Sunday, September 30, 2012

Speaking to Self

Psalms 91:9-10 KJV
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

The wording of verse nine sounds as if the Psalmist is speaking to someone else. Some scholars say that someone is "the good man", and is a conversation between the Psalmist and all good men of all time. But Gill says that the grammar does not allow for that and is in fact the Psalmist speaking to himself. He is, in effect, encouraging himself in the Lord.

There may be far too little "speaking to ourselves" going on in modern Christianity. We are so busy listening to the voices of others
  • On the television
  • On the radio
  • On the printed page
When a matter arises we run quickly to the phone to call on someone for advice and counsel, or just a shoulder to cry on or a place to vent. Surely we would do well to learn the Word of God well enough to minister at least to our own souls if not to others around us.

There is nothing wrong with any of those resources God has given us a day a Christian is wise to use them. But our first response should be to run to the Lord and our constant practice should be to talk to our selves about the Lord. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Whatsoever Is Right

Matthew 20:7 KJV
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

There is a principle in this kingdom of heaven parable that applies in all cases with the Lord; He gives whatsoever is right - and more.

Those hired in the earlier part of the day are the Jews.
God's plan is to fulfill all of His promises to them as He made them. They shall receive whatsoever is right. When all is finished the Jews as a people will worship God as the One who fulfilled His promises to them completely.

Those hired in the eleventh hour represent Gentiles.
Though originally viewed as being a long away from God, they come to Christ, perhaps in their case, during the Tribulation, and will discover that God does in their case just as He does for the Jews; He fulfills His promise. They receive whatsoever is right and they receive so much more than they deserve.

Regardless of our own circumstances, when we follow the Lord we may trust Him for whatsoever is right and even better. God doesn't short change anyone. God gives us much better than we deserve, in this life and so much more in the next. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Very Heavens

Psalms 89:2 KJV
For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.

The Psalm is set in a time of difficulty and trial in the Davidic kingdom. The setting is difficult to ascertain but was likely after the death of Solomon and during those years of decline in Judah. It is possible even that it is after Josiah and the Davidic throne has been annihilated through Babylonian captivity. At any rate these were dark days for David's family.

But though the Psalm describes this darkness, the theme of the Psalm is something different; it is a declaration of the assurance that God will fulfill His promise to David of an everlasting throne. The Psalmist uses the very heavens as his testament that God is faithful to his promises.
  • Just as the sun rises and sets every day;
  • Just as the course of the stars is so sure that mariners have used them to guide their path through the endless oceans for millennia
so sure is the Psalmist that God’s promises to David are sure.

And so sure may we be that God’s promises, yea, God’s very Word is true and faithful and sure. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Assembled Christianity

Psalms 87:2 KJV
The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

Some things in the Bible are so easy to read over and give no thought. Here is a passage that is humbling and thought provoking, if not unsettling.
  • Zion is often used to speak of the temple and her gates would refer to the activities that go on there.
  • Jacob of course refers to the nation of Israel; in this case before it was divided.
The plain sense then is that God loves what happened in the place of worship more than what happened in the individual homes of the people.
  • The Lord loves the corporate worship.
  • The Lord loves the assembly of believers.
  • The Lord loves the organized services more than He does the lone believer.
Our day has seen a rush to get outside the doors of the local church.
  • House worship
  • Disorganized worship
  • Individual worship
is idolized in our time. The family is looked upon as its own sort of church with some families going so far as conducting their own ordinances within the home. It sounds great to some people but it is a spirit of rebellion against the Lord.

God loves seeing His people get together in a planned and organized worship setting for the purpose of speaking of Him. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Spirit of Elias

Matthew 17:10-13 KJV
And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

The disciples concluded this prophetic all course by understanding that the promise of Malachi that Elias would come once again meant not the Elijah would return to the earth but John the Baptist; one who had the Spirit of Elijah would come. Poole draws a parallel between the two men.
  • "Did Elijah freely reprove, not only Baal’s priests, but even Ahab and Jezebel? John as freely reproved Herod and Herodias, and the Pharisees and Sadducees.
  • Was Elijah an austere man? Such was John the Baptist.
  • Did Elijah flee unto the wilderness to save his life? John Baptist, for some time, lived and preached there.
  • Elijah living in a corrupt time, was a great means or instrument to restore decayed religion: so was John the Baptist, in the time wherein he lived."

It is true that John the Baptist denied being Elias, but I believe it is Barnes who points out that John merely denied being the Pharisees perception of the fulfillment of the prophecy and not the true fulfillment.

