FOUR SPECIFIC ELEMENTS OF APPLICATION:
DECREE, COMMAND, THREAT, PROMISE
First Application: The Word of God=s Decree:
But thus much for the application generally, but more particularly from these four considerations of that word they come to fulfill, from the first the word of his decree.
The Certainty of God Fulfilling His Decree
Hence we learn the certainty of the fulfilling of all God=s Decree; all creature work for this end. We may purpose and decree things, but every little thing is enough to hinder, but the word of God=s decree shall stand forever, heaven and earth, and air and seas; and all creatures must work and give forth all their power and efficacy for this. Therefore, certainly none can fail.
See the as Fulfilling God=s Decree
Whatsoever fall out by the wind, take notice of it as the fulfilling of the Word of God=s decree and make use of it accordingly: Do not think it came by ill hap [bad luck], or chance, or only through unskillfulness or neglect of such or such, so as to think if these things be taken heed of another, there need be no fear taht such things will fall out again. Yes, if this came to fulfill the Word of God=s decree, however such and such means furthered it, although they had not been, God could have had many other ways to have fulfilled this Word of His, and so may do some other time when such means shall not fall out.
Second Application: The Word of God=s Command
From the second, the Word of His command:
The Sovereignty and Greatness of God
Here learn the sovereignty and greatness of God that has these creatures at His command. Who is this, said the mariners concerning Christ, whom the storm and the winds obey? So let us, who is this Lord, how great is His command? Who are you then that dare resist the command of this God? Shall heaven and earth, seas and wind, fulfill God=s Word and are you he that dares to stand against it?
Job 38:1-2, it is said, that God spoke ot Job our of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that darkens counsel? Now the Lord speak to your heart out of every stormy wind: Who is this that dares stand out against My command, great things have yielded and do daily yield to God=s Word. As in Psalm 29:5-7, It [the voice of God] breaks the cedars, it divides the flames of fire. What a heart then you have that dares, that can stand against it?
God Commands Boisterous Winds B and Lusts of the Heart
Seeing the boisterous winds obey the word of command, when you feel boisterous raging lusts [any very strong desire; not merely sexual desires] in your heart, look up to God; cry to Him to give out a powerful word of command to still them:
Likewise, O Lord, you who rules the raging sea and the tempestuous winds B and they are still B O that you would rebuke these raging distempers of my heart, which raise a grievous tempest in my soul, that they may be still.
Chrysostom upon the 8th [chapter of] Matthew, speaking of those winds that raised tempest upon the seas, which endangered the ship wherein Christ and His disciples were, makes use of an allegorical sense comparing the ship to the Church, and those winds to the devils that raise tempests to endanger the Church. Certainly the lusts of a man=s heart are more dangerous winds; they raise a tempest more dangerous than all the devils in Hell are able to raise. But the Lord that is able to still the one, is able to still also the other. In Psalm 65:7, these two are put together:
The stilling the noise of the sea,
The noise of the waves,
And the tumults of the people.
It is the same power of God that does both, and the same power that must still the tumult of a man=s own heart.
Third Application: The Word of God=s Threat
Use 1: God=s Threats will be Fulfilled
How sure then are God=s threats to be fulfilled, when all God=s creatures are appointed to see them fulfilled. Every creature stands ready as if it said, Lord shall I go to make good such a threat gone out against such a man, for such a sin committed at such a time? If God said to the winds, Go, puruse him, attach him, never cease until my word be fulfilled against him B certainly they will go and will fulfill God=s Word to the utmost; although it be for your utter ruin and sending you down to your own place.
Although some Word of God=s threat may seem to lie as it were dead awhile; yet God has ways to raise it up and to make it good to the full and among other means this creature is often used for this end. [As it says in] 1 Samuel 3:12,
In that day, say the Lord, I will perform all the things which I have spoken against Eli.
The words are, I will raise up all the words I have spoken against him: It may be there has been some word of threat lain long against thee. Now the winds are sent to raise up this word, let it lie never so long, it must rise at the last: All the powers in heaven and earth will work to raise it up. Rather, then it shall always lie thus, it certainly must rise at one time or another.
