the God Who Moves the Sea (Psalm 104:6-9)

Psalm 104:6-9

6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;

the waters stood above the mountains.

7 At your rebuke they fled;

at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.

8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down

to the place that you appointed for them.

9 You set a boundary that they may not pass,

so that they might not again cover the earth.

I never will forget the first time I stepped into the ocean. Because I grew up in Illinois, a very safe place if one fears tidal waves, it wasn’t until I graduated high school that I first tasted salt water. I spent hours in the Pacific the very first day I ever was in the ocean, loving every minute of it.

What I also remember was the first 2 minutes of being in the ocean. You see, I walked in quite nonchalantly, assuming I could handle it. I was a pretty good swimmer. I had even been in a wave pool before. So, I was totally ready to deal with whatever the ocean threw at me. Besides, as I walked into the surf, the waves rolled gently in around my ankles and then up to my waist—no big deal.

In that first few minutes, I turned to say something to my brother about how neat it was to be there. Then I turned back to the west. Rising to meet me was a six-or-seven-foot wave. I was not prepared. The water slapped me in the face, and spun me in a backward summersault faster than I’ve ever flipped before. It dragged me along the sand and filled my shorts with the beach. Then, as I struggled to my feet, I was hit by a second wave that did almost the same thing to me.

As I fought my way back to standing upright and shaking the sand out of my drawers, I realized that I had previously had no Idea of the power of the waves. I had no clue that God’s creation, that water, was so much stronger than me.

If you’ve never experienced the ocean or seen the glory of mountains, you will have a hard time grasping the significance of the verses above. You see, it’s very hard to rightly estimate the majesty of lofty summits or the simply overwhelming power of the waves without seeing or feeling them. And without grasping the forces that are at work in those places, one will miss the great glory of God in the fact that God raised the mountains and set the boundaries for the seas.

Genesis 1 told us that, at one point, the earth was covered completely with water. God, with a command, pulled back the waters and made the dry land appear, mountains and all. God, with a word, overpowered the sea and raised the Alps. While a tiny wave of the ocean on a sunny day in California was enough to slap me around and make me look like an idiot, God shows that he is more powerful than the totality of the oceans. God is so much more powerful than you or me that it should make our heads spin.

I don’t know whether it is the ocean or the mountains or the canyons or the vast forests that most gets your attention in nature. Maybe it is the starry hosts, the shapes of clouds, the fierceness of tornados, or the intricate beauty of snowflakes that leave you in wonder. No matter what it is, remember to see that creation praises the Creator. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—three in one as our one Sovereign Lord—each played a role in creation. God’s massive power and his gentle artistry are on display. Keep your eyes and ears open. See the creation of the Lord. Praise him for being the only one who can move the mountains and calm the sea.