“The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!” (Psalm 93:3-4 ESV)
We know the power of water, in the sea or in overwhelming floods. Rivers rushing through proper channels provide power to light homes and businesses or deliver irrigation or drinking water. Rain refreshes the earth, but the sea or floods roaring in destructive strength can destroy homes and property and lives. The psalmist knows the might of roaring water, but he rejoices in the Lord who is mightier than thundering floods and the waves of the sea.
The floods and sea may lift up their voices and roar, but it is the Lord who created and commands them. He set the boundaries of the oceans, telling them, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:11 ESV). When the people of Israel were trapped against the Red Sea, and again when they came to the flooding Jordan River, God caused the waters to cease their flow. At both the sea and the river, the water piled up and the people passed safely through on dry land. During His earthly ministry, the Son of God commanded the sea and storm to be still, and the waters ceased their roaring.
God commands not only the thundering seas, but more peaceful waters as well. He causes rain to fall so that crops grow, and streams are replenished. The Creator makes “springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills” (Psalm 104:10). He provides still waters in green pastures. God provides the gentle water that, at our Savior’s command, reaches out across the earth: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Joined to the Word of God, the quiet baptismal waters are profoundly powerful, mightier than “the thunder of many waters” and “the waves of the sea.”
In the gentle water and mighty Word of Baptism, we are united to Jesus Christ. We die with Him. We are buried with Him and “raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12b ESV). Our sins are washed away and we arise, born anew at the Lord’s command. We have seen ocean waves and rising floods “lift up their roaring” as the water overcomes everything in its path. At the baptismal font we are united to Jesus, our conquering Lord, who by His death and resurrection overcame the powers of sin, death, and Satan. Joined to our Lord through the water and the Word, we “are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37b ESV). His victory is our victory and neither thundering floods nor roaring ocean waves “nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39b ESV).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I rejoice in Your resurrection victory and in the gentle water and Word of Holy Baptism. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Have you ever seen a tide rise quickly or a flash flood occur? Where were you?
2. Why do you think water is often used to depict God’s power?
3. What is there that’s powerful about the waters of Baptism?