And, as it is [in] verse 19 [of 1 Samuel 3]:
None of the Words of the Lord shall fall to the ground
The expression is metaphorical from a dart cast at an enemy: if it be by a weak hand or not directed right, instead of sticking in the thing it is cast at, it falls to the ground. But God=s words spoken by the prophets shall do so, they will be as darts that shall certainly stick in the sides of wicked men and none of them shall fall to the ground. And among the other means, the mighty winds are sometimes used by God to carry the dart of the Word of His threat strongly upon conscience; to make it stick fast and to abide until it fulfills God=s purpose and not fall to the ground.
Use 2: See Your Fragility Before God
Here you see what a dangerous thing it is to be, especially to go to sea under the power of a threat: As soon as God has you at sea, if He calls for a wind out of the treasures of His wrath, and bids it fulfill such a threat, where are you? It is a bold adventure for you to put out to sea before you have cleared all with God against your own conscience: If all be clear, then the blessing of Zebulon in Deuteronomy 13:26 may be upon you,
Rejoice, O Zebulon
in your going out.
Zebulon was the mariners= tribe and his blessing was to rejoice in his prosperous voyages, in his expectation of them: to rejoice when he went out, when he set to sea: If before your going out you have made all peace between God and you, so that there be no word of threat to fulfill upon you, then B but not before – you can rejoice at your going out.
Use 3:Consider the Cause of the Threat
When you are in any danger in regard of stormy winds, consider, advise with your conscience what threat it is, against what sin of yours the Word of the Lord has gone forth: that this stormy wind comes to fulfill.
Conscience will tell you: Here is a terrible tempest and it comes to fulfill the Word of the Lord B the Word of the Lord that you have slighted, contemned, despised. Now comes this tempest to put honor and majesty upon that Word and to fulfill it. It cries out against you, the Word of the Lord, the Word that you heard on such a day, against such a sin, in such a place. You have escaped it all this while, you thought yourself free from it, out of its danger; but now it pursues you, it comes in this stormy wind to be fulfilled on you.
You thought the Word was but as wind, and that wind should shake no corn. As [in] Jeremiah 5:13:
The prophets shall become wind.
Now they become wind, indeed. I remember I have read a story that Hospinian in history of the Jesuites relates of Henricus a Jesuite at Ingolstate, who said in his sermon that it was no good sign of a catholic to joy much in hearing of sermons; but rather the sign of a heretic who delight themselves with those things as the ape with a nut. For, he says, sermons pass away presently as win. But his delight was to hear many masses: This is a distinguishing sign between a Catholic and a heretic; fit for a Jesuit to give. Such vile and unworthy thought have carnal hearts [concerning] the Word.
But it is indeed and shall be wind that shall shake your heart one day; although for present it seems to be hardened rock. In Isaiah 63:6 we read fo a threat that their iniquities like the wind should take men away. The guilt of your iniquity together with the stormy wind is like to take you and carry you away to your own place. When the stormy wind blew so as it endangered those mariners in the 1st [chapter] of Jonah, the says,
They consulted to cast lots, that they might know for whose cause it blew.
It is good for you when you are in a stormy wind to consult with your own heart: is not this tempest raised against me for my sin? Surely if you would ask the question to your own heart, for what cause is it that it is so dreadful, the answer will be, it is because you have not fulfilled the Word of the Lord by humiliation before it, by obedience unto it, and therefore it comes now to fulfill the Word of the Lord upon you.
Use 4: Learn to Have High Thoughts of the Word of the Lord
If ever you have escaped dangerous tempests,
learn forever to have higher thoughts of the Word of the Lord than you have;
To reverence it
to humble your soul before it
to obey it.
Oh, let me fulfill the Word fo the Lord
Now by humiliation
That the stormy wind
Does not do it
[Which shall be] more grievous to me.