We need some later day men who have that same spirit of passion for the ministry
  • Dedication to the things of the Spirit
  • Fearlessness in the message
  • Other worldliness rather than being worldly

May God raise up a John the Baptist and another Elias in our midst. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Battle Hard Won

Psalms 83:16 KJV
Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.

Barnes Notes:
"This explains the drift and design of the whole prayer in the psalm. It is not a malignant prayer for the destruction of their enemies; it is not a wish that they might be made to suffer; but it is a prayer that the divine dealing might be such as to lead them to the acknowledgment of the true God. "

"Anything that leads people to an acquaintance with God, and results in securing his friendship and favor, is a gain, and will be cause of thankfulness in the end."

This may be the New Testament way of viewing all of the imprecatory Psalms. No doubt the Christian is called upon to use even the hand of chastening, not as a means to get even, but as an attempt to bring restoration to the will of the Lord. There is little place in the New Testament for calling down fire unless it is that the one is away from God and the intent of the one who is more spiritual is to see them reconciled. God's plan is unity. It is a quality that must be fought for and when we finally possess it we will know that it was in a battle hard won. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Free Will and the Right to Use It

Psalms 81:13 KJV
Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!

This passage squashes the theology of the hyper-Calvinist who refuses to acknowledge human responsibility. God did not superintend over Israel's free will.
  • He gave them His will
  • He provided leadership from Moses
  • He directed them through the pillar
  • He delivered to them His Word
But He left them with a free will and the right to exercise it.

God is sovereign. His plan is in operation and will be accomplished just as He has deemed. His work with both the Jewish a day the Gentile world will end exactly as He has decreed. But multitudes of both Jews and Gentiles will miss the plan of God because they have refused to hearken and walk in His ways. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What To Do When God is Against Our Prayer

Psalms 80:4 KJV
O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?

Here is very interesting language. The Psalmist says that God is against their prayers and not just against them. This has to mean that their prayers are not being answered. But given that it is God breathed the meaning goes beyond that. Our Lord would have us to know that it is possible for Him to withstand our prayers.

We like to say that there are three possible answers to a prayer;
  • Yes
  • No, or
  • Wait
Here is a forth. It is possible for God to be adversarial to a prayer. It is possible that, further than "no", God is opposed to our prayer; we want something that God is opposed to our wanting. It seems to me that the appropriate way to respond would be to stop asking and stop wanting that which God is opposed to.

The Psalmist goes on to pray, "Turn us again". He did not ask God to turn. He asked God to turn them. When our very prayers are despicable to God what needs to happen is that we ask God to turn us, not that He answer our worldly, selfish and wicked prayers. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Day of Battle

Psalms 78:9 KJV
The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.

The occasion of this Psalm is indiscernible. It was most likely written in or around the time of David and therefore long before the rebellion under Jeroboam.  Ephraim is often used as a name to describe the ten northern tribes just as Judah is often used to refer to the two southern tribes. No doubt that it is being used in that manner here. Still; though this is previous to their rebellion, given that
  • The ten northern tribes were never completely loyal to David
  • There is no reference to a battle when Ephraim turned back on the rest of the national and
  • God (nor His Word) is not bound by the limitations of time so that the penmen often wrote concerning things they personally had no knowledge of
It is, in my understanding, best to attribute this as the rebellion of the Northern tribes from God's kingly line.

And what I learn here is that loyalty to God's principles is a battle. It is hard fighting. Though God has armed us well, we still must do the work of hard combat if we are to remain true to the Lord and His Word. The world, the flesh and the devil give us constant conflict and what we might often see as reasonable excuses to defect from what we are taught and remove our loyalties to another cause. The good fight of faith is not just a fight for souls and a fight for doctrinal truth; it is often a fight for loyalty.
  • Loyalty to our church
  • Loyalty to our commitments
  • Loyalty to our marriage vows
That is a fight failed as often as we see
  • Marriages, even among professing believers ending in divorce and
  • Christians today who move church membership as casually as we might change which shopping center we prefer
It's a battle out there. As we fight the good fight, never lose sight that the battle for loyalty to God's church and our commitments is as much a battle front as is souls or fundamental doctrines. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Drink to the Last Drop

Psalms 75:8 KJV
For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

The picture of a cup in the hands of God is a picture of judgment.

The Bible says of the wicked that this judgment will not only be poured out upon them but that the dregs in the bottom will then be wrung out for the wicked to drink. They will be judged until the judgment of God is exhausted. While the mercy of God in new every morning that mercy will not be extended on the Day of Judgment. Woe to the man who faces this cup!

