Jonah 1:5b “But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.”
It is while the prophet Jonah is dealing (under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit) with “The Ordeal” that a person finds a derelict, disobedient and DOZING believer. T. DeWitt Talmage once said about our text, “If instead of sleeping Jonah had been on his knees confessing his sins from the time he went on board the craft, I think God would have saved him from being thrown overboard.”
Never forget, Brother Jonah sleeping in a boat is really no different than a believer spiritually sleeping in a pew. Friend, you and I (those of us that are saved) will have the devil sing “rock-a-bye baby” to us when we are in a backslidden state! There are three facts Jonah was asleep to that all wayward saints are asleep to as well. (All found in Jonah chapter 1)
1. THE PLAN OF GOD.
Brother Jonah was asleep to the plan of God (verse 2). The Heavenly Father has a PERFECT and SPECIFIC layout for all of His children’s lives. The immediate solution to the shortage of servants in the Lord’s work isn’t knowing but OBEYING the will of God. (Matt. 20:6) The Plan Of God!
2. THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
Brother Jonah was asleep to the presence of God (verse 3). To this preacher this is one of the most pitiful verses in all of the Bible. When a believer tries to run from the place where Deity is, as soon as they arrive at their final point they’ll discover all three members of the Trinity will be their “Welcoming Committee” (Psalm 139:7 & 8). The Presence Of God!
3. THE PURSUIT OF GOD.
Brother Jonah was asleep to the pursuit of God. (verses 4 & 17) Never forget; Heaven will use the WIND, the WEATHER or the WHALE to get your attention. lf a person thinks God is going to give up on the backslider than apparently they have never been told that there’s not one wayward saint that’s been served divorce papers from Heaven’s courtroom. (Jer. 3:14) The Pursuit Of God!
Evangelist John Hamblin