I think Jonah might have been an introvert. Seriously. He had gone down below deck. Perhaps he was seasick. Perhaps he was hiding. It appears he was taking a nap. It’s exhausting to run away from God!
Above deck an ecumenical prayer meeting is taking place. The sailors are calling out to their gods even as they are tossing all the cargo overboard.
But the one piece of cargo that is napping below deck is causing the ship to sink! The rebuke from the ship’s captain is direct: “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish!”
Jonah’s conscience (an interesting side study in this book) allows him to sleep like a baby. A baby running away from his god. It’s kind of hard to call on one’s god when in rebellion. Disobedience has a way of stifling one’s prayer life.
“All hands on deck!” in Jonah’s situation meant everyone must, right now, call on their chosen deity to save them from perishing. And Jonah appears to not care about the life of these sailors — or himself. An infection of apathy has taken root in Jonah’s heart. (to be continued)
A prayer for today: “Lord of the winds and the sea, show me my apathy toward Your concerns for this drowning world. Please take away from me my spiritual slumber and re-deploy me in Your service! In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Our church just held our missions conference with the title “WHO REALLY CARES?” In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, a visiting missionary to France challenged us to genuinely care about world missions.
But apathy seems to be our default setting in spiritual matters, doesn’t it? Our affections are all messed up. We care deeply about things that don’t matter and little about things that are eternal.
I recently unit-read the book of 2 Corinthians and was impressed by the statement in chapter 10 verse 5- “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Might we paraphrase this verse for today as “We demolish apathy and every emotion that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every feeling to make it obedient to Christ”?