God In the Storm

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Genesis 47:1-26; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; Mark 6:47-56

From the Reformer

In the same way also the “secret place of the storm” can be understood either as that when the hidden conscience (conscientia), oppressed by sins, cries into God’s ears. Or, afterwards, as the trial of the spiritual life after the new life. It is called “the secret place of the storm,” however, because it is a spiritual tempest which man does not see, but God does. Again, because in them the soul is always beclouded with sufferings and its eye troubled through indignation (Ps. 6:7) and the light of its eyes is not with it (Ps. 38:10). Again, because the soul, even though there is storm and persecution out in the open, nevertheless is inwardly safe and at peace before God through hope and trust in Him.

—Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol 11, p 108

Pulling It Together

There is a greater purpose, a divine design, that kindles obedience. Joseph, sold into slavery, became an obedient servant of Pharaoh and a faithful steward to the people of both Egypt and Israel, and thereby, accomplished the plan of God. All this he did, though there must have been some grumbling from the hungry people. Paul, in a church well-known for its complaining behavior, stayed true to the mission of the gospel, not being side-tracked by pettiness or sin. The disciples, blown off course by a sea storm, were literally confronted with God in the storm.

All the events of life might be viewed as a sort of theophany. Instead of grumbling that, “Life is not fair,” we might instead ask, “Where is God in this storm?” We are expected to see God, or at least his greater purpose in every aspect of life—the good and the bad, life and death. At each step, we are called to duty, to an obedience to the Gospel. We then become part of the divine design, stewards of the glory of God.

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