The Splendor of Jehovah’s Creation
“The Abounding Wealth of the Seas”
AT SUNSET a light breeze stirs the sea, and waves gently lap the shoreline. The soothing sound of the surf holds a powerful attraction for many who flock to the beach for rest and tranquillity.*
Long stretches of such beaches line thousands of miles of coastlines around the earth. This ever-changing divide between sand and water marks the limits of the sway of the sea. That is how the Creator designed it to be. Speaking of himself, God declares that he has “set the sand as the boundary for the sea.” He adds: “Although its waves toss themselves, still they cannot prevail; and although they do become boisterous, still they cannot pass over it.”—Jeremiah 5:22; Job 38:8; Psalm 33:7.
Ours is indeed a watery planet, like no other in the solar system. More than 70 percent of the globe is covered by water. When Jehovah was preparing the earth for human habitation, he decreed: “Let the waters under the heavens be brought together into one place and let the dry land appear.” And that is what “came to be so.” The account adds: “God began calling the dry land Earth, but the bringing together of the waters he called Seas. Further, God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:9, 10) What is accomplished by the presence of the oceans?
In a number of remarkable ways, the water of the oceans was designed to sustain life. For example, water has the capacity to store heat. Thus, the oceans act as a huge heat reservoir, moderating the frigid cold of winter.
Water has another life-sustaining capacity. More than any other liquid, it can easily dissolve other substances. Since life processes are made possible through chemical reactions, the presence of water is necessary in order to dissolve the reacting substances and bring their molecules into contact. Many of the chemical compounds found in living tissues contain water. Notes the book The Sea: “All forms of life need water—which must come ultimately from the oceans, even for the plants and animals that live on land.”
Earth’s oceans also play a critical role in purifying the atmosphere. Oceanic plankton absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. According to one researcher, “70 percent of the oxygen added to the atmosphere each year comes from plankton in the sea.”
The oceans can also provide natural drugs to treat disease. For centuries, fish extracts have been used as medicine. Cod-liver oil has been around for a long time. More recently, chemicals from fish and other sea creatures have been used to treat asthma and to fight viruses and cancer.
Efforts have been made to estimate the economic value of ocean-related goods and services. While no accurate conclusions can possibly be drawn, researchers have estimated that almost two thirds of the value of global ecosystem services is derived from the oceans. This confirms the fact that the seas were created for a purpose—to accommodate and support life. How well this fits in with what the Bible calls “the abounding wealth of the seas”!—Deuteronomy 33:19.
Jehovah is glorified as the Grand Designer and Maker of this wealth. Nehemiah was moved to praise him in the following words: “You are Jehovah alone; you yourself have made the heavens, . . . the seas and all that is in them; and you are preserving all of them alive.”—Nehemiah 9:6.
See the 2004 Calendar of Jehovah’s Witnesses, September/October.
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Water, Wind, and Waves
Water and wind create huge waves that crash with a deafening roar on rocky cliffs, like these in California, in the United States. Waves have always been a marvelous feature of the ocean, demonstrating its awesome might. They are also an astonishing reminder of the Creator’s magnificent power. Jehovah is the one “treading upon the high waves of the sea.” “By his power he has stirred up the sea, and by his understanding he has broken the stormer to pieces.” (Job 9:8; 26:12) Indeed, “above the sounds of vast waters, the majestic breaking waves of the sea, Jehovah is majestic in the height.”—Psalm 93:4.
The seashore occasionally provides the backdrop for impressive sculptures of sand, like the dunes seen here on the coast of Namibia, in southern Africa. The wind is the prime mover that gives distinctive shape to the sand. While some dunes may appear to be just small humps, others reach heights of 1,300 feet [400 m]. Such vast quantities of sand help us to understand the Biblical expression “the grains of sand that are on the seashore.” It is used to denote something uncountable, difficult to measure. (Genesis 22:17) We stand in awe before the Creator, who provided such an ingenious sandy bulwark against the incursions of the stormy sea.
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Sunset coast, Bight of Biafra, Cameroon