And he said, Come.
During a time of prayer before the Lord this week, and being is such desire for understanding of many troubles and thoughts, both personal and those going on all around us, a passage came to my mind of the Lord who “treadeth upon the waves of the sea”(Job 9:8).
And I recalled that one man, Peter the disciple of the Lord, requested the Lord might bid him to come unto him upon the water. And he said Come.
What it was however, that overwhelmed me with joy and hopewas the wonderful linkthat my thoughts came to draw between this passage in Matthews Gospel account, and our current study in the book of Daniel chapter 7. (I’ll explain this link shortly).
Its these links that, if we rarely read or study much of the Bible at all, we miss. Its these links that bless us so abundantly in our time of need through prayer. Its why I encourage you all to read the book of life as often as you can, to give yourselves opportunity to study the Bible.
My desire is for you all to take hold of even the few opportunities provided for you,
- The Newsletter,
- Prayer meeting and Bible study,
- our Monthly Getting Deeper studies,
- the womens Bible study,
- and soon, as the Lord leads, The early morningApt To Teach StudyI am looking to undertake for the men who desire to preach the word and/or evangelize.
- All this in addition to Sunday Mornings
You never know when you will hear or learn something that will change your life, or unhinge you from something you are deeply troubled by.
The Lord will use all those things and bring some together, as he did for me respecting this morning’s message.
We have before us a narrative account of an event that took place one evening after the Lord Jesus had multiplied the meagre provisions of a multitudeto that which, not only sustained them for their journey home, but also had abundance left over.
It was already evening, sometime around 6pm, when “Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away” (Mt 14:22).
We know that the sea upon which the ship would sail was the Sea of Gallilee, for the other side was Gennesaret. (Galilee is the lowest Fresh Water Lake in the world, more than 200m below sea level.)
Sometime during the night and in the midst of the sea it become troubled, tossed with waves and the wind was contrary and those whose ship would take them to the other side, were troubled as a result.
Verse 25 tells us that it was not until the fourth watch of the nightthat Jesus came ‘walking on the sea’.
The nights were broken up into 3 hour periods known as a “Watch”, a military term for those who would stand to view any trouble that might come upon a city.
- The hour from 6pm to 9pm is the 1stWatch,
- 9pm to 12am the 2nd,
- 12am to 3am the 3rdand
- 3am to 6am the 4thand last watch of the night. This is the time when Jesus came to them ‘walking on the sea’.
The interpretation of the passage is always the same and it does not ever stray from its historical account. God simply means exactly what he says and the account given to us is a perfect account of what had occurred.
Yet within the multitude of historical accounts in the Bible, stems with it an almost infinite number of applications that God, through those accounts, seeks to both comfort and teach us.
It is an application of this account that greatly comforted and taught me this week that I desire to share with you this morning.
It is one of faith in times of great trialsand troubles that surround us, both personally, locally and globally.
It is one of peace and stillness that comes through such faith, that sees Jesus calmly walking above a troubled sea,AND HE SAYS, COME!
- ‘walk with me above the troubles of life’
- Come, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
- Come, In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
- Come,He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
It simply does not matter what the troubles around you are, the Lord shows that with our desire for him and focus upon him, we can walk above them.
Please understand that I am not here speaking of some wishy washy feeling that ignores the trouble around us. That is not what the passage relates to and nor is it how we deal with difficulties in life.
The entire Bible tells us of the practical works we are to undertake respecting all trials and troubles.
But its knowing the reality that if you have Jesus Christ in your life, if you are born again, genuinely saved from the penalty of sin and are become children of God, then the troubles of life have a purpose to be fulfilled in time.
The Bible says; And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according tohispurpose.(Rom 8:28)
Our focus upon Jesus is not to ignore the troubles and pretend they are not happening, our focus on Jesus and his word simply helps put all things into their proper perspective;
That we come to believe and trust that other word that says
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceedingandeternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seenaretemporal; but the things which are not seenareeternal. (2 Cor 4:17-18)
And He Said Come, When In The Midst of The Sea
22And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
And he said Come, When in the midst of the Sea
It’s one of the joys of loving and believing Gods word that sees the entire volume as an integrated wholethat is designed to both comfort, teach and motivate our lives to live for that which matters most. To grow and mature and to understand what it is that Jesus has done for us.
Those of us who are saved by Christ were called by him from out of the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
We, like Isaiah, were of unclean lips and dwelling among a people of unclean lips (Isa 6:5) and yet the Lord saw fit to say ‘Come’.