If you dare resist this Word, when the Lord shall have raised against another stormy win, caused His terror to be upon you, it may be then you will cry
O Lord, now I will fulfill your Word
Lord deliver me
And I shall be more careful forever to fulfill your word
Your Word that commands me to sanctify Your Name
Your Word that commands me to be chaste and sober and religious;
Lord, if my life be spared
It shall appear I will regard Your Word more than ever I have done.
God may then answer,
Nay, this stormy wind shall fulfill My Word
I will rather have My glory out of You
By fulfilling My Word upon you by this Tempest
Then expect from you what you will do to the fulfilling of it.
It may be some of you have heretofore in your distress thus promised the Lord, and the Lord has heard your cries and has spared you. If God has been gracious to you, do not now return to folly. The first time as I remember that Pharaoh acknowledged taht he had sinned was upon the dreadfulness of the tempest. In Exodus 9:27 we read
Though I have sinned, the Lord is righteous
I and my people are wicked.
So it may be you have don, but take need now it be not with you as it was with Pharaoh; as we see in verse 34, when he saw the tempest was over, he sinned yet more and hardened his heart.
You are delivered from the tempest.
Do not now sin more.
Do not harden your hearts.
Oh let conscience now plead with you for the fulfilling your own word.
Take heed now.
Do not thrust away conscience
when it comes upon you
to put you upon
what you have promised to God in your distress.
In 1 Timothy 1:19, the Scripture speaks of some who have made shipwreck of faith, and put away their conscience. When you have escaped one shipwreck, take heed of a worse shipwreck, namely that of faith and of putting away conscience. The word that is here translated put away is more than putting; it is thrusting away, casting away with violence. The same word is that is translated in Romans 12:13 as cast off works of darkness, when temptations to the work of darkness come. It is good thrusting them away with violence. But take heed you do not do so with your consciences they have come upon you, urging on you performance of tha tyou engaged yourself to God in the time of danger.
It may be in time of danger, you cast out your goods to save your lives. Now cast your lusts [strong, passionate desires to sin] to save your souls. Either your sins or your souls must perish. Know that though you forget your promises, yet God looks after them, and will call to account what becomes of them. They are to be seeds of a godly life.
Now then take heed that when you vow to and covenant with God, you do not sow the wind. That phrase the Scripture uses for losing our labor, when nothing comes of our endeavors; as in Hosea 8:7. But that is not all, that no good comes from promises; but certainly if in them you sow the wind, there will something come of them B if not a harvest of a reformed life, yet reap you shall: You shall reap the whirlwind; they will be the seeds of most dreadful miseries to you afterwards.
That one Theodericus answered to Sigmund the emperor when he would know of what what he should to be happy, may I say to you, Consider, he says, what you would wish you had done at such and such times when you had grievous pain of the stone and gout, and do that now. So I say unto you, would you be happy, consider then, when you have been in grievous storms and dangerous tempests, what would you wish you had done: do that now. When company, when temptations draw [you] to evil, consider then: Will this be my joy if ever God brings me into grievous tempests again? Would I have done this at that time?
At such times, men are convinced of the ways of God, and could wish themselves godly. Yea, I remember I have read of an expression that Xenophon has, that all men in their failings desire for the companions to have been men rather religious than atheists, because of their often dangers and fears; by reason of tempests. Now your hearts rise against them, but at such a time you could be glad to be with them, and to be as they are; except you be atheists yourselves.
O labor now to be such as then you are convinced is the best and most safest to be: religious. If it be good then, it is good now. There has been much fear struck into your hearts at such times, but know there may be much trembling at God=s great works, and yet God [is] not feared. As at the giving of the law, the people were terrified when tehy saw and heard those terrible things at Mt. Siani. And yet afterwards, God says, O there were a heart in this people to fear me. God does not own all that scaring of theirs before for any true fear of His Name.
