“Awake to righteousness, and sin not.”
A most amazing and amusing human practice is sleep. Amazingly, one who has reached the Biblical seventy years has already spent about twenty-three in bed! It is amusing as we all, overcome by an uncontrollable urge, climb into bed, put the lights out, and wait – until the phenomenon of sleep turns down our hearing volume, closes our eyes, and quietly slips the brain out of gear. During the hours of sleep, millions of tiny ‘workers’ are very much awake, reconditioning and recharging the body for another day’s toil.
There is, of course, a time to be asleep and a time to be awake. The Lord counselled His disciples to “rest awhile” [Mark 6:31] after a time of strenuous labour for Him and His kingdom. However, some believers get things mixed up; they sleep when they should be awake and are awake when they should be resting.
Some can sleep in the most unlikely of places and times. These hardy souls can sleep sitting bolt upright on a hard pew whilst their eardrums are assaulted by the preacher’s strident voice. It’s my medication may be their excuse! “Good message, pastor,” they say as they file out. They must measure its “goodness” by the speed with which the sermon puts them over!
But Paul here [1 Cor. 15:34] speaks of those who sleep in the Lord’s work. Their eyes are closed, and they have no vision of the great need of a perishing world. Their eyes are blinded to their own sinful and slothful ways. They are unconscious of those who have never heard the gospel of redeeming grace. Their spiritual sleep prevents any action, and they do little or nothing for Christ. Hence Paul’s strident alarm, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” May this day be one of wide-awake service for Christ.