The Perfect Storm


The sailors were afraid, and each cried out to his god. They threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to lighten the load. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down to the lowest part of the vessel and had stretched out and fallen into a deep sleep.

~ Jonah 1:5 (CSB)


“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.”

~Oswald Chambers

My sermon last Sunday {yesterday} morning was entitled the PERFECT STORM. I am referring to the storm that the LORD hurled in Jonah’s direction. It was a perfect storm because it illustrated Jonah’s message which was judgment. There are consequences to sin. This storm was a consequence of Jonah’s rebellion. My second point was that it reveals the human condition which I will come back to in today’s blog. Third, the storm inspired a prayer meeting that lead to revival. Perhaps we need such a storm. Fourth, the storm was a display of God’s awesome power. The second point is the one I want to elaborate on: IT REVEALS THE HUMAN CONDITION. First of all, we see the condition of the lost world in the sailors. These men were pagans without God and without hope. They were in desperate need of SALVATION. This is a picture of the unregenerate world…pagan, afraid, without hope and in desperate need. But there is also a picture of the church is this story and I wish it were not true. Jonah represents those who know Yahweh personally, he represents Christians, believers; in essence, the church. What is Jonah’s condition? He is in rebellion and headed in the wrong direction but even more astounding, he is below deck and fast asleep. You got it, in the middle of a typhoon, Jonah is sound asleep. Matthew Henry said, “The devil rocked him to sleep in carnal security.” Jonah is indifferent to God redemptive purpose which is get the message {gospel} to the world.

Where was the church when the not so supreme court legalized the execution of the unborn? Not only were we asleep, it took us more than two decades to wake up and that’s on this one issue. God told Jonah to take His message to Nineveh and Jonah said, “No.” Jonah didn’t want the Assyrians to hear the message; he was afraid they would repent and be saved. He didn’t want them to be saved; he wanted them to burn in hell. Jonah had no intention of delivering God’s message to these pagans. In his opinion, they were the scum of the earth and deserved death and hell. Of course God is sovereign which means He has the power to enact His will which He does and the storm was just one of many tools that He used to accomplish His purpose. Think about it folks; isn’t Jonah’s posture [Soundly sleeping] a good description of the modern church? The captain of the ship, a pagan shamed the preacher by saying, “What are you doing asleep? This is no time for a nap, it is time for a prayer meeting.” Be honest, do you know of one church that is passionate about prayer? How many churches do you know that have intercessory prayer ministries? When was the last time you attended a prayer retreat or held a prayer vigil? So I ask you, is the Jonah picture of the church accurate?

  • I have some explaining to do: I have been burning the candle on both ends and that is one reason there was no Sunday/Monday blog. I went to B’ham on Friday, Ethridge, TN and Nicole’s wedding on Saturday. Then to Athens on Sunday night {funeral home}. Ardmore for COLS this morning then Allsboro this evening for a burial. Allsboro is Southwest of Cherokee on the Alabama/Mississippi State line. I’ve been on the road all day and have not even responded to text although I did make some calls. The second problem and the one that stopped last nights blog was a computer crash. I am down to one computer and it is in the EASTERN GATE building, not in the house. This means a real early post because I am tired and once I go to the house, I plan to stay there. I do appreciate those who sent text about the blog.
  • What really gave me out today was being in a rush: when I picked up June to go to Allsboro, our GPS said our ETA was 1:38. It was only 70 miles or so but we had only one hour. We did not have the 38 minutes. June questioned me but we lit out and I had to pass everyone on the road. It is a miracle of grace that I didn’t get a ticket. We were able to shave 35 minutes off of our ETA. We actually got there before the service started due to late arriving family members. I am just glad that trip is history. June was exhausted from the tension. I imagine I will be going alone the next time but I do admit, I’m getting a little old for this kind of excitement. By the way, it was for my cousin Phyllis, age 60. Phyllis has four children: Tim, Rebekah, Todd and Trent. Pray for these kids and for Jeremy’s sister Amanda.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *