Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Seas of Life

Temple Baptist Church - 5-18-2014
Psalm 107:23-31
A. There is much said in the Bible concerning the sea. The word “sea” is found 400 times in the Bible while the word “seas” is found 25 times and the words “great waters” is found 16 times. A total of 441 references.
B. The seas and oceans of planet earth are vast in their proportion to land.
1. 71 percent of earth’s surface is covered by water and 96.5 percent of that is made up of oceans and seas. 140 million square miles!
2. The volume of these bodies of waters are 310 million cubic miles! An estimated 25 million species of life possibly live there.
3. The highest mountains on planet earth are to be found there. Mauna Kea, a mountain in Hawaii, from its base in the Pacific Ocean to its peak (10,000 meters) is 1,152 meters taller than Mt. Everest (8,848 meters).
4. The Marianas Trench is over 36,000 feet deep!
C. The seas or oceans of planet Earth are vital to its ecology. Ecclesiastes 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. (Salt is a cleansing agent and when rivers run into the sea, the pollutants remain in the sea and fresh water is evaporated and brought back to show by clouds. I call the oceans and seas the earth’s septic tank.)
D. The seas, in the bible, are a type of trouble or trials. I want to look at these verses for a few minutes in order to make applications of spiritual truths concerning the seas of life or troublesome times.
1. We “land lovers” sometimes go down to the coast and look out over the ocean with little realization of the size and power that makes it so great. As we have seen, the oceans and seas are vast beyond our comprehension. Just look at the futile efforts of our best technology to find a plane that went down over the Indian Ocean.
2. Those who “do business” in these great waters have “seen it all!” I am not talking about the vastness of the seas but the power: the suddenness and intensity of great hurricanes, currents, and 100+ foot waves with unbelievable power. We get a glimpse as an occasional hurricane comes in and we retreat inland to the safety of distance where these great storms die but, in the great waters, they draw their strength!
3. Four times in verses 8, 15, 21, 31, we find the words:Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” The central message of this Psalm is that God is good all of the time. Until we are in the power of the storm, we never pay attention to the “works” of the Lord in our lives. We take the good times for granted and look to Him when in great waters. No, He does not always keep His people from problems but He is always good to His people in their problems!
1. Seas are Importance Places – vs 23 - “go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great water.
a. Seas Are Prepared Places – Vs. 23 “sea … great water!” God created the seas and knows every part of it like the “back of His hand!” He made and knows every mountain and every valley in the seas.
b. I believe that God knows every trial that we will face in our lives. It is not that God creates troubles and problems but I believe that He controls their limitations.
c. It is not that God creates sinfulness nor does He condone it, but I believe that God still controls its limitation!
2. Seas are Busy Places – vs 24 – “see the works of the LORD”
a. Seas Are Purposed Places – His Plan! Psalms 77:19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (His purpose is to deliver the children of God! God does not purpose that we be destroyed and He will show up on time to deliver. When we get to the end of life and look back, we will see the hand of God in our lives.)
b. His purpose is to destroy the enemies of God! Exodus 14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. (As God destroyed Egypt; as God destroyed Haman; God will destroy those who oppose Him and refuse to get right. Egypt could have been spared if, at any time, they had turned around but God hardened their hearts and they continued until they perished.)
c. His purpose is to purify the saint and bring praise and glory to God! Exodus 14:21-22 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (22) And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. (In the sea, God is still God! Just let God be God, trust Him with all that you have, and He will be glorified.)
3. Seas are Powerful Places – vs 24 – “his wonders in the deep”
a. They are Turbulent – vs 25-26 – “and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. (26) They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths” (When I think of the turbulence of the seas, I think of 100+ foot waves and hurricanes that so often plague shipping routes and shorelines. Life is turbulent at best. Thank the Lord for the great calms that sometimes affected the sail ships but they seem to be rare, especially the older that we get.)
b. They are Fearful – vs 26-27 – “their soul is melted because of trouble. (27) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man … at their wit’s end”
Mark 4:35-38 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. (36) And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. (37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
c. They are Purging - Jude 13a Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; (I liken the ever churning of the oceans to the agitation of a washing machine. The polluted waters of the earth are purified in the raging brine of the seas and the sun evaporates fresh water from the surface and bring fresh water back to the land in the form of rain.)
4. Seas are Controlled Places – vs 28-30 – “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (29) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (30) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
a. The Lord gives peace in the Sea - Mark 4:39-41 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (40) And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (41) And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
b. The Lord gives deliverance from the Sea - Psalms 114:3-4 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. (4) The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
c. The Lord sets the bounds of the Sea - Jeremiah 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
5. Seas are Reflective Places – vs 31 – “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (During the storm, we go through a myriad of emotions which are common to most of us. But, after the storm, we can get help if we will just accept the sea and properly reflect back upon it.)
1. In the beginning of the storm We Find Confidence “God Will!”
2. In the midst of the storm We Find Confusion “God Hasn’t!”
3. In the depths of the storm We Find Complaining “God Won’t!”
4. In the length of the storm We Find Contemplation “God has turned His back on me”
5. In the end of the storm We Find Consideration – “God has been here and done it before”
6. In the reflection of the storm We Find Confidence – “God has done it before and God will do it once more”

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