Friday, July 7, 2017
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. Proverbs 6:9-11(NLT)
It’s been a lot of years since I had surgery with general anesthetic. Aside from the effect of having someone carve holes in you with a scalpel, there are other consequences.
Monday morning when the anesthesiologist put the mask on me and said, now just take a few deep breaths…I’m not sure I heard another word. I awoke a few hours later…almost! They told my bride, Elizabeth I was tough to wake up. (She could only smile; she knows I sleep like a weary dead man anyway.)
I honestly don’t remember ever waking up. I don’t recall them helping me to get out of the semi-private gown and into my jeans. I seem to recall walking through the surgery center doors outside, but missed the trip back to Thomasville entirely, including a stop at the pharmacy for those wonderful little pills that took the post-op pain away.
The next two days are a hazy blur! I will have to take it on faith that some unethical telemarketer didn’t get me to sign-away my firstborn into slavery while I was under the influence!
There are some other residual effects of sedation strong enough to bring down a herd of bull elephants; I’ll spare you the graphic intimate details!
One application about drug-induced sleep; it’s a little like the sin of complacency. When you’re in deep, you hardly know you’re in deep. And even when they – friends, family, or the preacher – try to awaken you, you can’t cooperate without some strong assistance.
God spoke to the nation of Israel, with that kind of rather harsh assistance, to get them to awaken from the sedative effect:
“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Malachi 3:6-10(NLT)
The sedative effect of cumulative sin had dulled the spiritual sensitivity of God’s people, and they were quite comfortable in going through the motions of religious activities, while their hearts (and tithes) were far away from the God for which they proclaimed undying love.
Israel needed strong assistance out of their anesthesia…it was time to wake up!
Yet, despite their obvious, sleeping, sinful ways, God was still willing to bless them if they turned back to him. Which proves once again that it wasn’t Israel’s people who had undying love for God…it was the other way around.
Could it be America, its churches, and we, the people, need to return to our Heavenly Father as much as ancient Israel?