“All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.”
The water factor
God has set up many natural systems to show us his power and glory in how He does things in our world and beyond, and also in the spiritual life. One of these is the water cycle. The water is evaporated by the sun into earths atmosphere and becomes vapour in the form of clouds. When the time is right, the vapour falls on the earth as rain, snow or hail, mists and fogs, etc. The rain runs down the earth, as fresh water, and replenished the living things and runs back into the salty sea. The salt water is then, evaporated again, looses it’s salt and is evaporated back into the clouds. So goes the water cycle. The whole system is self-supporting and the mighty seas are kept within the bounds that have been set for them.
“… when he gave to the sea its boundary, that the waters should not violate his commandment, when he marked out the foundations of the earth;”
The water cycle is necessary for the upkeep of life and the propagation of it on our planet. Without it, or if it was to stop for a minute, we would all perish. The cycle is the guarantee that we are cared for and provided for on this grand level.
“… who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, [in which were] fiery serpents and scorpions, and thirsty ground where there was no water; who brought you forth water out of the rock of flint;’
God provided the necessary water for His people in the wilderness, even through miraculous means. He is the sustainer of all living things and upholds life by the word of His power.
The rivers all run into the sea because this is the way the physicality of the environment has worked out. Each part of the cycle affect the other parts, and that in turn affects the land. This is the purposes of God, that it should be so like this. Gravity pulls the water down from the clouds, down onto the mountains, and down into the sea. The water erodes away the rock and makes the channels in the environment. The rivers continually flow into the sea as part of the water cycle. The shape of the land and everything related to it is influenced by this whole process.
“He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved forever. You covered it with the deep as with a cloak. The waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled. At the voice of your thunder they hurried away. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down, to the place which you had assigned to them.”
Even in creation, God uses the forces of His nature to mould and make the mountains and landscape. He is in change of the whole process, as these verses show.
The sea never fills up, because the convection currents and the evaporation physics that pulls the water out for the sea and into the clouds as vapour, never stops. The tides are controlled by the moon and the sea ebbs and flows continually and predictably. The majesty of God is clearly seen in all these wonders. The puny needs of the human is also seen. We seem like pawns on the chessboard. We move in a restricted way and are so seemingly dispensable. Futility fills our hearts and our ways, and we are lost without the Lord. We die without His mighty provision, both in the body and also our souls. We must bow to the majesty of the Lord, and listen to what He is saying to us. We revere His name because of who He is and what He continually does for us.
“He sends springs into the valleys. They run among the mountains. They give drink to every animal of the field.”