“What do you mean, sleeper? Arise.”
Some see Jonah as a story fit for Sunday School, but I think adults will be surprised at how much they can relate to him. Jonah was a man with a dilemma: obey God or follow his reasoning.
God called Jonah to preach to people known for their wicked practices, but Jonah disagreed with God’s plan. He could have used someone else, but He wanted Jonah. What about you? Have you resisted God’s prompting to share the gospel because you judged someone beyond His mercy and grace?
Are you a modern-day Jonah?
Jonah skipped town in the bowels of a ship and fell asleep – no doubt assisted by the gentle lapping of the sea against the hull. But, when God calls you to a task, there is no place to run, no place to hide, and there is no time to sleep.
God brought a hellish storm that pushed the ship to the brink of disaster. “So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.” (Jonah 1:6) While the souls of those aboard skirted eternity, Jonah was hidden in darkness, asleep in his comfort.
Our God is as merciful in His persistent pursuit of both sinner and saint, especially when eternity is at stake. Let us, like Salvation Army’s William Booth, “Go straight for souls and go for the worst.”
Lord, forbid us to drift to sleep at a critical hour or embark on a journey other than the one You have ordained.
Awaiting His return,
– Pastor Jack