What a disappointing scene! A terrifying storm, souls in danger of death, but Jonah, the man of God, fast asleep.
Sailors are not soon frightened in a storm, but this time the fury of the gale was so great that “the ship was like to be broken” and even the sailors were driven to their knees “and cried every man unto his god” (Jonah 1:4,5).
Can it be that Jonah, the only man aboard who knew the true God, was sleeping? Sleeping while souls were perishing? This was the shameful truth, and not one of us would blame the terrified captain for rudely awakening him and crying: “What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God!” (Verse 6).
But let us not be too ready to condemn Jonah, for we may be more guilty than he. Surely the world today is passing through a fearful storm and souls all about us are in peril of their lives. If they do not accept God’s way of salvation; if they do not trust in Christ, they will perish. And what are we doing about it? Are we pleading for them in prayer? Are we doing what we can to reach them for Christ? Or are we fast asleep?
“What meanest thou O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God!” And when you have cried to God in behalf of your unsaved relatives, friends, and business associates, He will send you to witness to them of Christ and His love. Not until you have talked to God about them will you be ready to talk to them about God.
Politically, morally, spiritually, the night is dark, the storm is raging and souls are perishing, but “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts” (IICor.4:6). “…We are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others” (IThess.5:5,6).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.