The Absence of the Sea
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven
and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Read Mark 6:45-56
The thought of no sea is mind-boggling. Water, after all, is necessary for life.
The sea also provides the livelihood of many fishermen. Tourist brochures
seek to lure clients with images of sandy beaches and pristine clear ocean
waters. How beautiful! But there is also an obverse side. Many seaside
towns have monuments remembering the sad history of families who lost
a father, a brother, a son or a friend at sea. Then the sea literally becomes a
vale of tears.
At times the Bible also speaks of the sea in this way, as a destroying force
that takes away life. It is a graveyard where many have been buried. But in
Revelation 20:13, we read that the sea will give up her dead. Then the powers
of death will be broken and the sea will have to release its prey.
This is the background against which we must read the last words of our
text. It will be a relief when the sea no longer exists. There will be no death,
sorrow, pain or trial on the new earth. John writes that there was no sea,
using the past tense, even though it will happen in the future. We are living
between the time that has already passed and the future; we speak of our
time as a present reality. Perhaps you are presently coping with a sea of
sorrow in which great waves batter your life’s ship. An accident, an empty
place, a sickness, a great disappointment floods your soul. Do not despair.
He who gave John a glimpse into the future is ready to support you. When
the Lord Jesus was on board with His disciples during a raging storm at sea,
He said: Peace, be still. If you have Christ on board your life’s ship, you are
blessed as well. Is that also your prayer?
Thought: Nothing is more difficult for modern man than to be still.
Psalter 295:1,2 (based on Psalter 107)
They that traffic on the sea, While unceasing watch they keep,
See Jehovah’s majesty And His wonders in the deep;
For He bids the storm-wind fly, Lifting ocean’s waves on high.
By the billows heavenward tossed, Down to dreadful depths again,
Troubled much, their courage lost, Reeling, they like drunken men
Find their skill and power overthrown; None can save but God alone.