I’ve been reading through the Bible this year using a daily Bible I found while in Texas last fall. It groups the readings by date so there’s no need to find the passages for each day scattered all over. It also helps remember what day I’m on. It’s not that I’m getting old and can’t remember things like which passages to read or what day I’m on, but then I can’t really remember why I thought this format would be helpful. 🙂
When I began the daily reading this year, I made a last-second decision to read it out loud to the boys as I put them to bed. This has been the best decision I’ve made all year! What a blessing it has been to read with them each night and explain passages with them and to admit my own lack of understanding at some things too. I look forward to each night’s reading and what we’re going to cover together.
As you probably know, there are some very “interesting” passages to have to read to 12 and 9 year old boys. Sometimes I find myself making a quick decision on whether to “translate” the word to a milder reference or just let the Word speak the way it was written. There are certainly some PG-13 (or maybe R) rated stuff to cover in the Old Testament!
Anyway, we enjoyed reading this portion from Mark’s Gospel tonight along with an accompanying commentary from the editor’s notes (J. MacArthur):
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:37-41, New King James Version)
The disciples were afraid they would die from the effects of the storm raging outside of their boat. Then after Jesus with supernatural power ordered the storm to immediately cease (and it did!), they “feared exceedingly.”
MacArthur adds this comment:
“The only thing more terrifying than having a storm outside the boat was having God in the boat!”
So true sometimes, isn’t it? We’ll never know the power of God unless we experience a storm and what He can do to calm it. It’s through the valley of the shadow of death that He demonstrates His power. I think we should not shun or be afraid of the storms around our “life’s boats” but instead allow the God who is inside our boat to show Himself powerful and to find ourselves fearing Him in reverence and awe. That’s the kind of fear we need. That’s the kind of fear our children need too.
“Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.”