But the point of this passage is that the wicked themselves wring out the dregs to drink the last drop of God’s wrath. It is not God that withholds mercy; it is the wicked who will not accept mercy.

So it is with those who are condemned to be lost.
Never let it be said that God did this. The lost man is condemned to eternal hell because he has judged himself unworthy of eternal life.

So it is with the Christian who chooses sin.
It is not that God has no means of escape but that he has chosen a path that is not God's. He drinks the dregs that he has wrung for himself. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

But As For Me

Psalms 73:2 KJV
But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

Some of the most dangerous words in the Christian language are, "But as for me." The Psalmist admits the goodness of God on others but then descends into a pit of self pity the likes of which can only be explained by the fact that so many of us make the same mistake.

This Psalm has obvious benefit to the oppressed an downtrodden believer as it gives a cure for the problem of self pity and depression. The cure is not found in complaining or in seeking some sort of vindication; the cure is found in drawing near to the Lord through
  • Honest worship in His house
  • Reflection on the eternal fate of the ungodly and
  • Remembrance of the goal of the believer, which is in heaven
Truly it is good for us to draw near to God. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Called, Capable and Commissioned

Matthew 10:1 KJV
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

To the twelve Jesus gave
A Call
I see in the call a type of affection. Jesus invited them to come toward Him. Since man's fall, there had been a wall separating men from God. Now God through Christ is inviting men to come to Him.

A Capability
The word power here is not the same as the root for dynamite. This one means influence, authority or ability. Whom the Lord calls the Lord enables.

A Commission
Jesus sent them on a mission. None of us is called simply to enjoy the fellowship. We are all called to the mission of the Lord. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Postings

I have been away from an internet connection for several days and only now have been able to upload my visits with the Lord for September 16-18. I trust they will be blessed though late.


Psalms 69:5 KJV
O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

"…however conscious of uprightness he might be in his dealings toward people, yet toward God, he was a sinful man."

David here states a truth that is always right to keep before us; God knows our foolishness and our sins. It serves no good purpose to attempt to conceal them from Him. The only productive thing is to confess them to Him.

I do not mean to say that since He knows about them we may as well flaunt them and dwell in them, for we are taught to mortify the deeds of the flesh. Ours must be constant war with the sins of the flesh. But to hide from God that we are in this war is folly beyond sinful foolishness.

If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Will of the Lord

Matthew 8:2-3 KJV
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

What an encouragement it is when the Lord says, "I will." 

Not everyone who has ever been sick has been healed. That was never the point of Christ's healing those He did. The point was that what He wills, He is able to perform.

  • He wills the salvation of all those who will call upon Him for it
  • He wills that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish
  • He wills that those who come to Him be kept by Him, preserved and protected by the sealing work of the Holy Spirit
  • He wills that those who are His be with Him in His Father's house.

What a blessing and comfort to be in the will of the Lord. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Better Than Life

Psalms 63:3 KJV
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

"For life without the love of God is nothing else than death: a man that has no share in the love of God is dead while he lives; all the enjoyments of life, health, riches, honour, friends, c. are nothing without the love of God the meanest temporal blessings with it are preferable to the greatest without it, Pro 15:17; it lasts longer than life, and therefore must be better than that"

"Thy favor; thy mercy. This is of more value than life; more to be desired than life. Life is the most valued and valuable thing pertaining to this world which we can possess."

"But O how few prefer the approbation of God to the blessings of life, or even to life itself in any circumstances"

These were the convictions of countless Christians who, though I am sure loved life, chose death rather than to deny their faith in Christ. I read where Pliny the Younger, who was responsible for the execution of Christians in his region of authority, wrote to the Emperor Trajan asking for advice. His concern was that people were being accused of being Christians very frequently and often by anonymous tips. He wrote to Trajan that he believed Christians should be put to death but doubted whether it should happen just because someone - especially and anonymous someone - claimed a person was a Christ. Pliny then suggested that no one be put to death for being a Christian who would deny his faith. As Pliny understood it a true believer in Christ could not and would not deny the Lord.

I wonder if we have that same conviction today? I wonder if our gospel has become so watered down that most Christian today would reason that, since they can't loose their salvation anyway, it could not hurt anything to deny Christ to save their lives?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

That HIll, That Year

Matthew 6:6 KJV
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

As I read this I recollect the year 1987. Only two years earlier I had taken my then pregnant wife to the city of Astoria, Oregon and submitted her and our (by this time two) children to embarrassing deprivations, all in an effort to do what I was clearly not capable of; planting a New Testament Baptist Church.

