As with all sinners among men, the sin of this son of Amittai was in his wilful disobedience of the command of God-never mind now what that command was, or how conveyed-which he found a hard command.
But all the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do-remember that-and hence, he oftener commands us than endeavors to persuade.
And if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists.
With this sin of disobedience in him, Jonah still further flouts at God, by seeking to flee from Him.
He thinks that a ship made by men, will carry him into countries where God does not reign but only the Captains of this earth.
He skulks about the wharves of Joppa, and seeks a ship that's bound for Tarshish.
There lurks, perhaps, a hitherto unheeded meaning here. By all accounts Tarshish could have been no other city than the modern Cadiz.
That's the opinion of learned men. And where is Cadiz, shipmates? Cadiz is in Spain; as far by water, from Joppa, as Jonah could possibly have sailed in those ancient days, when the Atlantic was an almost unknown sea.
Because Joppa, the modern Jaffa, shipmates, is on the most easterly coast of the Mediterranean, the Syrian; and Tarshish or Cadiz more than two thousand miles to the westward from that, just outside the Straits of Gibraltar.