What Meanest Thou
“What Meanest Thou, O sleeper?” (Jonah 1:6)
Well might the mariners on the storm-tossed Mediterranean make the enquiry of the disobedient prophet, Jonah.
Of all the company on board the ship he alone was slumbering; the rest were anxious and distressed beyond measure, and earnestly endeavouring to save their vessel. He, however was bathed in sleep, and, it may be, dreaming of peace and safety, while any moment the ship might be engulfed by the rolling waves.
His back was upon God. His conscience condemned him, and his heart was ill at ease. Glad he must have been, therefore, to sink into slumber in his berth.
Miserable folly! He was seeking to get away from the presence of the Lord, and had thought he was accomplishing his purpose.
Let us pass from the foolish prophet to consider your case, my reader.
Might not the question be asked of you, “WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” Your sins call upon you to awaken. You are guilty before God. Your life has been spent in opposition to His will. Your whole course has been one of self-indulgence. “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD!”
“WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” Judgment is at hand, the day is arranged, the judge is appointed, the witnesses are prepared, the books will be opened. You must give account of yourself before the throne. “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD!”
“WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” Death is fast gaining upon you. Every beat of your pulse marks his foot-fall as he speeds on his way. Every tick of the clock heralds his nearer approach. Remember, “As the tree falleth so shall it lie.” “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD!”
“WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” The Lord Jesus Christ’s return draws nigh. Long promised, its fulfilment is at hand. His own are awaiting His shout; they will arise and meet Him in the air, and be for ever with their Lord; but you will be outside in the darkness, distance, and distress of the damned for eternity. “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD.”
“WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” Heaven, with all its unending joy, beckons thee that thou mayest join its ransomed throng, and share its untold delights throughout its golden ages. Why will you miss its blessedness? “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD!”
“WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” Hell, with its unutterable anguish, would fain warn you of your danger, and would bid you escape in time, lest the dreadful words be uttered in your ear, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD!”
“WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” The cross of Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of sinners, stretches its arms to welcome even you. The precious blood shed upon Calvary avails for all who approach. There is no need to delay. All that was required has been done, and you may draw near. “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD!”
“WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?” The heart of God is towards thee. He would have all men to be saved. He is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish. His gospel—the good news from God—sounds far and wide today. He seeks thy salvation, and thus sends His servants. Give heed to the sweet gospel-story. “ARISE, CALL UPON THY GOD!”
Scattered Seed 1896