A storm attached to sin

By Dave Henning / August 10, 2023

“Every act of disobedience has a storm attached to it.  This is one of the great themes of the Old Testament wisdom literature. . . .  The Bible does not say that every difficulty is the result of sin — but it does teach that every sin will bring you into difficulty.”- Timothy Keller

“[Jonah] went down to Joppa and, finding a ship bound for Tarshish, he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the face of the LORD.  But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was such a mighty tempest that the ship expected to break up.”- Jonah 1:3b-4

“Sin . . . sets up strains in the structure of life which can only end in breakdown.”- Derek Kidner, Old Testament scholar

In Chapter 2 (“The World’s Storms”) of The Prodigal Prophet, Timothy Keller observes that Jonah runs.  But God won’t let him go.  Consequently, as Pastor Keller translates, God ‘hurled a great wind upon the sea.’  Like throwing a weapon such as a spear.

Furthermore, the same word (gedola – great) used to describe the wind is used to describe Nineveh.   Hence, since Jonah refused to go into the great city of Nineveh, God sent him into a great storm.  Therefore, Pastor Keller explains:

“If we violate the design and purpose of things — if we sin against our bodies, our relationships, or society — they strike back.  There are consequences.  If we violate the laws of God, we are violating our own design, since God built us to know, serve, and love him.  The Bible speaks sometimes about God punishing sin . . . but some other times of the sin punishing us. . . .  Both are true at once.  All sin has a storm attached to it.

In conclusion, Pastor Keller stresses, God created us to live for Him — more than to live for anything else.  Thus, it’s futile to build our lives on anything but God.  Because in our futility we act against the laws of the universe.

Today’s question: Do you agree that all sin has a storm attached to it?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the August Short Meditation, “A more profound Alleluia!”

Tomorrow’s blog: “Mercy deep inside our storms”

About the author

Dave Henning

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