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Seas and Fiery Stones

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: I sea

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 16, 2015 at 13:28

Hi, Waz. You said,

"..The Bible does not promise a "sea of tranquility"," Oh, but it does. Phillipians 4:7

Philippians 4:
[7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

"Peace", yes; but not a sea -- for what it's worth. The main thing I was concerned about, was to point out that the Buddhist hope of eternal reward is different from the New Testament hope. Buddha was looking for an escape from Karma. New Testament believers look for a reward, a new life that lasts forever, in the company of God and of just men.

As I said in my previous post, the ancients of the Levant didn't look upon "seas" favorably. They were feared for their sudden, unanounced turbulence; and there seems to have been a fear that they might rise and cover the earth with a flood. In Nepal, "seas" might have conjured up pictures of blissful peace, which one could immerse one's self in and somehow dissolve. In the Bible view, we will not dissolve: We will continue to be discrete individuals, whether in the Kingdom or in the Fire.

You went on, "(you're getting me into a 'thing' here no - quoting Bible verses.....)"

Don't feel too bad. Even the Devil quotes scriptures in the Bible, so you are certainly welcome to do so as well :-)

You went on, again quoting scripture, "Like saying 'the stone was, as it were, .sea of glass mingled with a rainbow' when describing a large opal.

Yes, the Bible uses this imagery in referring to the "sea" that the saints stood upon, as well as the presence of God on the throne. I think of the fiery, rainbow appearance as indicating sheer splendor. This was mixed with the image of solidity and substance, as a rock. The presence on the throne, moreover, emanated lighning, indicating power. All of these were visual metaphors of attributes of God and of our eternal abode. Just taking a moment here,

Rev. 21:
[11] (New Jerusalem,) Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal...

[19] And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
[20] The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst...

Rev. 4:
[2] And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
[3] And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
[4] And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
[5] And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God...

One picture of a jasper is this:

http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii254/PixelBerryPie/blog/MushroomJasper3.jpg

I compared that with an x-ray photo of the sun:

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/sites/www.cfa.harvard.edu/files/images/projects/HEA//yohkoh.jpg

Together, the imagery made me think of God as:

  1. Immensely powerful, as the nuclear reactions going on continuously in the sun, and
  2. Solid, like a rock. Until reading that passage, I had always thought of God as something etherial. This imagery dispelled that notion. This, by the way, is what made me compare God, in my mind, with the singularity; though of course, God is far greater than the singularity.

I have to get moving... Ciao.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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