December 2016

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

Green Pastures  Email:- greenpasturejune@btinternet.com      Listen on WWW.harbourlightradio.org 

 

Green Pastures  Email:- greenpasture@btinternet.com    Listen on WWW.harbourlightradio.org 

                            

                                                       VIEW FROM THE PULPIT              December. 2016

An Ill Wind     For many people in the Leeward Islands and Florida, Hurricane Matthew was an ill wind for it caused destruction and death as it passed through the Caribbean and onto the coastal cities of Florida moving north to other States.

When one reads the reports about Haiti and the destruction in Port-au-Prince and Jeremie it makes one realise the power of the wind when spawned into a hurricane. Reuters report, ‘Haiti started burying some of its dead in mass graves in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a government official said on Sunday, as cholera spread in the devastated southwest and the death toll from the storm rose to 1,000 people. The powerful hurricane, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, slammed into Haiti on Tuesday with 145 mile-per-hour (233 kph) winds and torrential rains that left 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, the U.N. Office for theoordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.’

Other islands suffered material and physical loss but not on the same scale as Haiti.  When H.M. hit Florida it was a Grade 4 hurricane and as it travelled north along the coast it reduced to 3, then 2, then 1 and then to Tropical Storm status.

It is said, “It is an all wind that does not blow some good.” One good thing occurred by the flooding. Some locations where the mosquitoes breed which carry the Zica virus were flooded, and by wind and water thousands were destroyed . It is alarming to read of the affects of these mosquito bites, particularly among pregnant women whose babies could be born with small heads and brain damage. Men that have been infected can also sexually transmit the virus. With so many parts of the tropical world affected and world travel increasing it is imperative to wear repellent during the day and sleep under a suitable net at night. 

US Mail Online carries an article from which I quote Zika is transmitted to people through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, primarily the Aedes aegypti mosquito.It is the same type that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.’  At present there is no vaccine or cure for Zica and hundreds of infected people in Florida and other US States have no hope of Zica deliverance.

There are two occasions in the Bible where an ill wind is recorded, one in the Old Testament and one in the New. In Jonah the wind is not named but in Acts ch.27 the wind is named Euroclydon (not Euro-Brexit!) which means ‘a south east billow’. Hurricanes were first named in gender form when a man walked through a meteorological office whistling the tune, ‘Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise’, so the first named Hurricane was female named Louise. The second was a male name in alphabetical order, and so on.

Jonah was disobedient to God’s command to go to Nineveh to warn them that if they did not repent within forty days that God would destroy the city and all life therein. The Prophet fled from Joppa by ship to Tarshish in Spain. He hid himself in the bottom of the boat, thinking that God did not know what he had done or where he was. This is typical thinking and actions by people who are trying to escape from any claim that God has upon their life.

Jonah 1:4 says, “But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.” Ultimately, Jonah owned up that it was his fault that this calamity had come upon them and that they should throw him overboard. The Lord determined what happened next. When Jonah hit the water, God acted, “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” Then in ch.2:9 Jonah’s greatest discovery, after confessing his sin he said, “Salvation is of the LORD.” This ill wind had blown some good! One can read the Book of Jonah in less than half an hour, take time to read it and you might discover what Jonah did, you could get saved?

Acts ch.27 the Apostle Paul was being transported prisoner from Jerusalem to Rome. The company took shipping and the journey appeared to be going well but Paul warned the master that there would be great loss if they continued. Verse 12 reads, “And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.” After much distress and loss of lading Paul received assurance from God that if they did what He told them to do, all souls would be saved, not one hair from their head would be lost. Paul urged the 176 people on board to do what God had told him, he said in v.25, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”  The ship was wrecked but all the people were saved, And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land. And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. That ill wind caused people to believe God and trust Him for salvation. How about you? God bless.

Stan Burditt