But Jonah rose to flee to 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, away from the presence of the LORD.
So many make this perilous, fruitless journey. How does one flee from an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God? Where exactly would one go? Running away from God’s call puts you no further from His presence than if you went nowhere. If indeed we could somehow run even to the end of the in universe, He is there. Yet, He does allow us to flee, deny His call and live, as it were, independently in our rebellion. God will not force us to walk with Him for to be forced into His presence would be Hell to those who flee from Him and deny Him.
He loves us so much that He gives us the dignity of choosing even when our choices are to our own peril.