LORD, you have made so many things!
How wisely you made them all!
The earth is filled with your creatures.
There is the ocean, large and wide,
where countless creatures live,
large and small alike.
The ships sail on it, and in it plays Leviathan
that sea monster which you made.
Read Psalm 104:24-34,35b
It’s unusual to find an Old Testament writer writing in such joyful terms about the sea. For the Israelites the sea was a dreadful place, filled with huge creatures that inspired terror, a place they rarely went to. To die at sea was to go forever into the realm of the evil spirits and the gods of the deep.
The psalm writer is so confident in the power of God, the creator, that he can write playfully about a realm which normally terrifies him. He even has Leviathan, that much-feared sea monster, frolicking playfully with its creator. God’s power is such that even the beings of the deep are controlled by him.
Jesus disciples saw this too. After they had been scared almost to death by a huge storm and had accused Jesus of not caring if they lived or died, they saw his power. With all the awe of this psalm writer they exclaimed, ‘Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him’ (Mark 4:41b).
What about us? Today our fears are more ‘sophisticated’—our ‘sea monsters’ terrors of the mind, fears of failure, and so on. Our storms are the crises and hassles of life. But they are no less real, no less terrifying, when we feel we have no hope.
You, too, can have total confidence in the power and the love of your creator as you wrestle with the troubles of life.
Father, give me the faith which trusts you in all situations. Amen.
by Robert Turnbull, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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