From Dead Sea to Living Sea
Tourists come from all around to experience this most unusual sea where nothing can live. But there is a plan to heal its waters.
Warmth flooded my body. There was an unctuous feeling on my skin, and a sting in the small abrasion on my leg. I had the strange sensation of floating too far out of the water; it was impossible to sink.
This was the lowest body of water on earth, in what is the lowest point on the planet’s land surface. It has been called the Primordial Sea, the East Sea, the Sea of Lot, the Sea of Sodom, the Sea of Asphalt and the Devil’s Sea. Today it is commonly known as the Dead Sea.
For thousands of years, water flowing from the watershed of Mount Hermon, through the Sea of Galilee, and down the Jordan River valley between modern Jordan and Israel, entered the sea where it died. There is nowhere else for gravity to take the water from this low place; the surface and shore are 1,412 feet (430 meters) below sea level. Its water can only escape by evaporation, leaving behind whatever minerals it carried along. Toxic concentrations of salts sting tender skin. To drink of it would cause illness or even death.
The Dead Sea has its uses. Chemicals such as potash and bromine are harvested. Sufferers of skin disorders bathe in the water to aid healing. Tourists come in their thousands to see it and experience the strange sensation of floating on its waters.
Still, it is dead
Yet it is the Dead Sea. Fish cannot live in it; there are no aquatic plants. It cannot be used for irrigation. It cannot serve the life-giving function of water.
But that will change.
From Dead to Living Sea
At this time of year, Christians who follow the example of the New Testament Church observe the Feast of Tabernacles. This joyous festival illustrates prophecies to be fulfilled after the return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
One of the prophecies concerns the Dead Sea. The prophet Ezekiel was shown a vision of a great temple in Jerusalem, from which will flow a life-giving river. Its waters will heal even the Dead Sea and the desert valley around it.
“Then he [an angel] said to me: ‘This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the [Dead] sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it … [there] will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great [Mediterranean] Sea, exceedingly many’” (Ezekiel 47:8-10).
What a potent symbol of a transformed world. Waste places will become fertile; places of death will teem with life. How wonderful it will be to see the vitality of life in what could then be called the Living Sea.
In this present world that knows too much suffering and death, the promises of God give comforting hope for a future of healing and life.