The New Year has been good to me, so far. On January 4, 2019 I married my best friend. We had a wonderful wedding filled with fun and memories. Shortly after, we embarked on our honeymoon. We left out of Galveston, TX on a cruise ship and sailed for Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel. In Honduras we zip-lined through the forest. In Belize we hiked through some Mayan ruins. The temples and pyramids were truly remarkable.
Each morning, I would wake up early to sit on the balcony of our room that overlooked the ocean. Something about the giant abyss is hypnotizing. It is at the same time beautiful and terrifying. To think of the miles of darkness and emptiness below is enough to make one uneasy about standing so close to the edge.
Ancient Near Eastern cultures had a similar view of The Deep Unknown that I quickly became acquainted with. The waters represented chaos in their mythology. Even the opening chapter of Genesis pictures God forming order out of the chaotic abyss. Yahweh creates order simply by speaking. There is no struggle. He speaks and the Deep listens. The point would not have been missed on Ancient Hebrew people. Unlike other stories floating around in Mesopotamian literature, Yahweh is the God of the Deep. He doesn’t struggle to create order. He has no rival. It’s interesting that God doesn’t just do away with chaos, instead He subdues it. I’m not sure what the implications of this might be, I just find it interesting. In fact, God will do away with the sea, that is chaos. In Revelation 21:1 we are told that “the sea will be no more.” But back in Genesis, chaos is a part of the original creation. It is simply an aspect of our present reality.
Fast-forward to the New Testament. I’m sure you might be able to guess where I’m going to turn.
“On that day, when evening had come, he told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” So they left the crowd and took him along since he was in the boat. And other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?” He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then he said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!” Mark 4:35-41
Again, the symbolism would not have been missed on an audience that was steeped in Jewish religion. Jesus has power over the chaotic waters. Jesus is Yahweh. Jesus is the God who subdues chaos, He is the God who will one day return and vanquish evil and the chaos it brings for good.
I’m sure you’ve heard the now cliche “Jesus can calm the storms in your life” sermon, but it is true. He is the God who created order out of chaos in Genesis, He is the God who revealed Himself by calming the storm in Mark, and He is the God who will vanquish the sea in Revelation.
Will you trust in Him?
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