Water Psalm (Bible)


The psalmists were skilled poets and musicians. Their works are filled with symbols that declared the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob their sovereign.

What Does Water Symbolize in the Old Testament Bible?

In many of the psalms water was used as a symbol of the sacred. Examples using water to convey the sovereignty of their God include:

•    The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over mighty waters.
Psalm 29:3

•    “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood”
Psalm 29:10a

•    “You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.”
Psalm 65:7

•    “You rule the raging of the sea;
when its waves rise, you still them.”
Psalm 89:9

•    “You cover it [the earth] with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
 At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.”
Psalm 104:6-8

The psalmists also used water to symbolize their belief that God was always with the people. Examples of this include:
•    “he leads me beside still waters”
Psalm 23:2b

•    “though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.”

Psalm 46:3-4

The psalmists also used water to symbolize their longing for God. Examples of this include:

1.” O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

2. “As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.”
Psalm 42:1

By using water as a symbol of the sacred the psalmists reminded their audiences of the power and the sacredness of the water found in the creation myths in the Book of Genesis. The water also reminded the people of the water in the Exodus narrative.

Note: all text is from the New Revised Standard Version