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Asleep In The Storm
Series: The Divine Pursuit - A Study of Jonah
Week 2: Response - Day 2
“ALL THE SAILORS WERE AFRAID AND EACH CRIED OUT TO HIS OWN GOD. AND THEY THREW THE CARGO INTO THE SEA TO LIGHTEN THE SHIP. BUT JONAH HAD GONE BELOW DECK, WHERE HE LAY DOWN AND FELL INTO A DEEP SLEEP....” —JONAH 1:5
“I had the worst night ever!” I griped to my friend Carrie on the phone. “uuugh,” she groans in response, “Jane has an ear infection and I was up ALL NIGHT listening to her screaming, poor thing.”We compare notes and slurp coffee, ready to face another weary day and sleepless night. There is camaraderie of sleep deficits among young mothers. Whether it’s teething, sickness, or nightmares, a child’s cry for Mama disturbs even the deepest dreaming. When night after sleepless night piles on, I find myself sleeping hard in the oddest of places, including waiting in the carpool line or on my playroom floor with a toddler crawling over me!
For Jonah, sleep came too, hard and deep. Despite a storm that had crew members throwing off cargo and fearing for their lives, Jonah...slept. Seems odd, doesn’t it? Yet the concept of sleeping through the storm swirls true for our day. How often do we try to just escape it all? How often do we numb away what Nineveh’s lie deep inside? We choose to shop, snack, stuff, suppress or sleep away those difficulties. Jonah did. And so did some others.
The Bible gives several examples of people asleep in the storm. Elijah, the disciples, and the Roman church all experienced fatigue in the spiritual battle. Let’s see what we can learn from their stories.
The prophet Elijah:
Turn to 1 Kings 19. We catch up with Elijah in this story. Unlike the disciples, who are stunned, sorrowful and utterly aghast at what Jesus has told them is coming; Elijah is coming off a major God-victory. In one fell swoop, god(s) showdown. And—you guessed it, the God of all Gods showed up in a mighty way, blasting the altar and the sacrifice, raining down fire that demolished the sacrifice, altar, and licked up the water that Elijah had doused it in! I love that God shows up in scripture in bigger and more spectacular ways then we can even dream of!
Elijah has showed up 450 prophets, killed every one, convicted King Ahab of his wrong, and ran with supernatural strength all 18 miles back to Jezreel. Then he discovered first hand the meaning of “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...” Jezebel. One woman’s death threat and Elijah is torn up. It’s the last straw, and this powerful prophet can’t take it anymore.
What is Elijah afraid of in 19:3?
What is his response? (3-5).
Elijah’s depression is the result of a “perfect storm”—the convergence of several common c ...
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