Summary: Some people think it,s better to just sleep through life. The whole world changes when we do, so GOD says, "WAKE UP!"
“Walking Up the Sleepyheads”
Text: Romans, Chapter 13
I love to sleep! What I mean is I LOVE to sleep! But sometimes, I sleep too much—or I’m asleep at the wrong times, when I should be accomplishing something. Sleep is a natural function of our bodies and we all need a certain amount of rest. But there are times I need to take heed of that old adage—“Wake up and smell the coffee!”
Sleeping too long, or at the wrong time, can cause serious problems in life. Do any of you remember the old story told by Washington Irving? I imagine we all read it in school at one time or another, because Irving was a notable American author—back in the 1700’s, I think.
Irving wrote a tale about a man by the name of Rip Van Winkle. Rip Van Winkle went up into the Catskill Mountains with his gun and his old dog, “Wolf”. Now, he went up in the mountains mainly to escape his nagging wife, Dame Van Winkle—but while he was up there, as the tale goes, he fell asleep and slept for 20 years! When he awoke, the whole world had changed!
Can you imagine? His wife was dead, his children were grown, and instead of hearing the name of King George III of England, he now heard the name of President George Washington and the “New” America!
Sleep has caused the whole world to change—history proves that!
On the night of September 2, 1757, French soldiers were under the command of the Marquis de Montcalm in Quebec, Canada. When the soldiers retired to their tents that night to sleep, they believed they were completely secure from the English troops. That’s because they were camped at the top of a cliff flanked by the St. Lawrence River.
However—while the French slept, troops under the command of the English General, Wolfe, scaled the cliffs, attacked and defeated the French army early the next morning. This very important English victory changed the dominion of North America—and this English victory over the French is one of the primary reasons we speak English in this country rather than French!
It’s dangerous to be asleep at the wrong time!
Another event in history brings this point even closer to home. After the fall of the Alamo, General Sam Houston retreated from his position and recruited about 800 men to fight for Texas against General Santa Anna and the substantial, very well trained Mexican army.
Santa Anna led about 1300 of his soldiers and was camped at Buffalo Bayou—around what is now known as Houston. Santa Anna was waiting for even more of his troops to arrive with General Cos. The combined forces would have been able to annihilate the Texicans by sheer numbers.
Houston knew that his troops had to attack ASAP if they were to have any chance at all, so he sent “Deaf” Smith to blow up a bridge nearby to delay the arrival of Santa Anna’s reinforcements.
On April 21st, Houston and his forces attacked Santa Anna’s camp. Their battle cry was, “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”
Houston and his troops killed over 630 Mexican troops and took 730 prisoners. Texas WON their war of independence against Mexico and that is why we speak English (or American) in Texas today instead of Mexican!
Why was Sam Houston so successful? Because he attacked at 3:30 in the afternoon, during the Mexican “siesta”—the Mexican troops were caught napping! The attack was a total surprise! Many of Santa Anna’s troops were still pulling on their clothes as they ran out of their tents.
As we return to Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome, let’s go back to Romans, Chapter 13, and read verses 11-14.
---11---“And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
---12---The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
---13---Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealously.
---14---But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust.”
The Bible talks about people who, for one reason or another, slept.
In the O.T. book of Jonah, we’re told the story of a sleeper—the prophet Jonah himself. Jonah didn’t like the assignment God gave him—he didn’t want to preach repentance to the city of Ninevah.
So Jonah ran away—away from the presence of God. He hopped on a ship headed to Tarnish and went down into the hull of the ship and just went to sleep. However, it was a restless sleep, because Jonah thought he could just go to sleep and forget what God had told him. He was wrong!