Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to Jesus' neck (Psalm 69.1)
On Sunday morning at Hope we saw the majestic Lord Jesus Christ as the Lord of the storm in Mark 4.35-41. Then, in the evening, we sat under Psalm 29, where again we saw again the works of the Storm God.
It’s so good for our hearts to be confronted by the Sovereign power of Almighty God, as we are in these parts of Scripture. We need to be focused again and again on the God Who Is, and have our pretty – and petty – views of God sink away.
We are by nature the God-shrinkers; so often we want to a God Who, we hope, will heed our advice and follow our plans. We seek after a God Who will be silent before the storms of our own lusts and tempers. We want a God Who will give us comfort, not trial, and Who’ll give us a pat on the back and a smooth passage through life.
Instead, in Jesus we get God as He really is, Holy, Sovereign, and infinite in His power. A God, in short, our hearts can truly worship! He has the power to calm the storms we find ourselves in. He alone gives us the courage to believe that He is the Lord Who even brings and directs those storms for our good, and to His Glory.
In Jesus we get the God Who not only rules the storms, but Who has endured the most violent storm of all. When Jesus went to the Cross, He knew the storm of God’s wrath breaking over Him. Our sins were to Him the depths which He was plunged into, and God’s wrath against our sin was the engulfing flood which He endured. Psalm 69 traces David’s terrifying experience of suffering. One of the images is of facing a storm with its floodwaters. The New Testament cites or refers to this Psalm over a dozen times, always linking it with the life of Jesus Christ, especially in His sufferings. It is His Psalm. Above all, the sufferings He experienced, which the Psalm prefigures, are the sufferings of our sins and their punishment, as Jesus endures them. They were poured out on Him. He took the storm, and took it for us.
And the hope for us? We are safe! Even with life’s currents and deluges, we are absolutely sure of our safe arrival in heaven. Jesus has endured God’s wrath, and taken it in our place. We receive our forgiveness through faith alone, and God’s Spirit assures us that, come what may, we are united to Christ for all of life and eternity. We are safe. Whatever we face in this life, as we sang on Sunday, ‘the wind and waves still now His voice.’
‘Let us learn, while God spares us, to meditate on this truth, and to take the help which it is designed to give us under suffering, that even in the deepest depths of adversity, faithmay hold us up, and what is more, may lift us up to God. There is, as Paul testifies (Romans 8.39), no height nor depth which can separate us from the infinite love of Him Who swallows up all depths, yes, even Hell itself.’