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The Absence of the Sea

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. Revelation 21:1

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.


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