Numbers 33:1-39; Luke 5:1-11; Psalms 65:1-4; Proverbs 16:31-33
NT: “As the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God’s word, he was standing by Lake Gennesaret. He saw two boats at the edge of the lake; the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from the land. Then he sat down and was teaching the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.” When they did this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets began to tear. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’s knees and said, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” For he and all those with him were amazed at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s partners. “Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told Simon. “From now on you will be catching people.” Then they brought the boats to land, left everything, and followed him.” (Luke 5:1-11 CSB)
Oftentimes, Simon Peter gets a bad rap for his impetuousness. But you must give him props for his faith and willingness to obey, even when it doesn’t make sense. Simon and his partners had worked all night long and had caught nothing. Their efforts were a complete bust. When Jesus was on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, they were wrapping up their shift and washing their nets. Fishermen had to wash their nets after each fishing excursion and then stretch them out to dry or else the nets would rot and fall apart. So when Jesus asked Simon to allow Him to use his boat, I’m sure Simon kept on washing his nets while Jesus preached. Imagine the thoughts that went through Simon’s mind when Jesus told him to go out to the deep and fish again. First of all, Simon had probably just finished washing his nets. If we went fishing, he would have to wash them all over again. Plus, the best fishing was at night in the shallows. No one fished during the day in the deep waters. What Jesus was asking him to do was a complete inconvenience and a complete waste of time. Most of us would have told Jesus no, saying, “I don’t have time… I’ve just washed my nets, maybe another time… Jesus, you don’t even know what you are talking about – that’s not how it’s done.” Yet, despite all the things Simon was probably thinking, he replied, “If you say so, we’ll do it.” Because Simon went against convention and his better judgement to obey Jesus, he had a face to face encounter with the inexhaustible Kingdom of God that is never short of resources. Simon and his partners had a financial windfall. Oh the money they would make with that miraculous haul of fish. Simon’s mind was complexly blown – his categories shattered and in disarray. That choice to obey the Lord changed Simon’s life forever. How many opportunities do we miss out on because the Lord’s timing is inconvenient, His requests don’t make sense, or we think that obeying His word will be a complete waste of time? Lord, help me to hear Your voice clearly and obey without reservation, for Your ability to work through my obedience is inexhaustible.
Psalms: “Praise is rightfully yours, God, in Zion; vows to you will be fulfilled. All humanity will come to you, the one who hears prayer. Iniquities overwhelm me; only you can atone for our rebellions. How happy is the one you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple.” (Psalms 65:1-4 CSB)
As I look at the state of the world today and consider all that is going on, it can be completely overwhelming. It seems that no matter where you look, it is almost impossible to find a voice that it worthy to be trusted – almost every side has an angle and trying to leverage current events to go beyond what is needed to enact their own agenda. Is there even a way for justice and righteousness to be fully accomplished – for true and lasting peace to be made? The remedy can only be found at the feet of the God of all gods, Whose ability to forgive our rebellious hearts and transform our hardened hearts is inexhaustible. The needs of all humanity will be satisfied with the goodness of His kingdom, but only if we come humbly to Him and submit ourselves before His holiness and choose to abide with Him – in Him by faith. Lord help us.