Certain scenes evoke a sense of rest and peace for me. One such picture is this view, captured by my Beloved, of an Oregon lake with the mountains mirrored in its reflection.
Or this scene of Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills of North Dakota taken many years ago while I was on vacation with my parents.
We are, of course, aware that water is not always absolutely still at the surface, and if they were totally still, they would be stagnant. There are the rippling sounds of the woodland waters as they slide over and around the rocks and stumps in their way.
With the right conditions, a stream can become a whitewater rapids. Also, there is the ocean with its rhythmical tossing of waves along the shore, a sound that many of us love to hear when we go to sleep.
Power hidden in tranquility.
Water can be extraordinarily powerful when drops of water combine along their way and, together, they plummet over a rocky edge to fall, sometimes, hundreds of feet to the bottom.
One of the majestic waterfalls in Yosemite National Park illustrates a waterfalls that is not only beautiful but which is, quite literally, capable of rearranging the earth’s surface.
While water and its need by humanity is universally known and while death will surely come if there is no rain or fresh water, we in our arrogance often ignore our dependence on God for our water.
This fact is reiterated in the Old Testament where Scripture tells us in Genesis 7 that God sent rain for 40 days and 40 nights, saving only Noah, his family and animals in the ark.
In Exodus we have the story of Moses seeking the release of God’s people from Pharaoh. Convincing Pharaoh required multiple plagues including one of rain, thunder and hail. Pharaoh said he would let the people go if God would stop the hammering hail and rain and in Exodus 9:33 we read:
So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and stretched out his hands to the LORD, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured upon the earth.
Of course, we know from the next passages in Exodus that Pharaoh again changed his mind, ultimately letting the people go only after death entered the country and all the first born sons died in one night.
King Ahab, also, had to learn the hard way that God is in control over ALL things, even rain. In 1 Kings 17:1 Elijah the prophet tells Ahab:
As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.
While it is the very next chapter in the Book of First Kings, from a chronological standpoint, three years had passed since this statement by Elijah. No rain or dew for three, dry, long years. Imagine the condition of the vegetation, animals and countryside, let alone the condition of the people after going three years without rain. Then, in 1 Kings 18:1, the Lord puts the exclamation point on his lesson for Ahab:
After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”
Jesus said, in Matthew 5:45, that:
God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
The source of water is, simply put, our Sovereign God.
Water that we need for our physical survival is provided for us by God. We cannot make it rain when we want it to do so. God is in control. He is sovereign. His will reigns and nothing will stop it from occurring as He decrees.
We may think that God is tranquil, that He is not doing anything so we don’t need to worry about Him as He is not a force that we need to reckon with.
Don’t be deceived. God is active in our world today, just as He was thousands of years ago. In Micah 6:8, God stated what mankind needs to do and there will be judgment if we do not do so.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
This judgment may not occur on earth, but rest assured it will occur at the end of time, because sin cannot go unpunished by a Holy God.
Isaiah fell on his face when he saw the vision of God seated on the throne.
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Isaiah instantly recognized that he was unclean and could not be before the Holy God in his sinful condition. God’s power may be hidden in seeming tranquility now, but it will be unleashed one day.
- Do we really have an accurate understanding of who we are and Who God is?
- Do we even begin to comprehend how all-encompassing our omniscient, omnipotent Sovereign is?
- Do we even recognize how arrogant we are when we think that we have it in our power to control anything, let alone that which is required for our survival!
- Do we comprehend how sinful and dirty we are when compared to the holiness of our God? Even our good deeds fail to merit attention … all our deeds are as filthy rags. See Isaiah 64:4.
Do I live my life in humble recognition that our loving God, who sent His Son for our salvation and who sent His Holy Spirit to be with us and to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the Almighty, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Sovereign God of the Universe? Do you so live?
Do we bow in submission and thankfulness for His Power, Mercy and Grace toward us? Do we give Him our life, daily?
Father, forgive me when I have gone my own way and have ignored You and Your Word. Forgive me when I have forgotten Who You are and when I have failed to give You all honor and glory. Forgive me when I have failed to yield my life, daily, to You. Cleanse me and enable me to have the will and the power to live so that Jesus is the One who lives through me, all to Your glory, through Jesus Christ my Lord!