He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:29
During Scottish missionary Alexander Duff’s first voyage to India in 1830, he was shipwrecked in a storm off the coast of South Africa. He and his fellow passengers made it to a small, desolate island; and a short time later, one of the crew found a copy of a Bible belonging to Duff washed ashore on the beach. When the book dried, Duff read Psalm 107 to his fellow survivors, and they took courage. Finally, after a rescue and yet another shipwreck, Duff arrived in India.
Psalm 107 lists some of the ways God delivered the Israelites. Duff and his shipmates no doubt identified with and took comfort in the words: “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven” (vv. 29–30). And, like the Israelites, they too “[gave] thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind” (v. 31).
We see a parallel to Psalm 107:28–30 in the New Testament (Matthew 8:23–27; Mark 4:35–41). Jesus and His disciples were in a boat at sea when a violent storm began. His disciples cried out in fear, and Jesus—God in flesh—calmed the sea. We too can take courage! Our powerful God and Savior hears and responds to our cries and comforts us in the midst of our storms.
When have you cried out to God in a “storm”? What was the result?
Thank You, God, for not leaving me to face the storms on my own. I need You!
The Hebrew word yâm, translated “sea” in Psalm 107:23, occurs nearly four hundred times in the Old Testament. The root word from which yâm is derived means “to roar.” As is the case in Psalm 107:23, on many occasions the word is used of bodies of water—seas, rivers, lakes, etc. Biblical uses of the word sea, however, also aptly picture chaos—roaring, troublesome, untamed waters (see Psalm 46:2–3). Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia comments: “To the land-loving Hebrews the sea was a dangerous and stormy place, and it furnished an apt simile for the troubled restless soul of the sinner (Isaiah 57:20) and for the rebellious, seething nations of the world (Daniel 7:2; Matthew 13:47; Revelation 13:1).” With such an understanding, some Bible scholars interpret the phrase “there was no longer any sea” in Revelation 21:1 to mean the absence of “restless godlessness.”