I was preaching from the book of Jonah once and came across an interesting thought about worship.
Most people know the set-up to the story, of course. Jonah gets tapped by God to go “cry out” against the wickedness of the city of Nineveh. But Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian empire, and from the perspective of little old Israel, these were the biggest bad guys. They were the neighboring superpower that everyone looked over their shoulder for, and they were brutal. The Assyrian army would sweep in and destroy everything, and then lead the inhabitants of the land away in chains to be resettled somewhere else. There was no one in the neighborhood who could stand up to them.
Jonah didn’t want the job. So he boarded a ship to head across the Mediterranean, as far as he could get from Nineveh and, the text says, “to flee from God’s presence.”