Evening, December 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“And there is no longer any sea.” — Revelation 21:1
Scarcely could we rejoice at the thought of losing the glorious old ocean: the new heavens and the new earth are not made any fairer to our imagination, if, indeed, literally there is to be no great and wide sea, with its gleaming waves and shelly shores. Perhaps the text is to be read as a metaphor, tinged with the prejudice with which the Oriental mind universally regarded the sea in the ancient times? A real physical world without a sea is mournful to imagine; it would be an iron ring without the sapphire which made it precious. There must be a spiritual meaning here. In the new dispensation there will be no division–the sea separates nations and severs peoples from each other. To John in Patmos the deep waters were like prison walls, shutting him out from his brethren and his work: there shall be no such barriers in the world to come. Leagues of rolling breakers lie between us and many a kinsman whom tonight we prayerfully remember, but in the bright world to which we go there shall be unbroken fellowship for all the redeemed family. In this sense there shall be no more sea. The sea is the emblem of change; with its ebbs and flows, its glassy smoothness and its mountainous breakers, its gentle murmurs and its tumultuous roaring, it is never the same for long. Slave of the fickle winds and the changing moon, its instability is proverbial. In this mortal state we have too much of this; earth is constant only in her inconstancy, but in the heavenly state all sorrowful change shall be unknown, and with it all fear of storm to wreck our hopes and drown our joys. The sea of glass glows with a glory unbroken by a wave. No tempest howls along the peaceful shores of paradise. Soon shall we reach that happy land where partings, and changes, and storms shall be ended! Jesus will carry us there. Are we in him or not? This is the grand question.