Appropriately enough, today’s study is from the blog Cindy By The Sea. That sounds so relaxing right now, doesn’t it? This is her third selection at C201 — see below for other links — and appeared recently at her blog under the title And There Was No More 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
No more sea! Can you imagine that! For those of us who live on or near the ocean, it’s a hard concept to imagine. No more sea. But, that’s what the Bible says.
With three-quarters of the earth made up of water, it’s hard to imagine life without these beautiful and petulant bodies of water; a particularly disappointing thought to those of us who enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, sailing on or just sitting beach side along one of their beautiful shores.
So, why, no more sea?
I was talking to my daughter Seven Stars the other day, when she brought the subject to my attention. For some reason, she had been giving it some serious thought and had a number of insights with which to share with me. After our discussion, I suddenly understood, why, there will be no more sea. Something I had never really understood or thought much about before.
The Bible has a lot to say about water – both rivers and seas. And, there seems to be a clearly defined differentiation between the two. For you will notice, while there is no more sea in the new heaven and earth, there is a river. A crystal clear river that flows from the throne of God.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb.” Revelation 22:1
Now, why might this be, rivers, but, no seas?
Let’s look at a few examples.
Moses was drawn out of the water in a basket which was floated on top of the waters of the Red Sea.
Jesus walked on the water at the sea of Galilee.
Noah’s ark was lifted up and floated on the waters, which covered the earth.
Where does Leviathan reside? In the sea.
Where does the beast of Revelation rise up from? The sea.
Do you see a pattern developing? There appears to be a clearly defined difference in the Bible between that which is in the sea from that which is on the sea? A difference, which, I believe is key to understanding, why, in heaven, there will be no sea.
There was a movie by this name a few years ago, The Abyss. The abyss referring to the deepest, darkest part of the sea. But, in the Bible it is a word which refers to the bottomless pit, the underworld, the deepest part of the ocean or hell. This is the place where in Jude 1:6,7 the angels who left their first estate are held in chains. And, it is the sea that is the burial place of the wicked, who died in Noah’s flood, as well as the Egyptians who pursued Moses and the Israelites as they fled Egypt.
It is against this backdrop that we see and understand the importance of Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14:22-33. For in walking on the water, Jesus demonstrated his power not only over nature but, more importantly over the sea itself. For to place feet on is to claim dominion. And, in this instance, Jesus clearly demonstrates his power over the sea and over everything in and under it, including the abyss.
But, rivers are something else. Rivers begin high in the mountains (mountain heights are always synonymous with the dwelling place of God). And, streams like God’s grace flow downward until they reach the hills and valleys below providing life to all living things as they rush along their course. Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river and it was this same river that Joshua and the Israelites passed over in order to come into the promised land.
Yes, the sea teems with life and, we glorify God for his stunning creation. But, for all their beauty, they will not be found in heaven – for nothing sin stained will – and while, the sea in and of itself is not evil, from what we are told in scripture, those found within the confines of her deepest regions are …..
“In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword — his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea.” Isaiah 27:1
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6
Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! ~ Cindy
Previous articles here at C201 from Cindy By The Sea:
Also, click through to the original link for this story to see a reader comment with a different interpretation of what is meant by sea in this verse. There is a lot more depth you can get into on this particular word study; as you begin to explore more references it keeps getting more interesting!