Water in the Bible: Boating and Fishing

Screenshot 2018-01-19 at 11.41.08 AMThe Bible has a lot to say about about water. The message of scripture is framed in many different ways in order that as many people as possible understand. Everything from kings and their armies to a woman sweeping the floor is used to illustrate what the Kingdom of God is like. Jesus told parables about sowing seeds, harvesting grain, searching for pearls, buying oil for lamps, all things that regular people could understand. It should come as no surprise then that water is used in the Old and New Testaments because every living thing needs water. But I want to focus more specifically on the things people do in or on the water.

In the very beginning of the Bible narrative we find God hovering over the face of the waters. While preparing a sermon on God dealing with Noah (which you can listen to on Monday, I’ll come back with a link) I realized that there is a lot of boating and fishing in the Bible. God told Noah to build an ark and he spent the next 150 years doing all the Lord commanded him. Presumably there had been other boats before but God used a flood of water to bring judgement and a boat to save the righteous. Jonah would later use a boat in an attempt to run away from God but found he couldn’t run far enough or fast enough to escape. Peter was a fisherman and on his boat when he left it behind to follow Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, he often preached from a boat to a crowd gathered on the shore or he and the disciples boated away from those same crowds just to get some much needed rest. On one occasion Jesus walked on water before entering their boat; so did Peter for a little bit. Jesus used many symbols and metaphors for the Christian life, one of them being fishers of men. One of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus involved a camp fire and roasted fish for the disciples that had been out all night fishing. The Apostle Paul was shipwrecked, probably on Malta, and had to survive a winter before being rescued. John wrote the final book of the Bible, Revelation, while exiled on the Isle of Patmos. He was on land but imprisoned by water.

Here’s the thing: I don’t really like water. I know how to swim but it’s not really my favorite thing. I have ridden a Sea-Doo and been out on a pontoon boat. I have swam in the ocean but have never been on a cruise ship. My grandfather taught me how to fish but I haven’t been in many years. It’s just not my thing. So I was looking through scripture at all of the men of God who either sailed or fished; Noah, Jonah, Peter, Paul and Jesus himself. And I have to wonder if I’m missing out by not caring for that kind of stuff. There’s no right or wrong answer, just something I was thinking about.

I found consolation though. The new heaven and earth John saw is described in Revelation 21. He said the old ones had passed away and there was no more sea. There may be a river of life flowing from the throne but there is no mention of boats or fishing. Most of the earth’s surface today is covered by oceans and apparently that will done away with. So as a land lover it seems that the new heaven and earth God makes will be to my liking. I’m spending my life here getting ready for it.

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Sermons Online

It is true that I haven’t blogged in a while but I have been preaching. The Sermons Archive page on our church website has been updated with sermons from Acts chapters 8, 9 and 10. Saul beings preaching the Gospel in the 9th chapter and Peter preaches the Gospel to Gentiles in chapter 10 so lots of good stuff in there. If anyone has been wondering what I’ve been up, well there it is.

Sermons page at UnityBaptist.Church

 

A Christian Response to Racism

biblePerhaps a better title would be A Scriptural Response to Racism but this is copied and pasted directly from a Facebook post I put up yesterday. There is so much upheaval in the world today and we are bombarded with information from traditional media to social media 24/7. When it gets to be too much, the Christian believer needs to step back, take a breath, and remember that we are in the world but not of the world. 

I don’t mean an official resolution passed by any group of representatives from any church denomination; my congregation will tell you that we read a lot of scripture. Every sermon, every Wednesday night Bible study, every Sunday school lesson begins with reading scripture and keeps going back to it. So this is not any particular Christian leader’s response to racism, this should be “our” response to hate and racism anywhere based on the inspired Word we live by. Continue reading

“Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

Continue reading

Have You Studied These Women in the Bible?

Looking for women in the Bible? Sure, you got your Proverbs 31 woman and your Mary’s and Martha’s. But do you know about Deborah the prophetess who commanded armies of Israel? Or Jael wife of Heber, who drove a tent stake through Sisera’s head, nailing him to the ground? You probably haven’t heard that sermon.

Judges 4 gives the narrative account, chapter 5 is the musical!

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This pic was not in my coloring book.

(Just a Few) Things Jesus Said

In preparation for the Passion week and Easter, I’ve been preaching a series of sermons on things that Jesus said. Before we started, a 4-part series seemed like a lot. Now I almost wish we had started in January!

Most of these are taken from the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. They all try to cover too much ground for a single sermon, but let’s be honest: Jesus said some good stuff! I hope you enjoy.

Love Your Enemies 

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven 

Build Your House on the Rock 

Whoever Receives You Receives Me

What is the Deal with Aramaic?

Screenshot 2016-03-03 at 10.43.04 AM‘Tis the season when various broadcast networks and cable channels will start showing Bible films even if they don’t offer religious programming the rest of the year. Look for The Passion of the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth and, for reasons I never understood, The Ten Commandments on a t.v. near you. If you have never seen The Passion of the Christ (2004, directed by Mel Gibson) be prepared for subtitles. The dialogue of the entire film is spoken in Aramaic. Continue reading