The Lord told Jonah to go preach to Nineveh. The text says he fled from “the presence of the Lord.” Let it be noted that to refuse obedience to God is to remove oneself from his presence.
The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Jonah 1.1-3 NASB.