Monday, July 25, 2011

Fishing in the Dead Sea, Part I

Nice lake, isn't it?

Well, it does have a few problems. No marine life, blobs of asphalt that bubble up from the bottom, and enough salt in the water to cause virtually anybody to float on top of the waves with no effort.

In other words, forget about bringing your fishing rod.

This "lake", of course, is better known as the Dead Sea, or, alternately, the Salt Sea. It is approximately 42 miles long, up to eleven miles wide, and 1,237 feet deep at the deepest location. The water has a salt concentration around 31.5%, which means it is over eight times saltier than the world's oceans.

There's more to this region, however, than just the basin full of hypersaline water. On the north end, the Jordan River flows in. On the southeastern shore, it is believed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah once stood, which were destroyed by fire and brimstone (see Genesis 18 and 19) in an act of judgment.On the eastern shore, there is also the remains of a fortified city (Bab edh-Dhra) that has a seven-foot layer of ash...which may later prove to be the ruins of one of these cities.

David also fled from King Saul to the nearby "wilderness of En-Gedi", which is on the western shore (see I Samuel 24:1-2). Additionally, we also have the caves of Qumram nearby where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Nowadays, however, there is also another problem: the Dead Sea is shrinking in size. It may also look as if this place is in need of a massive toxic cleanup considering all the minerals in the water. If you're a resort, wouldn't it be nice to say that not only can you visit, but you can also go boating, swimming, and even take a charter service out into the deep to catch some nice fish for sport or dinner? Wouldn't it be great if several resorts got together to clean the place up?

Ok, maybe that would be prohibitively expensive, but it would be nice for those of us who like to go fishing. Yet despite humankind's limitations, God does have a solution for this place. And believe it or not, it involves restoration on a grand scale.

What do you think? Do you know of places that have fallen into disrepair and could stand to be restored? Have you have moments in your life when you've felt depleted, depression, or burned out, and are in need of restoration yourself?

Next Monday, in the final part of this series, I'll discuss what God's future restoration plan is for the "Dead Sea" and what that means for the rest of us.

Note: Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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