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The Sea

Nearly everyone has their issues with the Bible. One of mine has to do with Revelation and the sea. Revelation 21:1 says, “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.”

To me the sea has always held a fascination. I loved to watch the Jacques Cousteau specials on TV in the 70’s when I was a child. Initially, in junior high, I wanted to be a marine biologist, and so on. While space may be the final frontier, I’d say we still have lots to learn about the sea.

When all is said and done and we’re in the new heavens and new earth, the scientist and explorer in me nearly drool over the idea of touring Creation with the Creator as our tour guide. “Core of the Earth? No problem.” “What does Venus really look like? Let’s go!” “Want to free dive the Marianas trench? I’ll race you!” The Xtreme sports will have nothing on us!

But what if there isn’t any sea? There are so many creatures down there from our wildest dreams and scariest nightmares, and they suddenly won’t exist? We won’t get to appreciate them fully? What a waste!

One commentary I read said that to John, (Revelation’s human author), the sea was an archetype for Death and Hades, and if they are no more then the sea is no more by parallel argument. Maybe so. But the sea is also life. Without our oceans, we wouldn’t be here. Most humans live within 200 miles of the sea. So there has to be more.

But even so, I’m still disappointed. The ocean is a draw for most humans in some way. It is a primal picture of power, and mystery, of a tool and resource, but also a snare and a danger. It is chaos, uncertainty, unpredictability, something on which we can test ourselves. Maybe that is part of the reason it disappears, I don’t know.

Yet, as wonderful as unhindered fellowship with God will be, I still intend to discuss the issue with Him, see if He’ll come around to my way of thinking.

Yeah, right. I’d as soon tame the sea.


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