The Gale on Galilee

What about the “fierce gale” that assailed Jesus and His disciples when they were once boating across the Sea of Galilee? Surely it must have been Satan who caused that storm, as God would never send a wind that would capsize a boat that contained His own Son. “A kingdom divided against itself will fall,” and so why would God ever send a wind that could potentially harm Jesus and the twelve disciples?

These are good arguments, but let us stop and think for a moment. If God didn’t send the storm and Satan did, then we still must admit that God allowed Satan to send it. So the same question must still be answered: Why would God allow Satan to send a storm that might potentially harm Jesus and the twelve?

Is there an answer? Perhaps God was teaching the disciples something about faith. Perhaps He was testing them. Perhaps He was testing Jesus, who had to be “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). To be fully tested, Jesus had to have an opportunity to be tempted to fear. Perhaps God wanted to glorify Jesus. Perhaps He wanted to do all of the above.

God led the children of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea knowing full well that they were trapped by Pharaoh’s advancing army. But wasn’t God delivering the Israelites? Then was He not working against Himself by leading them to a place where they would be massacred? Is this not an example of a “kingdom divided against itself”?

No, because God had no intention of letting the Israelites be massacred. And He had no intention, in either sending or allowing Satan to cause a gale on the Sea of Galilee, of letting Jesus and the twelve be drowned.

Regardless, the Bible doesn’t say that Satan sent that gale on the Sea of Galilee, and it doesn’t say God did either. Some say it had to be Satan because Jesus rebuked it. Perhaps, but that is not a watertight argument. Jesus didn’t rebuke God—He rebuked the wind. God the Father could have done the same thing. That is, He could have stirred up the wind with a word, and then calmed it by rebuking it. Just because Jesus rebuked the gale is no proof that Satan caused it.

Again, we shouldn’t base our entire theology on one verse that really proves nothing. I have already made reference to scores of scriptures that prove God is sovereignly in control of the wind, and He is most often given credit for sending it. My main point is that Satan, even though he is “god of this world,” definitely does not have independent control over the wind or the right to cause a hurricane anytime or anywhere he desires.

Therefore, when hurricanes occur, we should not view it as something that is beyond God’s control, something He would like to stop but can’t. Jesus’ rebuke of the gale on the Sea of Galilee should be proof enough that God can stop a hurricane if He desires.

And if God is sending (or allowing) a hurricane, then He must have some reason, and the most intelligent answer why He would send or allow a storm that causes widespread catastrophic devastation is that He is warning and judging disobedient people.