If you have ever tried to share the Gospel with people you will know that it was a miracle that you responded.To so many people we share the simple truth that Jesus simply says Come, and he says so while they, like you, are in the midst of a sea of people, yet few they be that even seekto ask of the Lord.
In our studies of the book of Daniel, our first deep dive into chapter 7related to the “sea” in verses 2 & 3.
2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
The Bible is a wonderful book with an economy of wordsthat can only astound you as you come to study Gods use of certain words and phrasesparticularly in prophetic or apocalyptic writings.
Our desire was to understand how GOD USES the words to know what the passage means.
What the vision of the winds and the sea and the great beast that come up out of the sea, meant. So, we looked at how God has used some of those terms elsewhere in scripture.
It was the consideration of how God defined the word ‘sea’that struck me for an application of comfort to me in this passage in Mathew.
Turn to Daniel 7 as I build the reference base for you that you might know, it is the Lord that defines his words.
Notice Dan 7:3 first of all.
“And four beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another”
Consider its interpretation given to Daniel by the angel in verse 17 of the same chapter
17 These great beasts, which are four,arefour kings,whichshall arise out of the earth.
Clearly the four beasts are four kings, and the sea is the earth. (Not the so much the planet but the population of the planet,The four Kings rise up from among the people).
But that is not the only place we turned to, for the Lord desires to continue to confirm his use of phrases in scripture.
7 Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
Here, all three aspects are given relating to a boisterous sea, its noise, the noise of their waves and the tumult of people.
20 But the wickedarelike the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There isno peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
The apocalyptic visions of John in Revelation is also interpreted for him, one of which is
15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth,are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Can you understand how it was that the Lord brought this all to mind as I prayed?
How this passage in Daniel came to my mind, together with Jesus walking upon the seas and calling Peter to join him, and how this can bring a calm and a peace through such understanding?
Can you see also that each one of us, who came out of a sea of people, heard Jesus call to Come.?
He said Come when in the midst of the sea;
There was nothing special about any one of us, none of us know why it is that we have heard his voice and responded, none of us know why it was that we took so long to listen to his call, none of us even understand how it is that the Lord worked within us to bring us to hear his voice.
When Jesus responded to Nicodemus as he queried about being Born again,Jesus said
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Somehow even the wind that is contrary to us, brought Jesus to our troubled vessel.We heard his call to Come and we finally responded.
Within the midst of a sea, you are called.
Don’t wait for anyone else to hear the voice of the Lord.
Peter alone walked upon the water, when all could have done so.
If you have a lost wife, do not wait for her to his voice.
If you have a lost husband likewise,
if your children or friends hear nothing but thunder and yet the still small voice that says Comeis loud in your ears, respond, respond, by all means respond.
Believe the Gospel, that Jesus died for your sins, that he was buried and that he rose again the third day demonstrating to all people the truth of his words saying;
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?(John 11:25-26)
Will you believe this?
Will you come even from the midst of this sea?
And He Said Come, When The Sea Is Troubled
24But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
We look about us today and we can see with utmost clarity that the world around usis filled with trouble and fear.
The description of the sea with its waves roaringis one of the most apt descriptions of the people of the world today.
There is no calm, nor is there peace. There is trouble and confusion. There are those who’s ideology is one way and those who strive against it from another way.
Around the world we see efforts to alter and change social norms to fit ideas that have never been seen before.
In Society: The efforts to sanitize metal disorders by simply claiming that are an alternative forms of ‘normal’, is the simplest alternative to dealing with the core of the problem.
Kate Kelland in her article in Reuters wrote that nearly 40 percent of Europeans Suffer with Mental Illness.
If there is one industry set to boom in our a-moral culture, it is Mental Illness. Because of the effort to normalize and sanitize most mental disorders, the malady naturally increases among the general population.
Nearly half of all of Europe suffer mental illness.
Another report claims over 100 million people in the US also suffer and are regularly taking both illicit stimulants or prescribed medication to help them cope with life. That’s 1/3rdof the American population.
In Personal Lives: there is an effort to normalize all forms of sexual perversions, and these efforts are UNLIMITED in scope. Sadly, the statistics discovered that these lifestyles lead to increased levels of attempted suicide and mental disorders.
In what is called the Dutch Paradox, a report byDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology , University of Amsterdam, STATES;
Despite the Netherlands’ reputation as a world leader with respect to gay rights, homosexual Dutch men have much higher rates of mood disorders, anxiety disorders and suicide attempts than heterosexual Dutch men.
