The boiling pot and the hoary deep are weapons that the devil uses against believers. These two weapons are among the oldest and most effective instruments of Satan. They are indeed very old weapons and are supposed to have become obsolete. However, many believers are still ignorant of these devices of the wicked one and are therefore unable to survive under its influence. As old as they are, they are still as efficient in pulling down believers as they were when they were first used. It pains my heart when I see a believer suffering under these instruments of spiritual destruction.
To really understand this topic, we need to first talk about the sea. The biblical concept of the sea is one of the keys for searching out scriptural revelations. Just as the sea makes up over 72% of the earth surface so does the biblical concept of the sea unlock majority of the things we should know about the world that we live in as believers. When God mentions the sea, He means much more than we can possibly imagine.
What then is the sea and what does it stand for?
1. The sea stands for the site for the great conflict that is in this world: In the account of the beginning, we read that God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep(Gen 1:1-2). The deep stands for the sea and we will see here that darkness was concentrated there. Darkness itself represents the life-draining conflict between good and evil. When God separated this darkness from the light that He brought into the world on the first day, we read that He called the darkness night (Gen 1:5). By calling the darkness night, God showed us what darkness really stands for. We know that the night is in fact an admixture of light and darkness. The night is dark, yet it usually possesses some dim light from the moon. So it is only at night that we see light in darkness and darkness in light. Light and darkness, the two great opposing forces, face each other only at night where both of them are present and none is able to overrule the other. This is the unending and life-draining conflict we are talking about and the site for this great conflict in the beginning was at the sea.
2. The sea represent everything on present earth that God will not allow in His kingdom: If we look deeply into the scripture, we will find out that God has planned never to include the sea in believers' home. In Eden we saw that no seas or large water bodies were allowed within its boundaries. God only allowed a river to flow from Eden into the garden to wet it (Gen 2:10). There were no sea creatures among the animals that Adam named (Gen 2:21). God excluded the sea from the Garden of Eden and this definitely means something. Again God excluded the sea from the New Heaven and the New Earth. John the beloved in Revelations 21 saw the New Heaven and the New Earth descending from heaven and he was quick to notice that there was no sea in it (Rev 21:1). The two references above, among others that can be found in the scriptures, point to the fact that the sea or the deep is that ugly part of life on earth that God wants to put an end to when He shall return to make all things perfect.
3. The sea is a place of great distress: in the beginning the waters covered everywhere and there were no creatures. The whole earth was in chaos, all that could be seen were the angry waves of the sea and the terrifying noise of the troubled waters (Gen 1:1-2). The world could not support life because of the bad state of things and was therefore allowed to be empty. This was majorly due to the fact that the sea had not been separated from the land. Besides, the creatures which God wanted to create for the sake of inheriting His kingdom were not going to be sea creatures. God therefore had to separate the land from the sea and provide a quieter place for the creatures He has reserved to be part of His kingdom.
God created the sea for a purpose but we will see that He is not interested in keeping it forever. It is just like a vessel of dishonor which He uses and discards afterwards.
However, there is an evil creature that loves the sea so much because of his hatred for light. That creature is the devil. He loves the sea and the attendant darkness of the deep because that is where darkness gains the opportunity to attack light. And this is exactly what the devil loves to do. The devil hates light and God also hates him for this reason.
God usually refers to the devil in His parables using different powerful sea creatures as symbols to represent him. Of course, we know that Satan will not inherit God's kingdom. No wonder, God refers to him as a sea monster. One of the places God figuratively refers to the devil this way is in His response to Job in the book of Job chapter 41. There He addressed him as the proverbial Leviathan- a very powerful sea monster (Job 41:1-34). This was not the first time He will use parables to address the devil's wickedness. He also spoke about him in the prophecies of Isaiah. There He called him another proverbial name- Lucifer (Isaiah 14:3-17). God speaks in parables to hard hearted people against whom He plans to stretch out His fierce judgment. He did this so that though they hear Him, they will not understand and since they can't understand they will not be able to turn to God or repent (Mk 4:12). The devil was one of those hard hearted folks whom God swore to destroy in their sins.
The devil hates light so much that he always resides in the deep. He loved the conflict of this world so much because through it, he gains the opportunity to quench the light of men. Anyone seeing him in the deep may think God confined him there but this is not true. The reason why he loves the night is because it provides him the opportunity to catch believers unawares and sow tares in their corn fields.
What then does the sea represent to a believer and why is Satan so interested in it? The sea stands for the believers' struggle to retain the light of God in his life; it signifies his fight to lead a holy life. The sea represents the believers' constant war against the Adamic nature. It represents everything in this life which God is interested in saving him from. The sea is the corruption that is in this world. It is that which makes the righteous uncomfortable while living in this corrupt world. It represents the unending lure of sin. It is the hallway of temptation. It is the reason why the Christian seeks refuge among other believers. It is what controls over 72% of the world's systems, culture, beliefs, speech, religion, desires, ambitions, dealings and temperaments but which are against the will of God. It is that which makes the Christian feel disconnected with the people of the world. It is that which, by trying to avoid, makes the people of the world see him as foolish and rigid. It is what makes the Christian to moan and groan in anticipation of the coming of God's kingdom and the return of Jesus Christ. It is that which is present with him but which he is constantly running away from. It is the reason why he can't stop praying. It is the reason why he is always running to the presence of his God. The sea is everything the believer must overcome in other to inherit the kingdom of heaven. It represents all the forces of this present world that wants to snuff out the life of God from his spirit. It represents all the troubles of life that wants to leave him so worried and discouraged that he wonders if God truly loves him. The sea is the battle ground of the soul. It is the place of great conflict where darkness comes face to face with light.
The sea is a natural component of the earth. Everyone whether a believer or unbeliever lives in a world that is dominated by the troubled waters. No one has any answer to the problem of life's conflict. All through the Old Testament we never heard of any set of people who had power over the sea except God's people the Israelites. This nation was made to walk through the red sea but not on it. However, when Jesus came, He displayed total victory over the sea by walking on it as one would walk on dry land. This is greater than anything the Old Testament prophets ever did. No wonder He later told the disciples that though they will encounter troubles in this world, they need not worry because He has already overcome the world. The bible told us that the disciples were amazed when they saw Jesus walking on the sea. At another time, He simply spoke and the angry waves of the sea subsided. All these show that Jesus has power over the sea of conflict and believers do not have to worry. It means that though the Christian will definitely encounter the sea of life one way or the other, he will surely overcome if he trusts in the Lord.
Please note that the waters of the sea are never still. However, there are times when the sea becomes extremely violent and threatening. These are times when the proud waves rise to heaven and even the strongest believer is threatened. This kind of a situation is what is called THE BOILING POT.
Tunji Abiona is a Christian writer whose mandate is to call believers' attention back to the path of true religion as laid down by our Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in Nigeria and fellowships with The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
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