By almost every measure the attempt was failing.
  • The two families that had said they were praying for a church both quit
  • We received almost no financial support from churches of like faith
  • Work was very scarce and I wasn’t good at job hunting
  • The only building we had been able to secure for meetings was an abandoned gas station
  • A third couple we had met and grown to love quit our small congregation
Word came to me that a church in town was without a pastor and the numbers of people meeting there had dwindled to very few – perhaps as few as our small congregation. Their doctrine was different than ours and I did not believe it would be appropriate or of the Lord to approach this group and ask them for their building. But I did ask God.

On a sunny spring day I parked myself on a hillside within sight of that building and opened my Bible to Matthew six and focused my prayers on verse six. I told the Lord that I did not believe I could ever tell a soul what I was asking for but that I was asking Him for that building. I drove to that hill and read to God Matthew 6:6 for what I think were months. 

God answered my prayer but not exactly as I expected. He did not give me that building, but he did, in fact, give me a church building. Having never told a soul of my prayer, one morning, as I prayed in my gas station study, the pastor of a different church in town came to pay me a visit. He, it turned out, was about to resign his pastorate. The church was a Baptist church but a part of a denominational organization and that denomination was not willing to aide this small congregation. Would I, they wondered, be willing to take over? God gave us a building and, through a process of course, a larger congregation. In a matter of a few months we had gone from desperation to becoming a thriving church with new members being added regularly and souls coming to know the Lord.

I cannot read Matthew 6:6 without remembering
  • That year
  • That hill
  • That prayer and
That God is absolutely alive and working in my life.

Friday, September 14, 2012

An Impossible Standard

Matthew 5:20 KJV
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:48 KJV
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I see this portion of the Sermon on the Mount as an explanation of the intent of the Mosaic Law. The point of that Law and the point of Matthew 5:20-48, is to express the utter impossibility of a man making himself righteous through obedience to a system of laws and rituals, not to provide man with a checklist upon the completion of which a man could consider himself righteous. The Lord, in effect, made the expectation so high that it is an impossible standard to be kept.

The Pharisees were considered masters at the Law. They had studied it and devoted their lives to the teaching of it and the practice of it. But Jesus said to this anxious crowd that their righteousness would have to exceed that of the scribe and Pharisees if there was any hope of them entering into heaven. What follows that statement is an interpretation of the Mosaic Law that is unreasonable given the sin nature of man. Some have appeared to tame the flesh and do the right thing on the outside but no man has ever tamed the heart.
  • Even the man who would never consider murder has fought anger in his heart
  • Even the man who has not committed adultery has fought with lust
  • Even the most honest of men have learned that the only way to be true to his word is to be bound by a contract
  • Even the best of men struggle in areas such as loving their enemies
And then there is Christ’s final nail in this segment of the sermon,
Matthew 5:48 KJV
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
No man can possibly live up to this expectation. It is an impossible standard. It is beyond the reach of any man. It leaves us hopeless, doomed, ruined. What is man to do?

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

All But Not Every

Matthew 4:23 KJV
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Sometimes the most common word can carry enormous importance. The word "all" is used so commonly that we don’t likely give it much thought, but it has a huge significance in the Bible.
·         When the Bible says that God would have all men to be saved, what is meant? We know that all men aren't saved.
·         Jesus went through all of Galilee but that doesn't mean he visited every home.
·       Jesus healed all manner of sickness and disease but that doesn't mean that every sick person was healed and that no one died after this.
·         His fame spread through all of Syria but that doesn't likely mean that every soul in Syria had heard of Him.

Years ago I heard a preacher from Texas say that America was now evangelized and that our attention should be turned to other parts of the world. The fact is that, though I think every community in America probably has some sort of church, there are still some, many, even most people in every community who have not been saved.

Though Jesus had done much He left the greatest part of the work to be done by His followers. His "all" did not finish the job but only got it started. And that is exactly how we ought to consider our work; when we have done all that we can do in our service to the Lord, we still have much more to do. We cannot afford to see our task as finished until our earthly course is completed.
·         There are still those who are not saved
·         There are still those who must be instructed
·         There are still cities, towns and villages that are in need of a gospel preaching and Bible teaching church.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Psalms 56:1 KJV
To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath. Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

Reading the title of this Psalm struck me as this word is new to me; I do not know that I have seen it before. (I know it was there, but I never paid attention to it until this morning.) The word describes a dove who is far from home and does not complain. It is an apt description of David when he goes to Gath and dwells with the Philistines because Saul is set on killing him.

