Day 8 of Lamb & Lion Ministries’ 2009 Israel Tour continues the marathon pace across the country. There is just so much to see that 10 days doesn’t do the country justice.
Today we focused on the Dead Sea region, the lowest point on land in the world. And, it isn’t called the Dead Sea for nothing. When God wanted to wipe Sodom and Gomorrah off the map due to “their sin so grievous” (Gen. 18:20), he made the Dead Sea a wasteland. The mineral runnoff into the Dead Sea has caused the water to be unlivable for any creature. Jewelry corrodes in just days and metal boats are eaten through in a matter of weeks. The adjacent cliffs are salt encrusted and barren. Fresh water is almost impossible to find. Flies buzz all around like on a carcass.
The Dead Sea is a dead testament to the severity of God’s judgment when mankind totally abandons morality.
- Because the Dead Sea is so much below sea level and is covered in a haze, it provides a natural UV protection, so it’s almost impossible despite the intense heat to get a sunburn.
- “Ahava” in Hebrew means “love.”
- Until nightfall, today was the Jewish Sabbath. Jerusalem was like a ghost town. It was easy to tell when it was over because all the car honking began. I think they mistake the horn for the gas pedal.
- Sabbath elevators open on every floor so a Jewish person doesn’t have to “work” pushing a button nor have to use an electrical device. Time to take the stairs!
The Dead Sea in Bible Prophecy
Ezekiel 47 tells us about the promising prophetic future for the Dead Sea. During the upcoming 1,000 year reign of Jesus on Earth, water will pour from the Millennial Temple. This water will flow South into the Dead Sea, making it’s waters fresh and alive once more. Ezekiel 47:8 states, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh.”
The Dead Sea will no longer be dead, but it will come alive again. Verse 7 describes its new life. “When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.”
Verses 9-12 tell us that the barren terrain will be bountiful, life-giving, and inhabited once more. “Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds – like the fish of the Great Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
Everything we saw today — the death, destruction, desperation and desolation — will all be erased by Jesus Christ’s return and reign. The Dead Sea is therefore also a living testament that, though our lives begin desolate by sin and death, Jesus can give us life by having a saving relationship with Him.
Tomorrow for Day 9 we will like the wise men journey to Bethlehem.