Isaiah 57:20, 21
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
But the wicked are like the sea that is tossed up, for it cannot rest, and its waters toss up mire and mud (Cheyne). Comp. Jude 1:13 for the figure. It is curious to note the marked contrast between our ideas and sentiments concerning the sea, and those of ancient times and Eastern lands. To us it is the beautiful shining sea, and many of us feel that we must see it at least once a year. To us it is the most soothing and calming of Nature's influences, and we. sympathize with Bonar as he sings -
"Summer ocean, how I'll miss thee,
Miss the thunder of thy roar,
Miss the music of thy ripple,
Miss thy sorrow-soothing shore.
Summer ocean, how I'll miss thee,
When 'the sea shall be no more'!" But to Eastern people generally in ancient times, and to Israelites in particular, the sea was a great dread. It was the separator, the engulpher of life, the restless storm-darkened, storm-tossed, wailing sea; suggestive only of foulness, unrest, and peril. So it was a type of the wicked man in ways, and with applications, which we find it most difficult to realize. But the unresting character of the sea does impress us. There is no peace to the heaving, swirling, wind-driven, tide-drawn sea.
I. THERE IS NO PEACE TO THE WICKED BECAUSE, IN HIS WAY, HE CAN NEVER GET IT. His way is breaking up the Divine order: rest can never come that way. His way is striving with everything that makes fair promises, apart from God: rest can never come that way. His way is to seek for rest in things that he can possess, not in the character which he can be: rest can never come that way. God's world was made for good men, and it will yield its best treasures to, and satisfy, nobody but the good.
II. THERE IS NO PEACE TO THE WICKED BECAUSE, ON HIS CONDITIONS, GOD WILL NEVER GIVE IT. And peace for man is the gift of God. So, speaking for God, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." The wicked want to buy it. God does not sell it. The wicked would consume it on their lusts if they obtained it. God will never allow his gifts to be abused. The wicked are not prepared to ear that peace which God calls peace; so he will wait until they come to a right mind. Show, in contrast, that we have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" - a heart-peace that works itself out into all sacred testings of life and relationship. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.