Summary: Illustrations from Scripture showing how the North, South, East and West Winds all have a different message for us. Though we have sinned, there is mercy and pardon, for you and for me.
The Four Winds and the Voice of God.
Who has seen the wind? Where does it come from and where does it go? Let me begin by mentioning just a few of the many references to wind in the Bible.
Genesis 8:1 – After the flood we are told that God remembered Noah, and made a wind to pass over the earth so that the flood waters subsided.
Exodus 14:21 – We read that a mighty wind opened up a path through the Red Sea so that the Israelites were able to cross over on dry land. Then another wind drove the sea back upon the armies of Pharaoh.
In Ezekiel 37 we have a picture of the Valley of Dry Bones and the prophet Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the wind saying, “Come you four winds and breathe upon these bones that they might live.”
In John chapter 3, On that memorable night when Nicodemus came to see Jesus, he was perplexed about the meaning of the new birth. Jesus said in verse eight, “listen Nicodemus, do you hear the wind? You cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes, so is everyone born of the Spirit.”
Throughout the Bible the wind is often used as symbol of the Holy Spirit. The supernatural power that sweeps across the ages, transforming human lives. Acts 2:2 On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came with the sound of the mighty rushing wind.
Revelation 7:1 “After this I saw four Angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the Earth.”
This morning I want to look at the four winds in a symbolic sense,and examine the message they have for us. So let us give the winds a mighty voice and may God speak to us through their message.
First of all we look at the South wind. In Bible lands the South wind is perhaps the most pleasant of all winds, but it is also the most dangerous. So we will call it the wind of temptation. Our Scripture reading this morning from Acts 27, describes Paul's journey toward Rome. We read in verse 13, “when the South wind blew softly, supposing that it was safe to sail, the master of the ship gave the order to do so.” But the ship had hardly cleared the mouth of the harbour when the wind suddenly shifted. The soft South wind ceased to blow and a powerful Northeast wind came down from the mountains. Then for 14 days and nights, when neither Sun nor stars could be seen, the ship was blown through stormy seas, so that all hope of being saved was abandoned until at last the ship struck the rocky cliffs on the island of Malta.
What brought that ship to ruin? It was the treacherous South wind. When the South wind blew softly, they set sail. But the South wind only tempted them out of the safe harbour.
Here is a parable of life. Temptation is universal, something we all face. Perhaps you heard the story of the young boy who was supposed to go to Sunday school but was seen later with his fishing rod. When asked for an explanation he said, “I know I'm supposed to go to Sunday school and not fish on Sunday but I brought my fishing rod along just in case I should feel tempted.” I'm afraid that sometimes we do the same. We pray to be delivered from temptation but we have one eye open, looking at the very temptation we are praying to be delivered from.
If you want to win over a bad habit or a stubborn sin, there are three things that are absolutely necessary. Without these you can never succeed.
First of all remember that sin always begins with a thought. Jesus said, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
“Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit;
Sow an habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny!”
Secondly, you must really want deliverance. You must really want to get rid of whatever it is that is not in your best interest, physically, mentally or spiritually. Your will must be devoted 100%. Even if 5% of your will is saying, “once in a while or just once wont hurt;”that attitude can, without question, will lead to defeat. 1st Corinthians 10:13
Then thirdly, there must be something better to take the place of that which is harmful in your life. So, if anxious, fearful, unwholesome thoughts are taking over your mind; the only way to successfully get rid of them is to replace the negative with something positive and more fulfilling. If you have ever tried to take a bone away from a hungry dog, you know you are in for a real battle. A better plan would be to offer the dog a generous portion of fresh meat. It won't take the dog long to decide which is best.