No More Sea
In Revelation 21:1 the Bible says, “And there was no longer any sea.” I remember looking out over the Atlantic Ocean with its glistening blue water and it’s never ending caps. To me it is a thing of beauty. But strange as it may seem in a day when we can split an atom, walk on the moon and fly at supersonic speeds, the ocean still contains unsolved mysteries.
Many vessels and thousands of lives have fallen prey to the depths of the ocean.
I’m reminded of the apostle John who wrote the last book of the Bible. He was the last living apostle and was now exiled to a lonely, island called Patmos. This desolate island was surrounded by the surging waves of the Aegean Sea.
Throughout the Bible, the ocean is used to symbolize many negative and threatening things. In Psalm 77:16, 19, the sea is a symbol of mystery. In your life and mine, we also have many mysteries - unanswered questions that we would like to have the answers for. I wonder what we would find if we drained the ocean dry? I wonder what continents would show up, what canyons and craters, what mountains and valleys would appear?
The sea is indeed a symbol of the mystery we call life. We are so ignorant; We know so little - only a tip of the iceberg rises above the surface. As the Bible says, “we see through a glass darkly and we know only in part” but one day the mystery will clear and there will be no more “sea.”
The sea is also a symbol of evil and unrest. In Isaiah 57:20 we read, “The wicked are like the tossing sea which cannot rest.” Does anyone question that description for the day in which we live? Every day and in a thousand different ways, the turbulent waters of evil roll across America. We are in a restless time as a country, as well as a restless time in our world. Tranquilizers sell in record proportions, suicides in our global population take nearly 1,000,000 lives a year - one every 40 seconds. God’s map of the new heaven and the new earth reveals no turbulent oceans, no evil, and no unrest.
More than anything else, the sea is a symbol of separation. How lonely John must have been on the Patmos Island. Gone were the other disciples, gone was the fellowship with other believers, he was separated from everyone. No matter which way he looked, north, south, east or west, all he saw was ocean. Deep in his heart, he longed for the time when there would be no more separation.
In a very real sense, we, as believers, are exiled here on the earth. We are separated from the saints in previous ages, also separated from believers who have gone to heaven during our life time. But John in Revelation 21:1 said, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth and there was no longer any sea.” Mark it down, friend, whatever the sea symbolizes for you - mystery, evil, unrest or separation; In the new heaven and earth, there will be no more sea. All will be peace.
Dr. Lenny Wisehart, Evangelist and Pastor Church of the Nazarene, NBC Board of Trustees
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 02/25/2020