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Two Ships - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2021 8:00 pm

Two Ships - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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September 4, 2021 8:00 pm

On one ship was the prophet, Jonah; On the other ship were the disciples...

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder Lacerre Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise!

The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace! This is Lacerre Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. O for a breeze of heavenly love to wath my soul away To that celestial world above where pleasures ne'er decay Eternal spirit, deign to be my part of here below Through skid, through lights impetuous sea where stormy winds do blow I'd like to be able to send you a copy of our publication, The Baptist Witness.

If you'll request that when you write us, we'll be happy to send it to you. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We continue today with the message entitled, Two Ships. We find in one case that Jonah was on a ship trying to flee from the Lord, and so he ran into a great storm. On the other hand, we find in the book of Matthew chapter 14 that the disciples were on board the ship.

They were obedient. They were in the place Jesus had directed them to go. But they also were in a storm, and yet their hope and help was in Jesus himself. Now we take up today, still talking about the fact that Jonah was disturbed after the people of Nineveh repented.

Then we'll go on to talk about the second ship, the one on which the disciples were riding. And then to show further his lack of compassion, when he was sitting out there on the edge of town, mourning over the fact that the people had repented, the hot sun was beating down on him, God blessed that the gourd grew up and provided shade, the leaf out over his head. And then the sun came and the gourd died. And it says he had pity on the gourd. Jonah chapter 4 verse 10, Then said the Lord, Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hadst not laboured, neither mayest it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night.

And should not I spare Nineveh that great city? Jonah is upset that the gourd died, mourning over this plant that it lost, and cares nothing about the people in this city. I can't help but think about some of the attitudes that we observe in our culture today. That there are people who are concerned to a tremendous degree about plants and animals, want to protect them, want to see that they're not mistreated, that stray animals, hungry animals are brought in and fed and cared for, which is fine. But maybe the same people that contend that even a tree ought not to be cut down because a tree is a living thing, or that every animal ought to be cared for, will turn around and defend the idea that babies can be aborted. Even a full term baby now, as it's been acknowledged and passed in some state legislatures.

If the mother doesn't want it, can be put to death. What kind of ridiculous, foolish thinking is that? It shows how deeply in the dark some could be under Satan's influence. So we see such a contrast in the case of Jonah, mourning over a gourd that died, but having no compassion for those in this wicked city. Have you sometimes been lacking in compassion? Someone was very much in the wrong and you felt they ought to suffer. You hoped they would. You hoped that God would take vengeance on them. You had no compassion. You didn't pray for them. You didn't try to labor with somebody that needed help. Said they're a hopeless case.

No need to talk to them. No need to try to help them. They're hopeless. Isn't it good to know that though men might write off individuals and say they're hopeless, there is no hopeless case with God.

It doesn't matter how far they've wandered, how deep they've sunk, how terrible their plight. God is the God of hope. Jesus said, blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. You might wonder sometimes why some have not been merciful to you. It may be that you reaped what you sowed. Blessed are the merciful. They shall obtain mercy. And then when Jonah was making this decision, deciding to get on board the ship, knowing our human nature, it could well be that a thought something like this may have crossed his mind. Well, this is providential.

Ships don't often run from this port to Tarsus, but here's one ready to go. That must mean it's okay for me. Do you ever mean guilty of that?

People wanted to do and you said, well, the opportunity is there. The door is open. That must make it right. It doesn't mean it's right. Just because the door is open doesn't mean you ought to walk through it.

There may be destruction on the other side. You can't make your choices based on what your interpretation of providence may be. You have to go according to God's word, which Jonah at this point was obviously not doing. Sometimes the right thing is the difficult thing. It may seem, here's a path that's available to me.

That looks like a good path because it's smooth, it's easy, that's the way I want to go. But doing what God commands can often be difficult. It's the right thing. The right thing for Jonah to do is to go to Nineveh and deliver the message. He didn't want to go, so he buys passage on the ship to go in the opposite direction. Jonah got himself in trouble. He was in this plight because he was disobedient. He wasn't praying, Lord, bless me, and making this decision about boarding this ship.

That was his choice, that was his decision. He got himself in trouble, but it took God to get him out of it. Haven't you found that in your experience many times when you've gotten in a tight place, you've gotten in trouble and it's been your own fault, you made the wrong choices, you got into the mess, but it took God's grace to get you out. God blessed so that it was revealed. Jonah was the problem passenger and even though the mariners were reluctant to cast him overboard for the sake of saving their own life, they did cast him into the sea and the storm ceased. And then God provided, then God provided a great fish to swallow up Jonah. It may have been when he saw that fish with its mouth open, he thought, well, this is the end.

