While You Were Sleeping

There is a song by Casting Crowns called “While You Were Sleeping”. It is about what you miss while you are sleeping. It has verses about Bethlehem and how the people were sleeping when Jesus was born. It tells about how they will always be seen as “a city with no room for its king.” It also has a verse about Jerusalem and how everyone slept and forgot about Jesus dying on the cross for them. Again it says how they will be remembered as “a city with no room for its king.” The last verse suprised me when I heard this song for the first time. It is about the United States of America. It is about how we’re so caught up with different philosophies that when the Lord comes back we may not be ready. It questions if we will be remembered as “a nation with no room for its king.”

Some people live their lives however they want to live it and they expect to accept God right before they die. You can’t live like that because what if something happens to you while you’re sleeping? What if our Lord comes back to save us again in the night? You won’t have time to accept him because it will all happen so fast. You need to live for him all the time because you never know if you will have time to ask for forgiveness and accept him.

Also this weekend our pastor (Paul Peterson) told a story about how he was going to live however he wanted to and accept God right before he died. He got in a car accident and he was unconscious. He said he didn’t have enough energy to accept Jesus and  he wouldn’t be able to. In the book of Jude, Jude writes about people that have said that God’s fogiveness allows us to live immoral lives. He writes that we need to remain faithful to God because just like he saved Egypt, he can destroy the people who don’t remain faihtful.

God’s forgivness and mercy is great. We don’t deserve it but he gives it to us anyway. He gives it to us and we shouldn’t take advantage of it. Just because he forgives us doesn’t give us the liberty to live however we want. We can’t live immoral lives and hope to ask God for forgiveness right before we die because you don’t know what will happen while you’re sleeping. We don’t want to go down in history as a world with no room for its king.

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7 Responses

  1. Matt.

    Great post, man. And I love that song. I just got the CD a little while ago, and it may be my favorite track on it.

  2. Matt–I am so incredibly proud of you!!! I love your writings…and that’s not just Mom opinion. that’s a fellow blogger opinion. Keep pushing forward. Don’t get discouraged about how many comments or reads–your thoughts are great and you are on the right track. Keep it coming! Love ya~!!

  3. Awesome post Matt!

  4. God’s forgiveness and mercy are great …sure, whatever. Consider the following verses.

    Deuteronomy 28:15-68

    15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

    16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.

    17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

    18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

    19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

    20 The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. [a] 21 The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

    25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27 The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29 At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

    30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and ravish her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. 35 The LORD will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

    36 The LORD will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your fathers. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you.

    38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.

    43 The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail.

    45 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

    49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you.

    53 Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities.

    58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God- 59 the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63 Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.

    64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”-because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

    Something tells me that God isn’t as merciful as you would have Him be.

  5. These verses may seem very bad and like God has no mercy at all. But just as you would warn a kid to stay away from a street he warned the people of Israel against disobeying him. A bad thing may not happen if a kid runs into a street but it is good to warn him before because it is dangerous and it could hurt the kid if they ran into the street. This is a warning to the people of Israel God didn’t intend any of these things to happen but he warned them before so they obeyed him. The nation of Israel was a strong nation a little while after this and God planned it this way all along. He didn’t plan to destroy them he just wanted to make sure that they didn’t disobey him. This was a warning to the whole nation of Israel this wasn’t to one specific person. God gave these people a lot and they didn’t obey him. He got angry at that and the curses were things to get them to obey him. Also if you read right before all of the curses you see all the blessings he will give them for obeying him.

  6. Still seems kind of harsh to me – “Worship me or suffer extreme pain” seems to be the main theme of that passage. What about the slaying of thousands of Midianite children? Was that merciful? Here is Numbers 31, the passage that records this.

    1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
    3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.
    4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.
    5 So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.
    6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
    7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
    8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
    9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
    10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.
    11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
    12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
    13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
    14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
    15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
    16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
    17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
    18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    For those of you confused, let me translate…

    Verses 1 – 6: God has a beef with the Midianites and tells Moses to go to war. Look, God has his reasons so I wouldn’t bring him to trial on any of this. War is war and there is a different code of ethics. They raise an army of 12,000.
    Verse 7: They slew all the males. OK, getting harsher. They didn’t take a single POW? No one surrendered? Still, it is war.
    Verse 8: Naming some of the people who were killed.
    Verse 9: This one is important. The Jews had killed all the men (we’ll just assume that they were all combatants). Now they take all the women and children as captives. They also take all their cattle and goods for themselves.
    Verses 10 – 12: They destroy the cities and bring the captives to Moses.
    Verses 13 – 16: Moe is angry that the Jews took captives? This is where the war crimes really kick in.
    Verses 17 – 18: I’m going to reprint it again here. Follow along with me:
    “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

    Moses commands his army to kill every male CHILD and all of the women who are non-virgins. As for the virgins, they are now to be kept as sex slaves for the Jews! Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. God, through Moses, just commanded genocide. The rest of the chapter rambles on about how to purify the army after the massacre and even more importantly, how to split up the goods stolen from the Midianites.

    Anyone see the irony here? At a Passover Seder, there are endless readings about the suffering of slavery while in Egypt. Now that they’ve been freed, the Jews go out, massacre an entire people, and make sex slaves of the virgins! How much more repulsive and hypocritical can it get? Truly, God is the most evil and vile character ever written about in a work of fiction. If you can read this chapter and still worship Yahweh, you deserve each other.

  7. This may seem very harsh but there is a reason for this. God was leading his people to the Promise Land. Along the way many other nations opposed them. The Midianites were one of those nations but they also lead the Israelites into idolatry. God is a jealous god. When his people were worshiping idols he was very angry. He punished his people for this by not allowing their generation to enter and occupy the Promise Land. But he was also angry with the Midianites for leading the Israelites into idolatry. The Lord didn’t have a promise with the Midianites like he did with the Israelites so he had to punish them in a different way. That is why he did these things to the Midianites. It may seem like the Israelites got a much easier punishment but I don’t think that it would be that easy to wander around in the wilderness for forty years. I also think that you are misunderstanding what they did with the virgins. It doesn’t say that they were used for sex slaves. They most likely wanted women who were virgins because they were pure and they could become the wives of the men. The Lord had to punish these people because Jesus had not been crucified on the cross yet. Today God doesn’t need to punish us in such harsh ways because Jesus stepped in and took the punishment for us.

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