And in the middle of the seven candlesticks one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot…
Many have supposed that there is here an allusion to the sound of cataract. The reference, however, appears to be, not to the roar of a waterfall, but to the motion of the tides. The voice of the Son of God speaking in the gospel may, for various reasons, be compared to the sound of many waters.
I. IT IS NEVER ALTOGETHER SILENT. How many are employed, in almost every quarter of the globe, in proclaiming the message of mercy! As the noise of the seas is created by a multitude of separate waves, so the glad tidings of great joy are announced by a multitude of individual heralds.
II. THE VOICE OF CHRIST IS ADDRESSED TO ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. As we stand upon the beach, we may have something like a community of feeling with the inhabitants of the most distant climes; for the waters of the same great deep wash the shores of all the continents of the globe, and speak in the same tones of mystery and magnificence to all the sons and daughters of Adam. It may be said of the ebbing and flowing tides, as of the other works of creation and of Providence (Psalm 19:3, 4). And the love of Christ is expansive as the broad ocean; for He sends forth His invitations of mercy to every kindred and people and nation. The inhabitants of the various countries of the globe cannot understand each other's speech, as every province has its own tongue or dialect; but the noise of the seas is a universal language, proclaiming to all the power and the majesty of the ever-living Jehovah. And how delightful to anticipate the period when the harmony of the heralds of salvation will be as the sound of many waters, when the same truths will be echoed from shore to shore, and when the uniform reverberation of the tides will be emblematic of the one gospel preached among all nations! (Isaiah 52:8).
III. THE VOICE OF CHRIST IS FITTED TO INSPIRE US WITH AWE AND REVERENCE. There is something in the very aspect of the ocean which expands and elevates the mind. Almost every one is constrained to be serious as he stands solitary on the strand, and looks abroad upon the world of waters before him, and listens to the ceaseless agitation of the far-resounding surge. The shoreless sea is the mirror of infinite duration; and as the floods lift up their voice, we feel as if they were repeating their commission from the High and the Holy One who inhabiteth eternity (Psalm 29:3, 4). It is thus, too, with the gospel (Psalm 119:161). The truth as it is in Jesus has a self-evidencing power — it commends itself to the conscience — it carries with it a conviction that it is a communication from heaven.
IV. THE VOICE OF CHRIST IS BY MANY DISREGARDED. How few, as they pass along the beach, ever think of listening to the dashing of the waves! Some may mark their various murmurs, and their magnificent echoes, and, ascending in thought to Him who formed the seas, and who sendeth the wind out of His treasuries, may contemplate with adoring wonder the glory of Jehovah; but upon the mass of individuals the noise of the many waters makes no impression. And it is thus, too, with the gospel. How many make light of the great salvation! How many listen to the joyful sound as to a matter in which they have no interest — even as to the noise of many waters!
(W. D. Killen, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.