I thought I was going to die in the sea, but I'm going to be chewed up by this big fish, but he survived. And inside the fish's belly, he prays and cries out to God and God heard him. Isn't it amazing how God blesses, how God is ready to hear even one who had been disobedient when they turned to him and know, I must have his help, he is the only source of help. So he cried out, it says, in the midst of his affliction and God heard his prayer. God blessed them then, guided that great fish to spew him out on dry land and he comes out and he declares, salvation is of the Lord.

And surely it was. Salvation from the sea, salvation from the fish, salvation when he was wrong and going in the wrong direction. That's a wonderful expression. Salvation is of the Lord. The salvation of our soul is of the Lord. It's the Lord himself who planned it, determined it before the foundation of the world. The Lord himself that executed it by the coming of his son, Jesus Christ, who paid the price of redemption at Calvary.

We admire the Holy Spirit that calls and draws us to him. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord when we have taken the wrong turn.

We've gone down the wrong path like Jonah did. We have disobeyed, we have sinned, we desperately need help. But that deliverance must come from him when we acknowledge our sin, when we come confessing our sin and praying for his forgiveness. When David was convicted of his sin, he came saying, Lord against thee, the only have I done this evil in thy sight.

He prayed that God would renew a right spirit within him. Salvation when we have failed, salvation when we're discouraged, when we feel hopeless and helpless and feel like Jonah ready to give up. Salvation when you feel like the task in front of you is too great.

You can't handle it. Salvation is of the Lord. Now the second ship we look at, the disciples were the passengers. They were obedient to Jesus' words. Jesus directed them to get on board the ship. These men were not disobedient.

They were not rebellious. They were doing exactly what their master commanded them. Obviously Jesus knew what was ahead. He knew the trial that they would face. The storm that they encountered was not a surprise to Jesus. But Jesus had a purpose in putting them on board the ship. Now Jesus went into the mountain to pray.

He withdrew himself. This follows the feeding of 5,000. It was a joyous occasion. It almost turned into a festive occasion.

What an amazing thing that these people are being fed. And the people at that time would have been ready to say, He's our King. But Jesus hadn't come to set up an earthly kingdom. He'd come to die.

So He withdraws Himself and goes into the mountain and had put the disciples on board this ship. There's a purpose in our trials. We may sometimes wonder, has the Lord led me in this path? Why am I here?

Why am I going through this difficult time? But Psalm 119 verse 67 says, Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept Thy word. God uses our trials to correct us, to bring us back, to bring us to greater dependence upon Him. To wean us from our love for worldly things, material things, corrupt things. He uses our trials. He teaches us to depend on Him.

We give lip service to that. We say, Oh yes, I'm depending on the Lord. But in reality, we many times, we many times are depending on our own wisdom.

Thinking through things, figuring out solutions, making our plans, looking ahead, doing what we basically want to do. And it hasn't been in dependence upon the Lord. Certainly, the Lord taught the Apostle Paul the need of dependence upon him in many different ways. Not only with the thorn in the flesh, but in 2 Timothy chapter 4 verse 16 he says, At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me.

That's a heartbreaking scene, isn't it? The Apostle Paul, a man so wonderfully used by God, such a wonderful, outstanding experience, meaning so much to the church. But no man stood with him. They all forsook me.

I pray God that it may not be lead to their charge. Now get this, notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me and strengthened me. Oh, what a blessing. All men forsook me. I didn't have a friend upon whom I could rely, but the Lord stood with me.

The Lord uses those trials to teach us. He's the friend that sticketh closer than a brother. He's the one that we can always depend on and will never fail us.

He's the one that says, I will never leave you. And then, once again, how this man suffered. 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 8, For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia. You get to think this man has continuous troubles everywhere he turns. He faces opposition. He faces all kinds of threats.

He at times is enduring imprisonment. But he says, I want you to know about the trouble that came to be in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure above strength in so much that we despaired even of life. He doesn't describe what that incident was, but he says we were pressed down.

We were not crushed. It was to the point that we despaired of life. We thought we wouldn't make it. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves.

That's what this was all about. But in God which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver in whom we trust He will deliver us. So although he was at a moment feeling like the end had come, he was in despair. The Lord stood with him. He delivered us from so great a death. He does deliver us and we have confidence that He will deliver us. May each of us learn that lesson when we are at the end of our strength.

I feel like we cannot endure. The Lord is the only one who can deliver us and our trust must be in Him. These men had obeyed Jesus. Although they were not understanding all that was at work here, they hadn't come to the complete realization and acceptance of the idea that Jesus was going to go to the cross. So the fact that He withdrew from the multitude would have been a puzzle to them. If this crowd had cried, crown Him King with the disciples, they would have been right on board with it.

