Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal.
In Hebrew thinking, the sea is a dark, ominous, mysterious and dangerous reality. Not so the crystalline glassy sea which separates God’s throne from everything before it! This one symbolises the purity, calmness, and majesty of God’s rule and judgment. Unlike the fluidity and instability of the natural ocean, the sea of glass possesses depth and transparency. It stands solid, calm, beautiful and clear. Note that, biblically, the final destruction of all evil is closely linked to the sea and serpent imagery (see Isaiah 27:1). In the book of Daniel, for instance, the evil world powers are symbolized by hybrid monsters rising up from the sea (Dan 7:1–13). The story then ends with the slaughter of these monsters and establishment of God’s eternal order on earth. This idea of the final destruction of evil, symbolised by the taming of the natural sea, is also stressed in the NT, especially in the Revelation. That Jesus walks on the sea and calms the storm also foreshadows this victory. Whatever uncertainties, menaces and fears plague our lives today, let us rest assured that the Throne of Grace is perfectly good, stable, safe and welcoming for all God’s people. We can draw near to Him with all joy, faith and boldness.