This would not have been an easy time for him. The pressures of living among an enemy people yet loving God's people would have been challenging to say the least. But the Psalm, rather than being one of complaint, is a Psalm of praise. Indeed some have suggested that the title must be wrong because the tenor of the Psalm is not consistent with such depressing circumstances. The suggestion is unfounded, however, and the Bible gives us a wonderful lesson; when circumstances are the worst, we are best served by praising God. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An Answer to Depravity

Psalms 53:2-3 KJV
God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Though God knows all things and sees all things there are some remarkable instances when God paid particular attention,
  • After Adam and Eve sinned
  • After the imaginations of men's hearts were only evil continually
  • After Lot had vexed his righteous soul in Sodom and Gomorrah
And then there is this passage. Here were find that God's conclusion was again against man; “they are together become filthy, there is none that doeth good...” Thus is established the doctrine of the depravity of man. No one seeks after God.

But then there is another exceptional case when God looked down upon the children of man; that time of Christ's incarnation.

The work of Christ to seek and to save the lost answers the problem of the depravity of man. Not that Christ's gospel saved all men but that His gospel is sufficient to save all men. It is true that man does not seek after God. But God through Christ, sought after man. And not just elect men but all men so that now, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” What Christ accomplished is sufficient for all and effectual for all who believe.

Ours is not to decide who may or may not be saved. Ours is to go after all the lost trusting that any who call upon Christ shall be without doubt born again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Stand Strong

Psalms 52:1 KJV
To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.
Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.

The Situation
In the title
Doeg saw David with the priest (who did not know David was fleeing King Saul) and turned him in to Saul. Saul then killed all the priests at Nob. A tragic situation.

The Scolding
Vs 1-7
David's prayer/scolding of Doeg is merciless. This man, David was confident, would pay for his sin.

The Standing
Vs 8-9
Though David was in flight for his life and though a terrible thing had happened in Nob, David's faith was in God. He could not have known what would be the eventual outcome, but he did know that God was over it. He therefore stood tall and strong and rejoiced in his faith.

We don’t always know why the tragic things happen around us, to us or sometimes because of us. However, if we follow the Lord through it we can still praise Him and stand in His grace.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Follower of the Fool

Psalms 49:13 KJV
This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

Barnes Notes says,
“The idea is, that it is folly for a man to cherish these hopes; to feel that wealth is of so much importance; to imagine that it can deliver from the grave; to suppose that he can perpetuate his own name, and secure his possessions in his own family upon the earth. And yet the world is still full of people as foolish as were those in the time of the psalmist.”

More foolish than the fool is the man who follows the fool.

I have seen in my few years this folly both among the unbelievers and believers. I have witnessed and, to my chagrin, recognized in my own being the tendency to follow after family friends and peers, repeating their patterns even when I know or at least am suspicious that those patterns are foolish.

Men tend to cling to their circles of friendships so strongly; we tend to be so dependent upon those who have become our "herd" that we would follow our herd off the cliff rather than to risk the loneliness of being rejected by that same herd.

It is true that God calls us sheep and one of the strongest qualities of a sheep is his herd mentality. But there is a remedy offered the sheep who finds himself in a foolish flock; God has provided a Great Shepherd who calls His sheep to follow Him and not the flock. The most foolish fool is the one who continues to follow the fool.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

No More Sea

Revelation 21:1 KJV
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

The Apostle seems to have been struck by the fact that the new earth has no sea. At least whatever waters there will be are not as obvious as what there is now. The intimation is that this new earth will be much more like the original before the flood. That there is water in the new earth as is apparent by the river that flows from the throne. It could be that John could not see the sea because it will be underground as it originally was.

I see this as a compliment to the fact that there will be no sun in eternity. The Lamb will be the light of the new earth. Light is life sustaining but it isn't godlike. We do not need the sun, we need the Lord. No sun in eternity serves to prove that.

In the same instance, worshippers of the planet have made the earth their "mother," and the sea is seen as central in "Mother Earth's" power. The sea
  • Regulates our temperatures
  • Recycles our atmosphere and
  • Reconditions our water sources
as well as a host of other functions that I am not up on. But all of these functions, like that of the sun, are the creations of God and only serve to do what God Himself is capable of without them and will do in the eternal earth.
  • God is our sustainer, not the earth
  • God is He whom we should seek