When a person looks down at the ocean, they see the wild waves of the sea. These waves are pushed around by the winds with no self-control. Paul compares this kind of wandering to a person who is not mature in the word of God. Ephesians 4:14 says, “We will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching.”
The waves are not only subject to the wind, but they show their short-lived lives by cresting and exploding. The waves become higher than the water around them; they show off with splashing and foaming. The wild show soon becomes just flakes of foam and a few bubbles. James compares this to a person who prays but doubts. James 1:6, “But when he asks he must believe and not doubt because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Jude uses the observation about waves to show the doom of sinful men. Jude 13, “They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame.” We can understand the sinful, arrogant, false teachers as they show off in their self-importance, becoming just specks of foam and bubbles. Their doom will be sealed at the judgment day.
The song Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, gives comfort to the Christian with this phrase:
“Jesus, Savior, pilot me over life’s tempestuous sea.
Unknown waves before me roll, hiding rocks and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass came from thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.”