We recently spent a morning on the shore of Lake Superior. It was windy and became more so as we got closer to the lake. When we pulled into a lakeside park we saw a crowd of people standing on the shore. We got out of the van and could hear the crash of the water before we could see it. We came to the water’s edge and soon saw what everyone was watching. The waves were crashing into the breaker with such force that the water would shoot straight into the air at least twenty feet. We stood and stared, as wave upon wave roared, awestruck at the force of it. It was amazing and terrifying at the same time.
Revelation 21 speaks of the new heaven and the new earth that one day awaits us. Interestingly, verse one declares that the sea will be no more. The first time I read this, I remember feeling disappointment. I have fond memories of playing in the ocean as a child. The sand and the surf will always be irresistible to me. However, the more I thought about and studied this, the more I realized how much the Bible had to say about the sea. The ocean, or sea, is mentioned several times throughout the Bible and not much of it is in a positive sense. The sea is almost always mentioned as a great force that demands respect or even fear. For example,
“God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
“O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.” (Psalm 89:8-9)
In Luke 21 Jesus talks about the signs that will signal the end times, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” (Luke 21:25)
The sea has been a source of trial and sorrow for humanity even as it provides a livelihood for many. The sea takes loved ones, by death or by distance. It cannot be tamed.
I have a healthy respect for the waves. I do not live in fear of them, but rather I rejoice in the powerful show of God’s majesty and might. The wind and the sea obey Him, and I delight in His handiwork. I look forward to the day when I can see my Savior face to face and will no longer need to look to the ocean, the wind, or the storm in order to see evidences of His power.