Summary: Surviving a hurricane reminds us that God speaks to us out of the storms of life.
GOD SPEAKS OUT OF A STORM
Dr. Tom Doubt, Senior Pastor
Four Mile Creek Baptist Church
[Sunday after Hurricane Isabel]
A. Illustration: When I was a youngster, I thought my aunt Isabel was an exciting and interesting character.
1. The adults in our family described her in other terms, like “unpredictable” or “uncontrollable.”
2. In all likelihood there were elements of my perception and the adult view in Aunt Isabel’s personality.
B. Three days ago Hurricane Isabel blew through our community.
1. The personification of that storm may well have been exciting for some. Many would agree that it was unpredictable & uncontrollable.
2. Falling trees, loss of electricity, damaged homes, and uprooted lives were everywhere in our community. What happened to you, though, was probably a little different than what happened to Kathie and me.
3. In the back of all of our minds were questions like “why did that happen to them and not to me?” We had 15 trees uprooted in our yard; 3 fell against the edge of the garage. A neighbor up the street had only two trees fall, but both penetrated the room into their bedroom.
4. The inevitable comparisons began. Someone in the church even joked that the amount of damage was inversely proportional to how good you were. Such humor would not have been a joke to an old fellow in the Bible named Job.
C. The book of Job was written in the patriarchal period.
1. God permitted Job to be tested by Satan. God allowed bad things to happen to Job.
2. The Lord also allowed a hurricane to come through Richmond. We could watch portions on TV as if it were a surreal movie. But when it affected us directly, it was very real.
3. Like Job, the devastation was personal when it happened to us. We bear our human suffering with a mixture of human frailty and justification. Well-meaning friends and voices from the media offer words that compound our anxiety.
4. Comfort & understanding come only when we hear God speaks out of the storm.
D. Notice the progression of events that occurred in Job’s storm.
1. Raiding parties killed his servants and livestock (1:15)
2. A house collapses on 7 sons & 3 daughters (1:19)
3. Job is afflicted with boils (2:7)
4. Three friends come to Job (2:11). Initially, they practice good pastoral care by remaining silent for 7 days.
5. Then each speaks and challenges Job’s integrity on several fronts.
6. Job replies, but they cannot answer Job because he was righteous in his own eyes (32:1).
7. Elihu, a young man, gets angry at Job for justifying himself.
8. At last, God finally speaks and Job comes to his senses. When the Lord does speak, it is not in the quiet of prayer time. Rather, God speaks right out of the storm.
Read Job 38:1
A. Living through a hurricane offers a progression similar to that of Job
1. Personal experience tempts us to think we are worse off than we really are. In the midst of the storm we are isolated from friends & neighbors. So when a tree falls on our house we tend to forget that trees are falling on other homes.