Sermon #1630 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “So he bringeth them unto
their desired haven.”
Text: Psalm 107:23-30
Subject: Life Compared to A Sea Voyage
Date: Tuesday Evening — September 20, 2005
Tape # Y-77b
Readings: Bob Poncer & Rex Bartley
(Psalms 107:23-30) “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; (24) These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. (25) For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. (26) They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. (27) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. (28) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (29) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (30) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
Our text is an inspired description of a voyage at sea. It is here used by the Spirit of God as a figure or picture of the journey of life. It is here promised that every believer, every sinner who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ, will sail through the tempestuous sea of life safely by the grace of God and at last drop anchor at his desired haven on the shores of sweet deliverance in heavenly glory. My message will be an allegory, a parable, a common earthly story full of spiritual instruction. I pray that God the Holy Spirit will be our Teacher, as I speak to you from the last sentence of verse 30 — “So he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
The journey of life is commonly compared to a sea voyage, by hymn writers and poets, and by the writers of Holy Scripture. Sometimes life, for the believer is compared to a pilgrimage through a strange land. But it is often compared to a voyage across the sea. That is because our journey through life is much like a voyage at sea.
There is much mystery about it! So much is hidden in the mists and fog! Like those who do business in great waters, we are all exposed to many unseen and unknown perils in this life. And the sea we cross in life, like the mighty ocean, often appears to be pathless. Journeys by land are across well marked roads; but there are no roads and no markings upon the sea.
Life is also comparable to a sea voyage because there is much loneliness about it! If you have never flown across the ocean, or have never been on a ship in the ocean, you might imagine that the sea is covered with ships. But it is not. In harbors, you see ships by the score. But on the open sea, you might easily sail from New York to England and never see another ship. The sea is a lonely, lonely place.
So too, there is in every person’s life experience a great measure of loneliness. Though we walk along crowded streets, work in crowded factories and shops, and live in crowded communities, we are all in a very real sense alone in this world. In our deepest experiences of both joy and sorrow, we are alone! We all have heartaches that none can share with us, hopes that no one else can enter into, and thoughts that we cannot express to anyone but our God. In a very real sense everyone of us must sail through the sea of life alone!
There is a room in our lives into which we never invite anyone, but our Lord and Savior. In the Roman Catholic confessional, the blind idolater whispers into the ear of his priest, his “father confessor,” things not even spoken to wife or husband. We who have the Lord Jesus Christ for our High Priest pour into his ear things that no other ear shall ever hear. Except for him, (What a glorious exception that is! Yet, except for him), there is a sense in which we sail the troubled sea of life completely alone. I want to talk to you about this voyage. Let me show you three things.
On A Voyage
I. We are all on a voyage here, headed to some port.
How quickly the days, and weeks, and months, and years go by! How soon the gray hairs appear! How quickly youth gives way to old age! (Job 9:25-26; James 4:14).
(Job 9:25-26) “Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. (26) They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.”
(James 4:14) “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
A. We are all on our way to some port.
We are all on the move. There seems to be no stopping place. Indeed, there is none. Whether we are asleep or awake, we are quickly moving through our allotted time on this earth. Soon the place that now knows us will know us no more. We will leave this world and be quickly forgotten forever. When our appointed time has come, we will leave this world (Heb. 9:27).
This aspect of life gets little attention these days. Most people live in this world as if they expected to live here forever. They get all they can, can all they can get, and spend their lives sitting on the can. They live in utter forgetfulness of eternity and the life to come. Death, judgment, heaven, hell, eternity, and immortality are forbidden subjects in most places. Men and women prefer to ignore the fact that they are dying creatures, and deliberately do so. But ignoring these things does not change them.
Whatever your circumstances, however vigorous and strong your body is, however strong your will, no matter how much you diet and exercise, you must soon die! When your number is up, when your appointed time in this world is finished, you will cease to live in this world. Soon someone will dig a big hole for you and dig one for me, too. Medical science keeps trying to extend life. But they always fail. Men live no longer now than they did generations ago, and not nearly so long as they did in the beginning.
It is still true that the age of man on average is threescore years and ten. And it is still true that if any reach the age of fourscore years, “Their strength is but labor and sorrow, for it is soon cut off and we fly away” (Ps. 90:10).
Face the facts! Life is a voyage, a short voyage! Our little ship is headed for some port. We shall not live here forever. The voyage must come to an end. “When death summons us, whatever our wealth, our learning, our influence, on force of will, we shall have to obey him.” (C.D. Cole).
