How placid the Gulf waters seemed from the balcony of our condo that first day--hardly a ripple on its surface. The colors were glorious, sea green, turquoise, emerald. And the sky at sunrise glowed with the corals and pastels associated with the Tropics.
By the next day, the water was agitated as if it were attempting to cover the land but had hit some invisible barrier. The voice of the sea rose in crescendo and then softened like a mega choir. The colors were darker, ominous, yet softened by the white surges reaching onto the white beach. The sea showed its power, but a power as if restrained by some unseen force.
The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea--the LORD on high is mighty.
The agitation of the water that was exciting to watch was the result of a hurricane hundreds of miles away. The power of the waves was a warning of destruction to come somewhere. I remember that God has authority over the seas:
They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep.
The disciples of Jesus were astonished that Jesus had that same authority:
Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!
They came to understand later that Jesus was much more than a good man and a prophet--he was and is the Son of God.
The oceans of the earth are beautiful. The water is abundant with life, home to much of the earth's living population. The sea shores are so beautiful that those who can travel will go great distances to spend time near it. They want to soak up the peace they find in gazing at it and the pleasure they find by playing in it and near it.
But the sea has another side. Down through the centuries, ships have sunk carrying their crews, passengers, and cargo to the bottom of the seas of this world. The dead sailors left behind grieving and poverty-stricken families. The sea has often broken free of its restraints to flood the shores and carry off the inhabitants to their death. Then the water returns to its boundaries leaving destruction behind.
God in the Holy Bible compares the governments of this world to the waters of the seas. Nations can appear peaceful and abundant with productive life. They can be beautiful to visit. But when forces under the surface of world politics begin to agitate the waters of national life, death and destruction has often followed close behind.
Oh, the raging of many nations---they rage like the raging sea! Oh, the uproar of the peoples--they roar like the roaring of great waters! Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us.
There is good news beyond the bad news of today‘s world. Jesus revealed through his disciple John that when God brings the New Heaven and the New Earth, there will be no more sea. Why is that a good thing?
The promise that there will be no more sea carries with it the promise there will be no more death and destruction.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Volume 17 Issue 02 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation |
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