They were already vying for who was going to have the prominent position in the kingdom. Even though they didn't understand, Jesus urged them to get on board the ship while He stayed behind. The point is, we must always obey even when we don't understand. I don't understand why I must move in this direction. What the Lord requires in His Word is difficult.

I don't know that I can comply with it, but even when we don't understand, we still must obey. Now when the storm came, it was certainly an extremely difficult time for them. They were at sea in the dark.

It was nighttime. They were at sea in a storm. The storm was raging. They feared for their lives. But Jesus is away.

In times of trouble we realize how much we need Him. Perhaps they had forgotten about a previous experience. There was a time they were in a ship in the midst of a storm, but Jesus was with them in the ship. But even then, they were afraid. Jesus was sleeping and they awakened Him and said, Carest thou not that we perish? And Jesus arose and said, Peace, be still.

And the wind ceased to blow and the waves no more tossed that little ship about. Now maybe in this storm they reasoned, Everything was alright when Jesus was on board, but He's not here and we're going to perish. But even when He was not with them, it says He saw them. Now obviously that reveals that Jesus was not only a man, He was God because He was at a distance from them.

They had gone several miles out into the deep and it was raining and storming and Jesus was withdrawn. He saw them. They were not out of His sight. He always sees us. He knows where we are. He knows what our circumstances are. He knows every burden that we're carrying.

He knows every difficulty that we're encountering. He saw them toiling in rowing. They were not just sitting idly on the boat waiting to see if it was going to suddenly capsize. They were rowing. They were rowing hard. They were toiling. They were working. They were trying to get through the situation, but they were making little progress. And you may at times have rowed hard.

You were toiling in your rowing, in your working, in your effort to get through the trial, but you were making little progress. But how good to know that even as they were working hard and they felt to be near despair, thinking the storm was going to take them down, Jesus saw them. And as our great high priest, He sees us and He ever lives to make intercession for us.

Do you ever think about that? That Jesus prays for you. We ask each other to pray for us. We make prayer requests from the pulpit and how good it is if you're one of those that's sick and you hear the church is praying for me. I feel encouraged.

But think of it. As our great high priest, Jesus sees us, knows where we are, knows our circumstances, is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and He makes intercession. He prays for us. And then He came to them in the storm. And Jesus comes to us in the storm.

He comes to us. He came walking on the water and when they first saw His figure, they were frightened. They thought it was some kind of a spirit. They were gripped with great fear. Here the very one that has come to help them, the only one that could rescue them is near at hand, but because they don't see clearly, they're afraid. And sometimes we have that experience. God is at work.

He's near at hand. He's doing something for us, but we don't understand our vision is not clear. And rather than rejoicing, we're fearful.

But then Jesus comes to them and He said, Be of good cheer. You don't have to be afraid. Cheer up.

It is I. Be not afraid. I'm here. I'm your Master. I'm your Lord.

The very one that they had had so many marvelous experiences with thus far, even that experience earlier of the feeding of the multitude. Now Jesus is on board the ship and He says, Be of good cheer. No matter what storm you may be in, no matter how rough the sea upon which you're sailing, Jesus says, Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid.

You can trust Me. I will be with you in the storm. And when He boarded the ship, immediately the storm ended and it says immediately they were at land. Something most remarkable. They had been rowing, rowing hard and getting nowhere. But when Jesus came on board, instantly they reached their destination.

They were at land. Struggle may be long, the night dark, but when He comes to us, when He boards our ship, the trouble is over. Someday we'll come to the end of the journey and Jesus will board our ship. And immediately we'll be on the other shore at home with Him forever.

Two ships. Are you like Jonah? You're in a storm because you've chosen to go your own way.

You know full well that you've created your own troubles. But the good news is the Word came to Jonah the second time. God didn't give up on Jonah and He hadn't given up on you. You can come to Him in confession of your sins asking for forgiveness and have your joy and peace restored.

Or are you like the disciples serving where He would have you to serve, seeking to obey Him unto the best of your knowledge, living an honorable, godly life. But still the storm is raging. Hear the words of Jesus to you. Be of good cheer.

It is I. Be not afraid. Nature and sorrow stand. Round me on every hand. Heaven is my common land. Heaven is my home. Yes, when Jesus got on board the ship, the storm was calmed and they arrived at their destination. Oh, we look to that happy day when the Lord will carry us home to be with Him. That final destination of heaven itself. I hope that you will write us and until next week at this same time may the Lord richly bless you all.

I hope time's cold and wintry glass shall soon be overpassed. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Oh,
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-03 16:54:10 / 2023-09-03 17:03:00 / 9

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