“YOU SLEEPER”

Scripture Reading: Jonah 1:4-6

“So the captain came and said to him, ‘What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.'” (Jonah 1:6)

I find it interesting that a pagan sailor had to rebuke a prophet of God. When the captain found Jonah sleeping during the storm, he confronted him. All on the ship were terrified except Jonah and he was asleep inside the cabin of the ship.

Jonah was so absorbed in his own problems (which he brought upon himself) that he neglected his duties as God’s prophet. He was out of touch with reality. Jonah was acting irresponsibly and he was unconcerned about the welfare of the others on the ship.

Even these pagan sailors began to pray to their gods; but not Jonah for he was sleeping. What was wrong with Jonah? He was a believer, a prophet of God. The answer is quite simple — he was running from God; he was rebelling against his Lord. Jonah was resisting God’s call on his life and he was only thinking of himself.

One sure sign of rebellion against God is prayerlessness. When we cease praying, we are avoiding God. Prayer brings us into the presence of God. Jonah was fleeing from His presence. No wonder Jonah was sleeping rather than praying.

So, the pagan captain of the ship had to rebuke God’s man — “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god!”

Gracious Lord, I know there are times when I am in rebellion against You. There are times I seek to flee from Your presence. There are times when I am so absorbed in my own troubles that I forget You. I too often think of myself and not of others. Forgive me for my foolishness. Forgive me for my prayerlessness and self-centeredness. Thank You for Your grace and for the love You have for me, even when I act foolishly.


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