Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 22, 2018

“Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 4:35-41.

“On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”  Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was;  and other boats were with Him.  And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.  Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”  And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.”  And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.  And He said to them, “Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”  They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”  Mark 4:35-41.

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“Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

God cared then for them, and God cares now for us.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16.

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9.

But, the solution is not advice for them then, nor advice for us now.

The solution for them then was not advice such as try harder:  bail out the water quicker, row stronger, and get to land.

And, the solution for us now is also not not advice such as try harder:  be wiser, be stronger in the will, and work harder.

The solution for them was God’s sovereignty.  “And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.”  And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.”

And, the solution for us now is also God’s sovereignty.  God does everything for our salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

God’s sovereignty is not limited to sovereignty over seas.  God’s sovereignty is also over souls.

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.”  Psalm 103:19.

God controls the smallest details of life on earth such that not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of God (Matthew 10:29).  Do you think God’s concern is only for the sparrows?!  God mentioned the sparrows, so that we would know that He is certainly not going to let man (who is much, much more important than the sparrows) fall (perish) apart from His will.

God saves according to His purpose, according to His choice, not because of works nor even the will of man.  “For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

God’s sovereignty should have been good news for them then.  

But, we notice that they did not receive God’s sovereignty as good news.  “They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

God’s sovereignty should also be good news for us now.

But, we notice that God’s sovereignty is not also received by us today as good news.

“2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”  Psalm 2:2-3.

The problem is sin within us as summarized by man’s “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”.  Man is dead in sin, hostile to God, and enslaved to sin and Satan.  We are “dead” in sin.  Ephesians 2:1.    None of us understands, and none of us seeks God.  Romans 3:10-11.  We are hostile to God.  Romans 8:7 and Colossians 1:21.  We are in bondage to sin.  Romans 7:14-15.

“10 as it is written,

“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”  Romans 3:10-12.

Man’s “Total Depravity” is not that we are just affected or injured by the presence of sin.  Rather,  “… you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1.

But, God is not giving up any control of His sovereignty to man.

“4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The LORD scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”  Psalm 2:4-9.

But, there is hope in God’s sovereignty!  There is hope in “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation!

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”  Psalm 2:10-12.


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