The Great Wide Sea Psalm 104:25

Yonder is the sea, great and wide.—Psa_104:25.

Some people think that the writer of this psalm was sitting on the slopes of Mount Lebanon when he composed it. He was speaking about all the wonderful things God had made, and then his eye lighted on the scene in front of him. Away in the distance, as far as the eye could see, stretched the blue waters of the Mediterranean. And so the psalmist made a little word picture of what he saw. “Yonder is the sea,” he said, “great and wide,” and then he described the ships that were sailing on it, and the great sea-monsters that were sporting in it.

Now I want you to do just what that psalmist did. I want you to make a little picture of the great, wide sea. Perhaps some of you will say you can’t draw or paint. But that does not matter. The picture I want you to make is in your mind. I want you to imagine that you and I are standing on the seashore with the little waves lapping at our feet, and we shall listen to the message they whisper to us today.

1. And, first, I think the sea whispers, “I am a wonderful mirror. On my bosom I reflect the colors of the sky. When it is dark and stormy, so am I; when it is cold and grey, I also am cold and grey; when it is blue, my surface is like a sapphire. When the sun blazes forth, I sparkle like a diamond; when the moon shines, I carry a beautiful lane of light”

I think there are boys and girls who are like the sea. They reflect the thing nearest them. If they are with good people, they are good; if they are with bad people, they are bad; if their friends are foolish, they are foolish too.

Will you try to remember two things, dear children?

First, the sea reflects what is above it. It is a mirror of the sky. If you must copy somebody, copy somebody good, copy the highest, copy Jesus whom God sent to be our Pattern of all that is pure, and beautiful, and good. Sometimes the sea reflects what is beneath it—the rocks and the sand and the mud, but that is only in the shallow parts. It is generally the people who have not much depth who reflect the things beneath them, the things that are foolish and unworthy.

And the other thing I want you to remember is that the sea has a, color of its own. It is only the surface that reflects. If you go out in a small boat you will notice that the sea’s own color is a beautiful, cool green. God has given us each our own color too. He has made you just you and nobody else, and He wants you to be just you and nobody else. Learn everything that is wise and noble from your friends, and your books and your surroundings; but don’t forget that you have a place to fill that nobody else can fill, and that you can fill it best by being just yourself.

2. And, second, the sea whispers, “I am very strong. Today I break in ripples at your feet, but tomorrow I may dash ships to matchwood and toss great boulders as though they were pebbles.” Yes, the sea is very strong, but God is stronger. The winds and the waves must obey His voice, and when He says, “Peace, be still,” their raging ceases. When I stand by the seashore and hear the boom of the breakers, when I watch the great green billows roll in, curl over, and dash in helpless fury upon the rocks, I always think of two verses in one of the old Scotch psalms I learned when I was just about as big as some of you are—

The floods, O Lord, have lifted up,
they lifted up their voice;
The floods have lifted up their waves,
and made a mighty noise.
But yet the Lord, that is on high,
is more of might by far
Than noise of many waters is,
or great sea-billows are.

God can still the raging of the great seas, and He can still, too, the storms in our hearts. When we are filled with angry passions He can say, “Peace, be still.” Will you let God lay His gentle hand on you and take away all your angry, spiteful, ungenerous feelings?

3. Once more, the sea whispers, “I am very great. I am very wide. I am so much bigger than the land, that if you were to divide the world into seven parts I should occupy five of them, and the land but two. And I am very deep. In some places I am five or six miles deep, and if you sank the highest mountain in the world into these depths I should cover it by half a mile.”

Yes, the sea is very wide and very deep, but not wider than God’s mercy, not deeper than His love. That love is like a great ocean surrounding us and overwhelming us. We can never get beyond it or above it. It is grander, and more tender, and more compassionate than we can ever imagine. Some day, on the other side of the great ocean we must all cross at last, we shall see God’s love in all its breadth, and length, and height, and depth. But we can ask Him now to open our eyes so that we may behold a little of that love, to touch our hearts so that we may give. Him in return our entire love and devotion.