Final Thoughts and Future Hope1
This is the eighth and final post for the "Lessons from Jordan" blog. The first several were written while Carrol and I were in Jordan. The last few were put together after we arrived home. For this lesson, I want to reflect again on our trip to the Dead Sea, but now to focus on the water itself.
Throughout time, this sea has gone by several names: The Asphaltitle Sea, the Sea of Zo’ar, the Eastern Sea, the Sea of Arabah, and the Sea of Salt. The phrase, "Dead Sea," is never actually used in the Bible, but that designation underscores it’s commonly understood properties - outside of some bacteria and a particular form of algae, nothing can live there. Tourists are drawn to visit because of the therapeutic properties of the mud and the high saline content of the water (great for floating), but life itself does not flourish. It is the lowest place on earth and has, for some, been used as a metaphor for weariness and despair.
I have chosen a nice picture of the sun, setting on the western shore, to illustrate the view that we saw and to wrap up this series of posts. But the end is not the end. There is something to look forward to. And just as Carrol and I looked forward to going home (be sure to read last week’s blog), there is something for all of us to look forward to - no matter how our world can seem void of life or hope.
In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel (47:8-10), the prophet looks ahead to a future time and writes,
“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. 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.”
The Great Sea is the Mediterranian Sea … and the Dead Sea, in this future time of healing and restoration, will be just as filled with life. So death is not necessarily the end. It is what awaits us all, to be sure, but it is not necessarily the end. The living and everlasting God wants us to live with him forever. He wants to restore what was lost when the world, as a whole and you and I in particular, fell away from his grace. Jesus came into the world to rescue us from hopelessness and death and to usher us into a place of ultimate restoration. This is the story and hope of the Bible. My prayer is that your story will line up with this story for the rest of your life and for all eternity.
To watch a six minute visual presentation of this story, click here.