Prayer for the day
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvellous things.
Scripture for the day
Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink. At least, not a drop in these passages. It’s incredible how many times we see water in the Bible, used both as a symbol of fear and a symbol of purity. The Israelite people, in general, feared the water, because of its mythical power as well as because of its actual power. Water is unpredictable and dangerous. It can be used to wash, but it can also kill.
In the book of Numbers, water is used to purify from contact with death. Interestingly, the one thing that can be terrifying and deadly can also cleanse from death (symbolically). In fact, from two symbols of death (the wildness of water and the ashes of a burnt animal) comes life (purity).
Jesus likewise turned the tables for water. The Sea of Galilee is a scary place in a storm, wild and unpredictable. Instead of fearing with the disciples, Jesus takes another tack. He exercises divine command over the water and strides toward the disciples, who understandably think they’re seeing something dead, as only dead things would dwell with this deadly water. Jesus shows them life in the midst of death.
Numbers and Mark both point us to the presence of life conquering the presence of death. They both show that God, in His divine power, is able to overcome even the most terrifying thing: death, and give life in its place.
What is your water today? What is the thing that causes the greatest fear and consternation? Are you afraid of death?
Most people are. But we serve a God bigger than water, ashes, and the grave. Thanks be to God.