Summary: A heathen sailor is rebuking the prophet of God. It is the church of that day being rebuked by the world.
The Church Is Rebuked By The World
A heathen sailor is rebuking the prophet of God. It is the church of that day being rebuked by the world. And worse, it is not because he is acting carnally nor about his disobedience to God, for this they did not know about. He is being rebuked because he is not praying to his God.
“Arise wake up and pray” the world watches the church seeking to find fault with her. When they see her sin they laugh with scorn. They delight to tell the stories of the preacher who ran away with the deacon’s wife or vice-versa. Or how they saw a deacon coming out of a bar room. The world hates the church and loves to find fault with her.
What happens when the church sleeps and the storms of life blow? When the world is aware of the tempest and crying for mercy? Will the church be rebuked by the world? And well she should be. How horrible it is the church today sinned and fallen, indifferent to the will of God and the world must bring this to light. God will use the world to show the church how far she has fallen.
I. Jonah Deserved This Rebuke: for what he had failed to do;
1. He Was Not Bearing Testimony Of The Living God:
Here was a splendid opportunity to witness of the person and the power of the living God Jehovah. Here were lost men terrified of the storm, faering for their lives, for they knew not this great God of life and death. Jonah should have been standing as Paul did later as a lighthouse built upon the rocks of refuge.
But instead he was worn out from his own conflict with his conscience. He should have stood with the courage of God, derived from the peace of steady communion with his sovereign God.
When the question was thrown at him, “What meanest thou?” it would have been so much different if the world had meant, “How can you stand there in peace when heaven and earth seem to be dashed together?”
Then he might have answered from Psalms, “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble; therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the seas; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled; though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”
That would have glorified God in his life. It would have been a testimony to the living God Jehovah. Oh how we often miss the opportunities that we have to testify of the strength and the mercies and the goodness of God. We should be seeking opportunities to exalt and magnify His holy name.
Matt 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Too often we are too busy trying to exalt ourselves.
II. Jonah Deserved The Rebuke: also for what he did do.
He was bringing reproach upon God; his life was a stumbling block. Although I don’t believe it’s fair to say Jonah slept because he did not care. No, I believe he slept because his energy had been drained in conflict with his convicted heart. He was in a sorrowful state, a fugitive from the Lord, falling wearily into sleep.