|God's power revealed in water|
|Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor|
|Friday, 22 June 2012 08:40|
Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen - simply water. Most people don't consider the value of, and the energy involved with water in their faith beliefs.
Water, in of itself, does not generate energy nor power; yet the power of water in our lives and in religious writings is vast.
Let's first look at the religious uses of water. The Bible includes more than 700 mentions of the word. It is certainly not the most common word in the scriptures, yet, it is mentioned more than prayer and more than faith and hope. The very first image in the Bible focuses on the spirit of God brooding over the face of the waters. The last image is the river of life flowing from the throne of God in the new Jerusalem.
From the beginning to the end, the religious power of water is not related to its kinetic or potential energy such as movement in rivers or streams, nor the hydropower, with the electricity generated at stations along a river. The aesthetics, cleansing and rejuvenating properties of water give it spiritual powers for humanity.
The beauty of a placid lake, ocean or babbling brook is composed of the same water which can be a powerful force of destruction such as with a flood, rain storm or hurricane.
Water is truly full of power throughout the Bible. In some translations, water is mentioned biblically more than 700 times, from the first chapter in Genesis through the last book of Revelation water plays a prominent role throughout the Bible.
What images come to mind in thinking about water in the Bible? The parting of the Red Sea? Jonah and the whale? Noah, the ark and the great flood? The woman at the well? Jesus walking on water? The many stories of Jesus and his disciples fishing? Jesus calming the sea? Peter's sinking into the water until Jesus rescued him? Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding? Or the water flowing from Jesus' side at his crucifixion? And then there are the baptisms including Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist? Most Christians could name numerous others without much thought.
Other faiths also embrace the value and properties of water in their teachings.
In Greek philosophy water was believed to be the original substance from which all things were made. With this, the Bible seems to agree:
"The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." (Genesis 1:2),
The same theme is reiterated with, "For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water." (2 Peter 3:5-6)
The Quran states, "From water we have made all things."
The Hindus believe India's Ganges River is sacred. Water is also sacred in Hinduism, and other religions.
In the New Testament water symbolizes various things. For example baptisms are used for the forgiveness of sins. Scholars say the term "living water" can refer to Jesus or texts of the Word of God. Water is also used biblically as a link to salvation.
"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb," reads one section. (Revelation 22:1)
Our God of Creation has done much with two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. To a non-believer, water is just there. Nothing more than a simple molecule of two ordinary elements. With all the wonders, the complexities and the great services provided by the effervescence of that molecule, a believer knows it could only come from the power of God.
What a monumental gift from God. God's children are graced by the power of the gift of water to this planet and our lives. Even the destructive powers of a flood give way to rejuvenation and new growth.
(Editor's note: This is the 18th part of an ongoing series examining various aspects of God's energy.)
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