December 22 – Shell
Genesis 1; Job 38-39; Jonah 1
Life on earth would not exist without seas. Seas modulate temperatures on the earth’s surface, provide water, supply food, and function in a million different ways to make our earth what it is. The sea is also a source of amazing power. According to the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, a fully developed hurricane can release heat energy at a rate of 5 to 20×1013 watts. The heat release is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes. According to the 1993 World Almanac, the entire human race used energy at a rate of 1013 watts in 1990, a rate less than 20% of the power of a hurricane. The Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 killed over 200,000 people, more than the atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. 80% of the world’s population lives within 50 miles of the sea.
Shells are common symbols of the sea, and scallop shells, familiar worldwide and for all of recorded history, are commonly used as representative of all shells.
For all of the breathtaking power of the sea, the power of God is far more. He made the seas, the land, the sun, and even the universe. He controls everything in His perfect sovereignty. Scripture tells us that God set the limits of the sea, that He is the great Creator, and that He commands the sea and the creatures therein to do His will. Jesus, God the Son, calmed a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee with just His word.
Mankind prates about our seemingly amazing power. Armies wreak havoc across the globe, scientific advances come at dizzying speeds, and medicine tempts with the promise of enormous life spans. Nuclear energy, the same energy that runs the stars, seems the most promising, and the most terrifying, force in the universe. Man stands at the summit of learning gained over more than 6000 years of human history and proudly proclaims the death of god and the supremacy of humankind in the universe.
How quickly we forget that God made these things, and gave us the knowledge to use them for our needs and pleasures. He can continue to bless us, or He can withhold His blessing, but what He does will be influenced by our pride, which He hates, or our humility, which He loves. Our evil deeds will condemn us, but our good works, rooted in knowledge and the love of Jesus, will be richly rewarded.
Even as seashells remind us powerfully of the sea, let the sea remind us of the amazing power and love of the Lord. The sea’s bounty provides water, food, oxygen, work, recreation, and many other needs and wants of life, and the sea’s anger can result in terrifying carnage and destruction. God is infinitely more powerful, and He is always good.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
|O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,