Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Get it on or it's no good!

We New Zealanders love the water.  Why?  Because we’re surrounded by it!  We are a small island in the south Pacific Ocean and we have a lot of beaches; pretty good beaches too.  I live in a city squeezed between two harbours which means I have plenty of beach options come summertime and I, like many New Zealanders love the ocean.  And judging by the huge number of boat stores and bait supplies at every gas station you can tell that many New Zealanders are mad about boats, sailing and fishing.  You may have seen us in the America’s Cup?  

Every summer the New Zealand Coastguard produces ads about the importance of wearing a lifejacket while boating, because as wonderful and beautiful as the sea is; it can be a dangerous beast and it claims the lives of many Kiwis [New Zealanders] every year.  On a peaceful summer day it is hard to imagine the sea being a killer but our isolated position in the world means that at any time a storm could blow in; so wear your life jacket people – real men wear lifejackets!
For the people of Israel the sea was also a dangerous and frightening place.  It brought danger – other nations to overthrow them, sailors perishing in storms, these were common occurrences in those times.  So the imagery of the sea we see in the Bible is not of peace and fun times but of danger and hostility.  The angel tells Daniel of strange beasts rising out of stormy unruly seas and he is describing the kings who would come after Daniel to conquer God’s people and oppress them.  These kings did come (the Medes, Persians and Greeks) and did exactly that, right up to the time of Christ’s coming.  The kings and their nations destroyed the temple and brought alarm, distress, persecution and chaos to the Jews; God’s people.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-H3u5x_u-QuU/TsdwizJIiZI/AAAAAAAAEqQ/b24tKI6Qkj4/s1600/bb3.jpgFast forward to the book of Revelation and we see John using the same imagery of beasts rising out of the sea to describe yet more kings and kingdoms who will arise after Christ’s death and resurrection to bring alarm, distress and persecution to God’s people – the church – just as they did for the Jews.  And indeed we look around the world today and see just that – God’s people, the church, suffering much persecution and oppression at the hands of their governments and from other religions.
http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/images/Publications/safe-seas-clean-seas.jpgPeople of God – fear the sea (the literal wet one) and wear your life jacket!  For you never know when it will become unruly and send you to a watery grave.  But should you fear the seas that bring powerful persecutors who could destroy you? No.  For you already have on the life jacket of Christ [the armour of God?!?!] and you will be eternally safe.  Those beasts from the sea may kill your body but they cannot kill your soul.  You are safe forever in the warm jacket of Christ’s love.

1 comment:

  1. great post, loved the visuals :P