God's Weather Forecast
The Wind Storms at Sea
The Bible contains many storm scenes. Before our attention be given to the wind storms at sea, let us do a little trivia-Bible-searching regarding the wind, for it is closely associated with storms.
"For He spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves."
– Psalm 107:25
The Bible speaks of the
- East Wind (Job 27:21)
- North Wind (Song of Songs 4:16)
- South Wind (Job 37:17)
- West Wind (Exodus 10:19)
Wind has obviously had its effects upon mankind.
Scripture records allusions to remarkable storms: Gen. 7:11; 19:24; Ex. 9:23; Jos. 10:11; 1 Sam. 7:10 and James 4:14 if you care to run a reference.
There are some wonderful effects of wind.
In passing and if you cared to run references through... Gen. 8:1
- Ex. 15:10
- Num. 11:31
- Ezek. 37:9
- Jonah 1:4
But especially I am drawn to... where:
- Gen 8:1 –Wind made waters recede.
- Ex. 15:10 –God blew with His wind and the sea covered the army of Pharaoh.
- Nu 11:31 –Wind drove quails in from the sea.
- Ezek. 37:9 –The Lord says, "come from the 4 winds, oh breath and breath into their slain that they may live."
- Jonah 1:4 –The Lord sent a great wind on the sea.
Wind is a symbol of sudden destruction of the wicked
Prov. 1:27 -"...when a calamity overtakes you like a storm when disasters sweep over you like a whirlwind..."
Prov. 10:25 - "when the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone."
Isa. 17:13 - "...when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills."
Isa. 40:24 -"...he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff."
Jer. 25:32 - "Thus says the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth."
Jer. 30:23 - "See the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath a driving wind swirling down on the heads of the wicked."
Have you ever seen or been in a whirlwind?
2 Kings 2:1 "When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind..."
Job. 37:9 - "Out of the south comes the whirlwind and a cold out of the north."
Job 38:1 - "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind."
Psalm 58:9 - "He shall take them away as with the whirlwind."
Ezekiel 1:4 - "And I looked and behold a whirlwind came out of the north..."
The Word of God speaks of the whirlwind as being a symbol of sudden destruction of the wicked. See Prov. 1:27; 10:25; Isa. 17:13; 40:24; Jer. 23:19; 25:32; 30:23.
I must be fair to state that the wind is ruled by God. How so? Acknowledge: "Fire, and hail; snow and vapor; stormy wind fulfilling His Word." (Psa. 148:8)
I have been in and I have seen some very violent storms on television. Some were in the real - outside and some were man made inside a studio. Some I have personally been in have been very fierce but obviously not to the extent like in 1 Kings 19:11 where the wind split the hills and rocks. Nor, the one written about in Job 1:19 where the wind swept in from the desert and collapsed a house.
I have also been in wind storms at sea. The two that come to my mind would be the night that Nancy, my wife, and I were on the Gulf of Mexico doing some night fishing. The storm was so great, the wind so strong, the waves so big (crashing over our boat) that we were scared for our life. However, in the midst of the storm the captain told me to enter the pilot house and take the helm while he had some work to do on the outside, "battering down the hatches" so to speak.
My instructions were to keep my eyes on a tiny light in the distance. .... and keep the craft in that direction. Nancy and I strained to watch the tiny light and it was not as easy as it sounds. Why? Because with each succession of waves our boat would "sink" and we would loose the visual of the tiny light. Well, we did make it or I would not be telling the story, huh? It was a terrific storm at sea.!
The other storm at sea was in the Mediterranean Sea. My wife and I were leading a tour to Israel. Our stay was on a rather large ship, but it, too, encountered a terrific storm. That boat took it dives also, but we were not near effected as our experience on the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana USA coast.
Both of these personal experiences set the stage for the storms recorded in the Bible that took place on water.
However, to be fair to the writers of the Bible, I must insert the use of the phrase "water spouts" found in Psa. 42:7
Now, let's combine the WIND with the STORM that results from it and focus on three wind storms that happened at sea. We want to look at
upon whom sent
lessons for us today
|Where found:||A ship in Mediterranean Sea|
|Cause:||A person running away from God|
|Lessons:||One can't runaway from God!!|
"Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up."
One will remember that Jonah was fleeing from God's presence because it was uncomfortable. He was exposed to God's judgment. And where was he? He was asleep in the hold of the ship. While the storm sweeps across the sea and upon the ship, Jonah was asleep.
Running from God (which we all do from one extend to another and from time to time) will get one in a storm. And, it is possible to be asleep in a storm which we have caused ourselves. It is our own fault and because of that "we" can bring danger both to ourselves and danger or damage to others.
- rebellion and disobedience and
- known and unrealized sin are instrumental in causing a storm which God can send, if he so chooses.
2. Jesus and the Disciples
|Upon whom:||Jesus and his disciples|
|Where found:||Sea of Galilee|
|Cause:||Perhaps the death of Jesus and his|
|Lessons:||God is in "your boat".|
"That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, 'Let us go over to the other side.'Leaving the crowds behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?' He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm."
There are those who believe that it was Satan who stirred the waters and wind, causing the waves to crash over the boat. How so? Because we do know that he has been called the god of the air. Perhaps he was trying to kill the one who would become the savior of the world? A further thought is that Jesus would not have rebuked God if God had sent it. Here, Satan had everyone in one boat.
Point for us is that why should we be afraid of the storm. "...Hold your head up high" are the words in a song.
