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There Is A Sea

Hymn number 641 in our big book uses an interesting approach to teach a valuable lesson.  The author draws our attention to two seas mentioned in the New Testament.

As the Jordan River flows southward from its sources near Mount Hermon, it follows a winding course of nearly 200 miles.  Along the way it passes through the Sea of Galilee and finally empties into the Dead Sea, which due to evaporation contains a salt concentration almost 10 times that of the oceans. Verse one describes the Sea of Galilee:

There is a sea which day by day
Receives the rippling rills;
And streams that spring from wells of God,
Or fall from cedared hills.
But what it thus receives, it gives
With glad, unsparing hand;
A stream more wide, with deeper tide,
Flows on to lower land.

By way of contrast, verse two depicts the Dead Sea:
There is a sea which day by day
Receives a fuller tide;
But all its store it keeps, nor gives
To shore nor sea beside.
It’s Jordan’s stream, now turned to brine,
Like heavy, molten lead;
Its dreadful name doth e’er proclaim,
That sea is waste and dead.

Verse three then uses the nature of these two very different seas to teach an object lesson about how we should share our blessings with others:

Which shall it be for you and me
Who God’s good gifts obtain?
Shall we accept for self alone,
Or take, to give again?
For He who once was rich indeed
Laid all His glory down;
That by His grace our ransomed race
Should share His wealth and crown.

I love the way that song’s message makes its point.  Are we like the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea?

Do we realize that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” (James 1:17)?

Do we claim to have God’s love in our heart? If so, we need to carefully consider what the apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:17: “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

That is a rhetorical question, and the frightening answer is, “It does not!”