10 NKJV.
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. - Ephesians 4:28 NKJV.
When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord. - Jonah 2:7 NKJV.
According to police officials, Johnny Snodgrass matched the description of a man who stole an 89-year-old woman’s purse, and who was seen on the security tape at a nearby video poker store; where the elderly woman‘s wallet was found. Receiving a tip, police went to where Snodgrass worked at a construction site to question him. However, the suspect ran and tried to hide in a portable toilet. Police Chief James Kudlak said, “A Port-A-Potty is not a good place to hide. There's only one way out.” Snodgrass surrendered after officers found him and called to him to come out. Of course, 21-year-old Johnny Snodgrass claims that he is innocent. You can run…but you can’t hide!
Most of the time criminals are caught, but sometimes they are able to hide, or conceal their criminal acts. However, on a spiritual level, you can run, but you can’t hide! God knows, God sees what you do. He sees everything that you do, because the eyes of the Lord “scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
For most of us, we know that stealing is wrong. It is wrong on a societal level because there are many laws against it. It is also wrong on a spiritual level because it is against the will of God for our lives. Sadly, we hear again and again about those who have stolen by embezzlement, and never expect to be caught, but are. I sometimes call this the “God Factor.” It may be that other human beings would never know about a theft or embezzlement, except that unexpectedly it is revealed. There will always be someone who knows the truth, and that someone is God.
On an entirely other level we sometimes try to run from God spiritually, because we know that He wants us to do something that we do not want to do. Jonah of Old Testament fame (Found in the little book of Jonah.), is the Biblical character that fits into this category. God had told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to them, but Jonah did not want to go. Instead, he tried to run from God. We know what happened. God knew exactly where Jonah was, and Jonah ended up in the belly of a great fish for three days and nights. Apparently, that was all that Jonah could take, because he changed his mind at that point and prayed that God would help him. In Jonah’s words, “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord (Jonah 2:7a).” God had not forgotten about Jonah, and the same call, the same command to go to Nineveh was given again. The second time, Jonah did what God wanted even though he was not happy about it.
Many people try to run from God before surrendering to His will for their lives. Augustine, an early church father, was involved in all kinds of wickedness even though his mother was a very godly woman who continually prayed for him. Eventually God was able to gain the attention and faithfulness of Augustine. John Newton was another man who was very far from God, but God knew exactly where this future mighty servant was. Franklin Graham in his testimony tells of his rebelliousness, although he can also testify that you may run from God, but you cannot hide!
How about you? Have you been trying to run from God? The truth is that He knows exactly where you are. Isn’t it time to remember the Lord, and get out of the belly of that fish?