In School systemsaround the world have changed their focus from Education to Indoctrination, from teaching people how to think, to telling them What to Think.
Dmitry Orlov in his book, Reinventing Collapse: said
American schools fail to educate because that is not their function. Their function is to institutionalize children at an early age. In due course, they will go on to other institutions: jails, psychiatric hospitals, the military or, for those who learn obedience while retaining some semblance of sanity, colleges and universities. There is a reason why jails, hospitals and schools are often architecturally indistinguishable: they are but different parts of the same system,
In Economics, good steward ship has given way to temporary self interest and that on all fronts. Never has the world seen such a high level of person indebtedness among families. Our entire banking system has worked to reward covetousness while punishing caution.
In the words Australian Economist John Adams, The world is on the brink of Economic Armageddon.
In the Media, journalists have turned away from reporting the truth of events and have become activists promoting a narrative that enhances ideological view points.
Even corporate entities such as Google have restricted search results to those that perfectly fit their agenda, altering algorithms to ensure, in the words of JEN GENNAI, HEAD OF RESPONSIBLE INOVATION AT GOOGLE;
“We are also training our algorithms if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”
“2020 (Election) is certainly on top of my old organization (Google), …they’ve been working on it since 2016, to make sure were ready for 2020”
“Elizabeth Warren is saying that we should break up Google…that will not make it better it will make it worse because now all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do, will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that”
Beloved I could go on and on, but all you need to do is spend a little time on Social Media or watch the Television News, or attend an standard left wing political university degree (NONE OF WHICH I RECOMMEND) and you will discover that the entire population of the world today is a troubled sea.
Yet Jesus says COME.
The disciples where captive in a ship upon troubled seas. They left the shore in the early evening and it seems hours later the troubling sea caught them still in the midst of Galilee.
Beloved the sea of Galilee is not a large sea. It is a large lake but it does not even rate on the top 60 largest fresh water lakes in the world. In fact, standing on the shores on a clear day you can see the other side.
Our lives are much like that also. We do not have long life,
10 The days of our yearsarethreescore years and ten; and if by reason of strengththey befourscore years, yetistheir strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
We do not have long life, we can somewhat see the outer edge, and we sail upon a sea that sometimes is calm and still but today is boisterous and rough with waves threatening to enter into our vessel and yet Jesus still says Come,
- Come and you can walk above the trouble if I am the focus of your life.
We are not promised an easy and a simple life beloved, we have the world about us in turmoil and troubled and yet if we abide in his word and with him we have “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil 4:7)
And He Said Come, When The Wind Is Contrary
24But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
It’s difficult at times when all our desire is to move in one particular direction and yet things continue to come against us. We have a focus for a career and set ourselves to prepare for that end but ‘the wind is contrary’.
We have goals in life that we desire to achieve, it might be respecting our finances or personal relationships, or ministry and service for the Lord, good goals, noble goals, right goals. Things that we are sure the Lord desires for us but for some reason there are times when ‘the wind is contrary’,and we cant understand why.
I am sure you have felt that way.
It might not be career, it might not be relationships, it might not be ministry or service, it might simply be your desire to be faithful to the Lord, holy, pure and to keep your body in subjection to him.
You have a will to do good but you find no place for it,
18 …for to will is present with me; buthowto perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Even at times in your very personal life before the Lord, you find ‘the wind is contrary’.
What to do?
You might find yourself crying out like Jacob in his old age saying;
36 … Me have ye bereavedof my children: Josephisnot, and Simeonisnot, and ye will take Benjaminaway: all these things are against me.
There are times when that is exactly how we feel.
The world is troubled around me, confusion reigns. My relationships are broken and so too my heart, my career is a confusion, and my plans in disarray, I don’t know what God wants from me for I too am confused, my sin besets me round about…..we feel like the servant of Elisha in 2 Kings 6:15 who;
15 … was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
It’s what Peter found also when he saw the wind was boisterous and he began to sink.
It’s wonderful accounts like these however that motivates us again and again to turn to the Bible for the answers to our deepest and most perplexing questions. And its accounts like these that the Lord calls to our minds when we are in the greatest of despair, when the wind is contrary.
We don’t have the ready answers in our own minds.
Sometimes we look and understand why we have trouble, we see that it’s a result of decisions we made in our lives. But that’s not the time we are most perplexed, its when Jesus is before us and we know he is there and we seek to do good and evil is present with us. These are often the times we begin to sink.
