The Sea of Glass

Right before the last plagues, victorious followers of God are standing on the sea of glass and singing a song. What an interesting sight!

1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.

And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:

“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!

Revelation 15:1-3

What’s in the mirror?

In the New Testament, the word glass is also used to refer to a mirror. When you look in a mirror, what do you see? I wonder if those standing on the sea of glass are reflecting anything? Do they see themselves, or are they reflecting something or someone else?

They have gained victory over the beast and his image and his mark. These followers of Jesus are victorious yet they don’t take the credit for their works. In unity they praise God and say, “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! All praise and honor is given to God.

In Revelation, we have learned that there is a battle going on between Christ and Satan. Everyone on earth will be marked and worship an image – either the image of the beast, or God Almighty. Let’s see if the Bible gives us some clues about this sea of glass and those standing on it. 

The apostle Paul says this about a glass…

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  -2 Corinthians 3:18

These victorious Christians standing on the sea of glass are certainly reflecting the image of the glory of the Lord and not the image of the beast. How can they reflect the glory of the Lord? Only by looking to Jesus, who is our savior and God Almighty. When we look to Jesus everyday, we are changed into his image. Now that’s a miracle!

James also uses a mirror as an example of our walk with God. 

“ But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” -James 1:22-25 

James describes someone who looks at a mirror and only sees himself. But when he goes away he promptly forgets what he is like. That’s a dangerous place to be! However, when we look to the perfect law, we realize our sinfulness and our need for a savior. And when we look to Jesus, who is the perfect law in living flesh, we are able to reflect his character through the power of His spirit. 

Is the impossible, possible?

If you’re anything like me, you may feel discouraged sometimes. I don’t feel like I reflect Jesus all the time. Sometimes I get impatient, or say unkind words, or lose my temper. Sometimes I don’t trust Jesus completely and try to do things my own way. And other times, I forget that I need Jesus and start looking at myself and think maybe I can figure things out on my own. How in the world can I have victory and stand on the sea of glass reflecting the perfect image of Jesus when I make so many mistakes? 

Friends, this feeling of remorse and discouragement can be a gift if we redirect our thoughts to Jesus. Realizing our need for Jesus leads us to repent and ask for forgiveness. It reminds us of our constant need for God. The apostle Paul says, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”  2 Corinthians 7:9

When you are feeling discouraged or inadequate or realize that you have done something wrong, remember that Jesus is ready to forgive you and give you His strength for your weakness. When it seems like it’s impossible to reflect Jesus’ perfect character of love, remember what Jesus said.

“Who then can be saved?” But He [Jesus] said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” -Luke 18:26-27

I’m so glad God can do the impossible and save someone like me! Keep looking to Jesus and He will make you into a new creation to reflect His love. Then you too can stand on the sea of glass and say, “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!”