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Read Introduction to Jonah


“Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.”


But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep

Jonah was “fast asleep” in the bowels of the ship.  This stands in striking contrast to the fear of the Phoenician sailors taking action to save their lives.  The sailors were praying, but Jonah was asleep!  The journey to Joppa was long and fatiguing.  Jonah was complacent about his rebellion and the effects of his sin (i.e., the ship breaking up).  He slept through God’s judgment.  He was in a state of callousness. 


Sin causes spiritual stupor. 


Many of us sleep while God’s judgment is on our lives.  Spiritual deterioration is imperceptible.  Sometimes this course is hard to detect.  Jonah did not become a coward prophet overnight.  It was a gradual process. 

Lu 9:32, “But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.”

Mt 26:40-46, 40 “Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, ‘What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’…. 44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.’”

The covenant was to watch and pray, but Jesus’ disciples fell asleep.

Sin is a narcotic.  It will put us to sleep spiritually.  Slowly creeping sin is a spiritual anesthetic that blunts our spiritual sensitivities.  It represses the conviction of sin and a dynamic fellowship with God.  A spiritual Christian does not excuse his sin but faces it and acknowledges it.  This is the first step on the road back to fellowship. 

Eph 5:14, “Therefore He says:

Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light.’”

Ro 13:11-14, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”