Just in those three brief accounts, that of Israel, that of Elisha’s servant and that of Peter recounts different forms of messages yet with peace and comfort and faith as their goal.
ALL THESE THINGS ARE AGAINST ME:
Jacob needed to be faithful and just trust the words of God who promised him and the answer would come.
Three Chapters in Genesis 45:28 after he cried ‘all these things are against me’, Israel saw the wagons that his long-lost Son Joseph sent for him, after seeing them he said;
28 ….It isenough; Joseph my sonisyet alive: I will go and see him before I die.
But “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20)
Three chapters later, in Genesis 48:10–11We find Jacob blessing the children of Joseph;
10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age,so thathe could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.
ALAS MASTER! HOW SHALL WE DO?
The servant of Elisha feared for very life. But how did the man of God respond? What was it that the one who knows and serves his God so intimately saw that his lowly servant could not see?
2 Kings 6:16–17
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they thatbewith usaremore than they thatbewith them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountainwasfull of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
AND BEGINNING TO SINK HE CRIED, LORD SAVE ME
Peter walked on water beloved! He had his sights and trust so firmly planted upon the Lord his Saviour that not even the natural laws of the physical world could undermine his footing. But the circumstances of the waves about him overwhelmed him enough to remove his sight of Christ.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forthhishand, and caught him.
Jacob showsto us that the answers to our problems are not readily apparent, faith is needed to simply be patient and to wait upon the Lord who will deliver and will bless his children more than they shall ever expect in time.
Elisha showsus that oftentimes the struggle and fears that we have cannot even begin to compare with what God has ready for us behind the scenes. To know and trust that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, God desiring to save us with his strong hand.
Peter Shows That there are even times when the Lord is in our very sight before us that the troubles about us can have us lose sight of him, yet Immediately Jesus will stretch forth his hand, we will not sink when we cry for him.
And He Said Come, For There Is No Reason To Doubt
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forthhishand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
Peter the disciple of the Lord, requested the Lord might bid him to come unto him upon the water. And he said Come.
There was no consideration of the experience of all history that any man has ever walked upon water. Peter did not first spend time analysing the fundamental Laws of the known universe, he simply heard a single word from Jesus lips, “Come” and he came “down out of the ship, and he walked on the water”.
Did Peter suddenly recall to mind the feeding of the five thousand people earlier that evening? The account of this in Marks Gospel, chapter 6, tells us the hearts of the disciples where hardened; did Peter’s hardened heart suddenly recall to mind that if Jesus can so multiply the necessary provisions of those who follow him, so too can he keep a man from sinking in the midst of a troubled sea?
We recall the time that Jesus brought sight to a man who was blind from his birth. Light and colour and all the images of the world came flooding in through the eyes of a man who lived all his life till then in darkness. Some of us know exactly what that is like on a spiritual level, and that’s just the beginning.
We recall to mind when Lazarus died and was buried four days in a tomb, his body well into the point of decay, and yet Jesus still came to prove that they shouldest see the glory of God and he cried Lazarus, come forth (John 11:43)
Beloved, Can the God who gave sight to one who has never seen, also give a footing for those who’s trouble cause them to sink?
Can the one who raised the dead with a single call, also expect the living to respond when only the wind is contrary?
There is no reason to doubt.
Beloved it is true that in the world we will have tribulation, yet Jesus said to be of good cheer for I have overcome the world( ).
Its true that we will struggle with relationships, that many who we love will misunderstand us, but the Bible has given us an understanding on how we are to behave ourselves. N how to be humble, on how to love the unlovable, on how to forgive and on keeping of focus on the things that matter, things respecting everlasting life.
Its is true that we live in a world that is as the troubled sea, its waves today are roaring and threatening to capsize even the largest of ships and yet we also know it will get much worse for the people of this world.
Nevertheless, for as long as we occupy a vessel that needs to sail on the sea, we look to Christ and he says Come even to him upon the waters, somehow our focus upon Christ calms the sea immediately under our feet even though the wind is boisterous and the sea troubled.
Beloved I don’t know how it all works, but I do know its true.
I cant tell you how often I have asked the question or how often I have heard from other Christians, “I don’t know how I ever got through life without Jesus Christ”.
All we need to do is look around us to see how the world is coping.
Cursed be those many Churches today who have are charged to know their Lord and preach him from the pulpits and do not.
Orlov, Dmitry. Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects . New Society Publishers. Kindle Edition. Loc 2008