thou that sleepest--Eph 5:14
" Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep." (Jonah 1:5)
We, all, like to hear the story of how Jesus slept when he was in the midst of a storm. How he was awaken by his fearful disciples. I like to think of Jesus as the King of "Cool"----He was not fearful but spoke that word and calmed that storm. Jonah on the other hand was not "cool" with God.
Jonah was a prophet, but he was backslidden. Why? He was given a command to go to Nineveh and speak out against their sins. Nineveh was a dangerous place to be. These people would kill you and think nothing of it. I used to remember some years ago, not far from my neighborhood, we had some Christians standing on a corner and speaking out against sin. They did it for years and all of a sudden, it stopped.
Perhaps many people were glad to see them go. Maybe the city pressured them to stop. Whatever the reason, they stopped but thank God they did not get roughed up or killed. Now in this day and time, people do not like to hear about sin. If you are not careful, you could get killed. Maybe Jonah had his reasons. Maybe he thought about his life. Maybe he hated the Ninevites, but whatever the reason, he ran away and went to the other side.
The word says that he went the other way and departed from the presence of God. (1) Bad mistake. Never run from the presence of God. It is your life source. Second, he paid a fare on a ship to get away from the presence of God. Never sell out the anointing of God in your life. I remember in years past, Motown records had some great talents. A lot of these groups and singers started in the church and some of them ended in drugs and tragedy. The world offered them fame, as well as fortune and what they got was death and disaster.
When you depart from your calling and duties, you wind up affecting people. Jonah got on a ship and because of his disobedience, the word said that God sent out a storm. People who were in the ship feared for their lives. Jonah's disobedience affected a group of people, but notice what was his reaction. HE WENT TO SLEEP! Bad choice.
God was calling his attention. Why? Because he loved Jonah. God loves you and me and sometimes, when we walk in disobedience, he calls our attention allowing the storms of life to shake us. Unfortunately, Jonah's heart was so hardened to sin that he fell into complacency and was asleep, but not for long. He was awakened by his shipmates.
Jonah tried to hide the fact that he was a believer. He was not interested in repentance nor reaching out to the people in the ship. His heart was hardened, but God says your sins will find you out(2). There is a saying---You can run but you can't hide. When it was found out that Jonah was a believer and his disobedience caused the storm, the Jig was up!
Notice to what extent his heart was hardened. He missed the opportunity to repent, he missed the chance for God to calm the storm and he missed the chance to get new converts for the Lord God Almighty. What did he do? He said---Throw me overboard and the storm will calm down. A spirit of suicide came upon him, but the sad case is that Jonah did not care.
Brethren, God will forgive sin and disobedience. He is merciful, but a constant pattern of sinning without repentance will cause indifference and harden your heart. If God has called you to do something, harden not your hearts. Your life and the lives of your loved ones can be at stake. Tomorrow, we will look more at the life of Jonah--God bless.
Bible references: (1) Jonah 1:3, (2) Numbers 32:23 and Jonah 1
Bible verses courtesy of www.biblegateway.com