This is our first hotel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in Tel Aviv. A tel is made out of a number of layers of constructon that accumulated over the years, after each layer was grazed or burnt down by the conquering armies. At a rate of destruction every 100 years or so, many layers have been accumulated, and the height of the hill grew from one layer to the next (from Israel Tour Book 2007).
This is also close to the area where Jonah tried to run from God. (Jonah 1:3)
I wonder if Jonah’s last name was Evans. He seems a little like me. God told him to preach to the people of Ninevah. He didn’t want to, so he ran instead. He found himself in the belly of a big fish, so had nothing to do but pray. The fish probably thought he was being a little too religious, so he coughed him up. Then God told him again to preach to Ninevah. He did. I can see Jonah’s hands on his hips as he hollered, “Forty more days and Ninevah will be overturned.” Yikes, Jonah, couldn’t you sing a hymn and pray first? Sure enough, the people confessed. Jonah didn’t like that. It was too simple. These people were mean. They didn’t deserve forgiveness. God saw their hearts and had compassionon on them and did not bring the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:10). Jonah pouted.
No matter how many hills we hide under, we can’t really run from God. Or we’ll find ourselves smelling like fish.