Brackish water: salt water mixed with fresh water. It can be found where rivers meet the ocean or estuaries. In many places where this occurs, the tide pushes saltwater back up the freshwater river a long way, miles even. The saltwater is denser and therefore it’s on the bottom while the freshwater is at the surface. The surface can give the appearance of being very calm and serene, while underneath, the saltwater current going the opposite direction causes the water to violently roil.
I’ve pondered on this saltwater and freshwater illustration for several weeks and wasn’t really able to understand what there was to learn from it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I believe God made everything in nature a certain way so that we may learn from it and most everything will teach us several lessons if we pay attention. The Bible says that no fountain can yield both salt water and fresh, see James 3:12. Both types of water could be used to demonstrate a Christian, however, for this illustration let’s say salt water is representative of the born-again believer. (“Ye are the salt of the earth” Matthew 5:13.) When we get saved, God makes us one of His own and we belong to Him, or in the ocean. Salt water is also denser than freshwater. Density can be described as how much “stuff” you can put into the same area. A saved person may be the same size as a lost person but they have the Holy Spirit living inside them and have hidden God’s words in their heart, therefore they are denser. The freshwater represents the world, other people who are lost in sin, those working for the devil and sin itself. Where these types of water meet become brackish areas of water. We should strive to stay out in the ocean but oftentimes we find ourselves drifting near the “fresher” areas of water, being pushed miles upstream by the tides. God commands us to live a separate life in II Corinthians 6:17, but oft times we fail. It’s here we are in danger of becoming affected by the world, damaging our testimony and harming our relationship with Jesus Christ. The “freshwater” seems to be calmer on the surface, peaceful, and we are fooled into believing that our lives will be better. But when the saltwater is being pushed upstream against the current, it creates a violent area that confuses and disorients the fish that are living in each type of water. Predators are always alert and active at these places because they can easily catch these fish when they’re so disoriented. We as Christians only cause confusion in our children and families when we tell them to live for God and then we contradict ourselves and live like the rest of the world. If we say that a good Christian should dress modestly, use clean language, read the Bible and obey God and then we watch ungodly television shows or listen to filthy music this causes much confusion to those around us watching our lives. Predators are watching for our children and lost loved ones to get so disoriented that they become easy prey. Predators will even prey on you when you get yourself so mixed up in sin that you cannot tell which way you are going anymore. In studying these areas of brackish water, I found that they are very populated not only by fish but also by predators such as birds and seals. The devil knows exactly where to find you and he will wait and use your weakness against you. These areas that are so calm on the surface are alluring good Christians away from the ocean each and every day, beware!
In estuaries and even mangroves, the brackish water serves as a nursery. Here you will find both a newly born-again believer or simply children of non-believers. Many people who do not go to church or worship God, feel the need to take their children anyway. It’s usually sporadic and never constant, but they feel like they are doing right by telling their kids about God once in awhile, teaching them “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” and “Jesus Loves Me”. Some people even turn to believers for prayer or help in their time of need with small children and the redeemed should use these times to witness to the lost and make a lasting influence on the children. The newly born-again believer will find that in the nursery, or estuary, he can find saints, or saltwater, that can guide him to the ocean where he now belongs. But he is still surrounded by the friends of his past, and must start to separate himself from the freshwater of his past. We should always encourage the newly saved so that they will have courage to continue on living for the Lord without returning to the river they were delivered from. The predator will be waiting for them to look back so he can lure them in with the calm and peaceful surface that appears to be easier than the rough, choppy waves of the ocean.
The ocean is controlled by the tides which are created by the gravitational forces of the moon, sun and rotation of the earth. After we are saved, we belong in God’s ocean where He is in control. We should pray for Him to send us where He will use us and follow His direction. If His will is for us to be in a storm, then we should have faith that He will see us through it. If God is putting us into the deep, we will become closer to Him and get to know Him better. If He has us in a mission field, or an estuary, we should diligently do His work. Christian life is not a walk in the park, as you can easy see the oceans surface is always wavy, rough or choppy with huge waves sometimes crashing. But when you are in the Lord’s will, He will use you in those times and you will be unaware of how rough your situation seems to the onlooker. He will provide you peace while the storms are raging.
In rivers, the freshwater is constantly being washed away by the current. “All rivers lead to the ocean”, they say, but sadly all people will not end up in heaven. Some of the water will be evaporated, or dead, before it reaches the ocean. If God has given you just one chance to accept Jesus Christ as your saviour, and you denied Him, then your fate for eternity in Hell is sealed if you were to “evaporate”. All the remaining freshwater is along for the ride over the rocks and through the floods being led either to its destruction or conversion. Satan will deceive and destroy many in this life, but some will come to know the Lord. Some will be made into saltwater and will join the waters of the ocean.
It is said that only 5 percent of the oceans have been discovered, and I say that is correct spiritually as well. We only know a very small amount of what there is to know about God and His kingdom. He says the things which He has prepared haven’t even entered into the heart of man, (1 Corinthians 2:9), and I’m sure there are many creatures and formations unknown to man living in the deep of the ocean that we couldn’t even begin to imagine them all. Scientists think that they have figured out much about this world and how it was created but God made it all and He is the only one who knows everything there is to know about it. The oceans are an integral part of life and most scientists believe that all life is dependent upon it. How true this is! God is the integral part of all our lives, whether we accept Him or not. He created us and our very life is completely dependent upon Him!