The Lord therefore grant, that that fear which in such times has possessed your heart, may prove and appear to be not so much the fear of dangers, as the true fear of the great God appearing to you in such great and dreadful works of His. That if there were any stirrings in your consciences before now by such a sight of God causing His fear to be upon you, those beginnings may be brought forth to a good and blessed issue. That though your hearts stuck before, and could not be brought off without much ado to anything that was good; yet that now his work of God may bring them off; and now there may be an everlasting divorce between your hearts and those evils which before did cleave so close and fast unto you.
As we read in Psalm 29:
The voice of the Lord in tempest
causes the hinds [female deer] to calve.
Now they are creature that do not calve without great difficulty, but the fear that is upon them at such times causes them to bring forth their young: You have had many stirrings of heart, but yet nothing has come of them. The Lord cause the fear of His great name now to be effectual; that those stirrings may bring forth something for the honor of God and your own peace.
Use 5: Take Notice That God Fulfills His Word by the Stormy Wind
Let us take notice of God=s fulfilling His Word by this stormy wind:
What word of His was fulfilled among us,
Whatsoever hurt has been done by it,
Whatsoever judgment has befallen any upon us
It is for the fulfilling some Word of the Lord.
The Lord give you all hearts to fulfill that work of humiliation and obedience that this work of the Lord calls for from you. There has not been known in these parts in the memory of man the like effect of a stormy wind, as this has brought forth. We read of that wind in 1 Kings 19, where the text says,
God was not in the wind.
We cannot say so of this, for verily [truly] God was in the wind B and that very remarkably: O that He might be honored in it; that as in nature strong winds clear the air from corruption, so this may be so blessed by God to cleanse your conscience from some defilement.
Use 6: The Word of God=s Promise
From the fourth particular, the Word of His Promise.
When you have prosperous winds, look at them as coming to fulfill a word of mercy. As in Psalm 89:8-9
Who is a strong Lord like unto you
Or to they faithfulness round about you.
You rule the raging of the sea
The waters arise
You still them.
The Psalmist acknowledges the word of God in ruling and stilling the waves of the sea (which He does especially by the use of the wind, as a fruit of God=s faithfulness); that is ordered by God for the fulfilling of His promise.
If you can take this as a fruit of the promise, how comfortable will it be unto you. God=s riding upon the cherub, and flying upon the wings of the wind are put together in Psalm 18:10. The cherubim did cover the mercy-seat: When He comes to you upon the wings of the wind, this must needs be full of comfort.
You mariners, if you be gracious and godly, whensoever you see the Lord coming to you in the winds, you may see Him likewise upon the cherub B His mercy-seat; and what encouragement is this in the ways of god. Others see Him coming from His throne of justice, dividing the flames of His wrath. If God has fulfilled any word of mercy by a prosperous wind, let it engage you to Him forever, and cause you to improve that mercy you have by it for God.
As we read in Deuteronomy 33:19, that Zebulon the mariners tribe, as you heard before, when they had a prosperous voyage, they should call the people to the mountains of the Lord there to offer sacrifices of righteousness, because of the fulfilling of God=s promise to them, that they should suck the abundance of seas.
Has God given you the blessings of the seas? Then stir up one another to come to the mountains of the Lord, that is, to the Church of God, to offer sacrifices of righteousness to give God the praises due unto Him
A famous preacher of the ancient world; his name means Agolden-mouth.@ He lived from c. 347 – 407. He was the ordained bishop of Constantinople in 398.
Rudolf Hospinian, 1547 – 1626. It appears that there are two copies of a portion of Hospinian=s history still in existence: The Jesuits Manner of Consecrating both the Persons and Weapons Imploy’d for the Murdering Kings and Princes by Them accounted Hereticks Being Matter of Fact. Translated out of Hospinian’s History of the Jesuits. The book was originally prinited at Zurich in the year 1670. Imprimatur, November 16, 1678, Dublin. There is also a copy of the reprint by Joseph Ray at Colledge‑Green, for Joseph Howes and William Winter, booksellers in Castle‑street, 1681. One copy is in the British Library. One copy is at the Huntington Library.
A Greek soldier and historian; lived c 430 – 354 B.C.