In the context of this story we hear the words, "Let us go across" Perhaps God is asking you to go into a new area. It might be an area of distress. They were told to "leave the crowd" Perhaps we must ask the question. "Are we able to leave the crowd?" Can a church leave the crowd? One wrote, "Can a church leave a crowd? Has the outward signs of success, a packed house, become the bread of life to us? There are times when a church must get away from it all to follow the Master. It must leave this least common denominator of popular thinking or lack of thinking, and go where no hosannas are heard and where shadows of a cross fall."
Lessons for today:
Jesus asked the disciples, "Why be afraid. Number one, Jesus was WITH them. And for us the promise is, "I will never leave you except in a storm?" NO and no. Never means never and that compasses all areas of our existence whether it be in the fields of sunshine or the dark valleys of death. As he was with them, so he will be with you.
Note also that the disciples certainly got WET, but they did not drown. Are the words, "There has no temptation taken you but is as common to man" appropriate here?
The disciples said, (as one might today) "Don't you care?" Many try to put the panic attack on God, when we are in a terrible situation. God, we are headed for disaster. Are you asleep God?" We think or perhaps might actually say that. I know I have.
Reader, God does not share our panic! I write again. God does not share our panic in situations. But, like a father he does pity his children, He is not scared as we are.
Jesus did his job, so now He is sleeping IN the storm.
|Where found:||Mediterranean Sea|
|Cause:||The time of the year for the hurricane, "northeaster".|
|Lessons:||God's will always prevail.|
Acts 27:14,15, 18
"Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the 'northeaster' swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind...We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard."
This was a disaster in the making to these as would be the Titanic sinking in 1912 and the 1956 sinking of the Andrea Dora and the sinking of more recent rather large ships.
Competent sailors will tell one standing at the helm to (1) steer "in" and (2) stay "in" the ship. These were tossed with the tempest.
Today I find myself and I know you do also, tossed with tempest of life's natural storms. In fact, to be part of the human race, which we are, necessitates that we share in the human experiences.
Now, it is interesting what Paul gave as his advice. Not so much from navigators point of view, as from the point of view of a person who is trying to make the most out of what was happening to him in his life. His advice was profit from his knowledge of the weather and the sea. Dr. Luke employs a lot of technical nautical terms.
To quote from the writing of another. "The business of rising above the circumstances of life, of sailing against the adverse winds, does not begin with endurance; it begins with an intelligent effort to change the circumstances." If it is not in our power to do so, then it is patient endurance WITH God in the storm."
"Paul did his best to change the circumstances.. So do we. But by no means are we always successful in changing or controlling the circumstances."
"After we have done our best and through our intelligent thoughts and prayers, inviting God into every facet of the situation are we sometimes forced - actually most of the time - to trust and faith. Faced with a bad situation and with strong winds against us it is easier said in the sunshine than in the darkness of a storm."
Back to the story. Paul's advice is not taken. The vessel soon is put out to sea. The violent winds appear. The storm rages. You know, it is wonderful that in times of great danger some one rises above the danger and rallies people together. Paul did just that. Paul knew that God was sending him to Rome. No danger could stop him, no delay could make him believe that he would not finally arrive. That is why in vs. 28 the words are "I believe in God."
There was Jonah and God's wind - Our lesson is that rebellion, disobedience, known sin and unrealized sin can cause a storm.
There was Jesus and his disciples - Our lesson is that Jesus is with us and that we might get wet, but we will not drown.
There was Paul. Our lesson is that in the "natural" there will be storms that we must ride out. Steer IN them and Stay IN the ship of God's love, protection and life.
The question is where are you?
One other storm experience comes from Mark 6. The story is familiar to many students of the Bible. It has to do with Peter walking on the water. Now, that is a sight, huh? Scripture records that as he was walking he took his eyes OFF Jesus and put his eyes on the storm. Scripture uses the words in John's gospel: (6:18)
"A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough."
These guys were on the lake, or call it as it is, the Lake of Galilee. They had been rowing 3 or 3 1/2 miles when they saw Jesus approaching. There He was.
I like the story because among many things it shows that Jesus was walking on the water faster than the boat was traveling. Now that is a sight! As Jesus stretched his hand out IMMEDIATELY, so today, right where you are reading these lines, Jesus is stretching out his hand to you. Don't be double minded as we read in James, but stay your eyes on Jesus with full faith.
The lesson? He will stretch out his hand, grasp yours and pull you into the boat. And "your boat" will find itself calm, even when all around you is tossed around. It is a promise.
Yes, God is seen upon the wind:
"He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind."
– 2 Samuel 22:11 & Psalm 18:10
"HE RIDES ON THE WINGS OF THE STORM"
AND HE IS WITH YOU ON THE SEA OF LIFE.
"Your life is not like a ship tossed helplessly upon the rough sea. You are not a helpless victim of circumstances, for every circumstance is a servant of Jesus Christ.
"The 'rough sea' in your life would not be there unless He allowed it. He is using each circumstance to work out His purpose in your life -
–to show you His power,
–to strengthen your faith,
–to purify your heart.
"In His perfect time He will speak the word over your 'rough seas' and all will be calm. Trust me. No! Trust Jesus.
Lord, this reader's life is not like a ship tossed helplessly upon the rough sea. This one is not a helpless victim of circumstances, because every circumstance is a servant of Jesus.
I ask that if there be "rough seas" in their life at the present time, the realization would be that God did allow it. He did not cause it. But He is using each circumstance to work out a great purpose in this reader's life. Show your power Lord, show your strength Lord.
I bless you, Lord, that in Your perfect time you will speak the word over the "rough sea" and all will be calm... ..in the name of Jesus.