Author: Pastor Paul A. Bartz
God controls the seas with more ease than we control a glass of water. While Scripture is revealing God’s awesome and comforting power over the seas, it also reveals scientifically accurate facts to us about the seas. This accuracy is important, for if God’s Word is accurate only when it speaks in a comforting way to us, we have perhaps the strangest God that man ever thought of. Can you imagine God revealing His Word to us, conscious that He must be absolutely accurate about His comforting statements, and in the process of giving a text like Psalm 33:5.7, He says to Himself, “I must be careful to be truthful in verse 5, but in verses 6 and 7 I can make up what I like.” Or “I must make sure David copies verse 5 accurately, but I don’t need to pay too much attention to what he puts down for verses 6 and 7. ”
Those who propose that God is not concerned about the accuracy of the statements of Scripture that deal with our created world (by definition, scientific statements) don’t understand the concepts of accuracy and honesty. Even a man who is careful about accuracy gains a reputation for accuracy because it is his nature to be accurate. Men who are inaccurate in one area are not trusted even in those areas where they may be accurate in their statements because they are not by nature carefully accurate. This principle is a perfectly trustworthy rule for God because He is by nature perfect. It is therefore ludicrous to say that God is, by nature, concerned about the accuracy of statements which comfort us, but that He is not concerned about the accuracy or His statements, often in the same verses, which talk about our created world.
Let’s take a close look at Psalm 33:5.7. There we read that God loves righteousness and justice, and that the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord. No Biblical scholars would contest this. As Christians, we know that when we see the word righteousness we think immediately of Jesus Christ who is the Source of our righteousness. God’s justice was satisfied through His death on the cross.
Verse 6 reminds us that God created the heavens and everything in them. This verse reminds us, consistent with the rest of Scripture, that the instrument of His creating power was the Word. As John 1 reveals to us, this Word is the very same Son of God who took our flesh upon Himself in order to redeem us. We note how, even here in the Psalms, Christ is the center of Scripture.
In verse 7 we read that God gathers the waters together in a heap. The verse has often been understood as a figurative reference to the separation of the land and seas during creation week. But according to research that has just been publicized in the past couple of months, the waters of the seas are indeed collected into heaps. Using an altimeter that measures with microwaves, mounted on the Seasat satellite which was first orbited in 1978, Bill Haxby of the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory has found that the surface of the oceans are not as flat as expected–there are piles of water as high as a hundred feet in some places and valleys 100 feet deep in other places. Due to the different gravitational effects of various masses of rock and mountains under some parts of the oceans, more water masses over areas where there is more gravitational force. The deep ocean trench east of Japan produces a valley in the surface of the ocean that is 60 feet deep over a distance of 30 miles.
As in the case of Matthew Maury,( See Bible Study: God’s describes His design for the Sea) Scripture revealed scientific information about the oceans before it was ever proven by science. Unfortunately in this case no one had gone searching for the heaps of water in the ocean based on the text of Scripture. Though such hills and valleys of water in the oceans would at first seem impossible and unlikely to us (which is why most Christians understood this verse figuratively), God found a way to do this which, when investigated by us, seems perfectly logical! His control of the seas is not only a matter of power, but also a demonstration of His great wisdom.
Exodus 14: 15-31 tells us how God divided the Red Sea in order to save Israel, and in the same act, punish the Egyptians. God’s control of the sea was perfect and complete, and the act itself was enough to convince the complaining Israelites that God’s power was with them. Incidentally, if this had been only a swamp, as some are now suggesting (the “Reed Sea”), it would seem that the hard-hearted Israelites would not have been nearly so impressed.
Jesus showed Himself to be the same God who divided the Red Sea when He calmed the storm, as recorded in Matthew 8:23-27. He very simply spoke to the winds and the sea and it became calm. This incident was a clear demonstration of His person. Though He was man, asleep in the boat, yet He was God Whose Word must be obeyed by all the creation. He was so completely trusting of the power of His Father that He could sleep during the storm that was raising a lot of fear in the disciples who were experienced on the sea. This miracle seems all the more awesome to us because we, as the disciples, are confronted by, God, in normal human form, but with the power to stop a storm with His simple Word.
God’s creation of all that is, including the seas, and His control of even the seas, and Christ’s demonstration that He is that same God, all tied together in one package. Because He is our Creator He can hold us accountable for sin, and this is also why He desired to save us from the consequences of our sin even at the cost of the life of His Son, the Word through Whom all things were made. And it is because of His work of salvation that Christ is Lord of Lords and King of Kings! Since Scripture ties all of these together, it is quite arbitrary for man to step in and question the accuracy of what the text is actually saying by imposing other meanings on it, or simply labeling it as the product of human beings who were less scientifically aware than we are. This activity ultimately dishonors the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
Copyright © 1983 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329, 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com