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Monday, October 17 2011
The Messiah's Storms At Sea
The Holy Bible is often regarded as a book about desert people, or at least those who were not seafaring. Part of the reason for that may have been due to the era of human history in which great sailing ships (relatively speaking) were not yet in existence. The Bible nevertheless does record much about seas, literal and figurative, historic and prophetic. Among all of those accounts were also included the natural, and sometimes supernatural, storms that happen at sea.
The English word "tempest" originated from a Latin word, tempus, meaning time (i.e. tempus was pronounced as tempest by English speakers). Why did a word that means time come to mean storm? Certain kinds of storms were called tempests because of the time of year that they usually happen e.g. an Atlantic hurricane is a tempest because it happens in the time of summer and autumn.
There were three great tempests recorded in Bible History - all of which had a direct connection to Jesus Christ. The first, involving Jonah, wasn't of nature alone: "the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea" (see the Fact Finder question below).
"1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
"There arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon"
The second, in order of occurrence, happened with The Prophet Of Galilee on the Sea Of Galilee (see also The Ships Of Galilee). The tempest was natural in starting (the Sea of Galilee can experience powerful storms that can form suddenly when dry, cold air from the surrounding heights flow down to meet the moist, warmer air over the lake - technically, the "sea" of Galilee is actually a freshwater lake, not a saltwater sea), but was ended miraculously.
"8:23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
The third recorded tempest involved the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) when he was being taken to Rome as a prisoner. As the Scriptures themselves state, the cause of that tempest was natural. It was due to a Euroclydon, also known as a gregale (i.e. a "Greece gale") - a strong wind system that blows down from Europe into The Mediterranean Sea, mostly in autumn and winter.
"27:13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
Although the storm itself would not be miraculously stopped, the lives of Paul and all others aboard the ship would be miraculously preserved: "27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 27:24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee."
"27:21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 27:24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 27:25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 27:26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island." (Acts 27:21-26 KJV)
Fact Finder: How did the voyage of Jonah become directly connected to two Messianic prophecies?
This Day In History, October 17
456: Western Roman emperor Avitus was forced by Ricimer (a Roman general of German birth; see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!) to abdicate and to become bishop of Placentia.
1244: The Sixth Crusade ended when the army of Franks was defeated by the Egyptians at Gaza (see The Crusades).
1346: David II of Scotland, in attempting a military diversion on behalf of Philip VI to relieve the siege of Calais, was wounded and captured by Edward III.
1483: Pope Sixtus IV began the Spanish Inquisition, placing it under joint direction of the Church and state. Tomas de Torquemada, 63, was appointed Grand Inquisitor in charge of removing Jews and Muslims from Spain.
1529: King Henry VIII of England removed Thomas Wolsey from office for failing to secure an annulment of his marriage.
1910: The first battleship of the Royal Canadian Navy was commissioned at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1933: German-born Albert Einstein arrived in the U.S. as a Jewish refugee from the growing Nazi threat in Europe. He settled in Princeton, New Jersey.
1941: A German submarine torpedoed the U.S. destroyer Kearney off the coast of Iceland, killing 11 of the crew.
1956: Queen Elizabeth officially opened the Britain's first nuclear power station at Calder Hall in Cumbria. Calder Hall was the first nuclear station to supply an appreciable amount of power into a civilian network.
1970: President Anwar Sadat was sworn in as President of Egypt in succession to Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1970: Pierre Laporte, a Quebec cabinet minister, was kidnapped and murdered by Quebec separation terrorists.
1973: Arab oil producers increased oil prices and cut back production in response to U.S. support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
1989: An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale struck the San Francisco area just as a World Series game was about to begin. 66 people were killed in the area, and damage was estimated at $10 billion.
1994: Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty, formally ending their 46-year state of war.
1997: Cuba re-buried the remains of leftist guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara, as a national hero, 30 years after his execution in Bolivia.