Friday, August 22, 2008

Even the Wind Obeys

John 1:1-17; Mark 4:35-41 / Psalm 107:1-43

I. A Storm Overtook the Disciples

A. The story opened in a familiar place, the Sea of Galilee, with a simple statement; the key figures were fishermen and this was where they made their living. “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.” (Mark 4:35)

B. The setting was comparatively private and there was no premonition of anything unusual; the large land crowds were left behind. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.” (Mark 4:36)

C. Suddenly the calm was gone; the gospel is not just about getting out of trouble. “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” (Mark 4:37)

D. Jesus had led the men into a situation they could not manage; sometimes Jesus leads His people into awkward and frightening situations. “And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38)

E. It is the people God redeems who can say the cruelest things to God. “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?” (Psalm 44:23-24)

F. Years later Peter would remember this event and other terrifying ordeals. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” (1 Peter 4:12)

II. Jesus Took Charge

A. The faithful people closest to Jesus panicked and Jesus ordered the storm to end. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39)

1. Nature must obey the Lord of Grace; the story is part of the deliverance from Egypt; it is the enemies of God’s people who have reason for terror. “But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (Exodus 14:16) “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” (Exodus 14:22) “And the waters re turned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.” (Exodus 14:28)

2. God does the impossible if that is what His people need. “But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” (Exodus 14:29)

B. Fear drowned the voice of the Lord Who had told them they would go to the other side of Galilee. “And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

C. The Scriptures leave no room to doubt the Lord. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:27-31)

D. Believers are people under orders and those orders are precise: Trust.Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)

III. Who Is This Man?

A. The evidence demands a response; Who is this that the sea obeys Him. “And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41)

B. Faith answers, Him Whom we must serve. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” (Hebrews 12:28)

C. Come to the living God; the disciples went forward with Jesus. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

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