To what haven are you sailing? To what destination are you traveling? When you have crossed the ocean of life, where will you land? Where will you spend eternity? Will you seriously consider these things?
(Psalms 90:3-16) “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. (4) For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (5) Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. (6) In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. (7) For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. (8) Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (9) For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. (10) The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (11) Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. (12) So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (To Christ!). (13) Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. (14) O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (15) Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. (16) Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.”
B. If you sail the seas, sooner or later, you will have a bout of seasickness.
I have never spent much time on the sea, but I have spent enough to experience seasickness. At the first stage, when you are pretty sick, you are so sick that you are afraid the ship will sink. Then, when you are really sick, you are so sick that you are afraid the ship won’t sink. I know this – There are times in this voyage of life that you get so sick of life that you want to die.
Most of us have been there. Some of you have had such a stormy, turbulent voyage across these waters that you have longed at times for it to be over!
Perhaps you are in that condition now. You are tired of life as you have known it, but you have no home to go to, no port of rest. Your soul is orphaned. You are weary of life, but you do not know what to do or where to go.
Some of you, I suspect, are getting a little homesick for the fatherland. You are tired and weary of the struggles and trials of life. And you are getting anxious for home. To you this text is especially addressed. Read verse 30. This will be my second point in the message.
II. “Then are they glad because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
What is your desired haven? To what land would you immigrate? If you could have heaven made to order, what sort of place would it be?
I once read about a missionary who had returned to the United States after spending many years in the poverty, filth, and squallier of India. When he got home, he said, “It may be that heaven will be better than this, but for the moment this is good enough for me.”
Indeed, there are times when we think this life seems good enough.
Illustration: “These are the things that make it hard to die!”
But we must not be so foolish. There is no desired haven here for the heaven born soul.
· Too Many Broken Homes!’
· Too Many Blasted Lives!
· Too Much Wreck and Ruin!
· To Much Sin!
· Too Much Strife!
· Too Much Sorrow!
What is your desired haven? What would fulfill all your desires? What kind of people would you like to live with forever? Let me tell you what my desired haven is (Ps. 27:4).
(Psalms 27:4) “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.”
A. I desire a land where I shall have no more warfare with the old man (Rom. 7:14-24).
(Romans 7:14-25) “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
I cannot tell you how anxious I am to arrive in my desired haven. There I will no longer have to put up with my miserable self!
B. I long to live in a place where there is no more sin!
· In Me!
· Around Me!
C. I long to live in a place where there is no more sorrow (Rev. 21:4-7). My desired haven is a place where there is no more sorrow, for there “the former things are passed away!”
(Revelation 21:4-7) “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (6) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (7) He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
D. My desired haven is a place where I shall fully enjoy that which I most long to enjoy. —
1. Perfect, Uninterrupted Communion with Christ!
2. Perfect, Uninterrupted Commitment to Christ!
3. Perfect, Uninterrupted Conformity to Christ!
The Ship and the Pilot
III. Would you land at this desired haven when your life on this earth is over? If you would give me your attention for a little longer, while I show you that – There is only one ship and only one Pilot who can bring you unto this desired haven.
There is an ocean liner guaranteed to transport all who are onboard from this sin-stricken, sin-cursed world to the desired haven. And there is a Pilot who never lost a passenger. There is a heaven-bound ship. That is what salvation is. Christ is the Pilot and owner of the ship.
A. I see a name written on the bow of the ship – It is GRACE!
· There is no fares to be paid by you.
· Christ bought the ship and paid the fare for all who board it.
(Hebrews 9:12) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
B. This good ship Grace is seaworthy and the passengers are all perfectly safe, because the Lord Jesus Christ is the Pilot of the ship!
1. Some on the ship are peaceful and calm and others are greatly troubled; but all are safe!
2. Sometimes the sailing is through dark, dark nights and rough and stormy seas; but the passage is always safe.
3. There is a desired haven and Christ will bring every soul on board the good ship grace to his desired haven.
4. Nothing will satisfy him except our presence with him in Glory!
(John 17:24) “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
(Psalms 107:23-32) “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; (24) These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. (25) For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. (26) They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. (27) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. (28) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (29) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (30) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. (31) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (32) Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.”
(Psalms 107:42-43) “The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. (43) Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.”
Illustration: “I may never see you again here; but I hope to see you at home before too long.” — Mrs. Sadie Shepard 9/11/05)
Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
When Thou sayest to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
‘Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
“Fear not, I will pilot thee.”