Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fishing in the Dead Sea, Part II

Note: This is the second and final post in a series. The first part can be found here.

Last Monday, I mentioned about how the Dead Sea's unusually high salt content currently makes it unsuitable for fish and marine life. I also talked about how there is a restoration plan for the Dead Sea.

Iin Ezekiel 47:1-12, it talks of this restoration. When a new temple is established in Jerusalem (see Ezekiel chapters 38-46), there will be a river that flows out from under the threshold of the temple. In Ezekiel 47:8-12 it speaks of this new river:
"Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the 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 from En Gedi to En Eglaim; there will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
One half of this river flows into the Dead Sea, while the other half flows towards the Mediteranean (see Zechariah 14:8). These verses also talk about the marshes not being healed, of trees that will not fail along the river, and even of fishermen returning to En Gedi.

In other words, God will heal this particular region and flood the sea with fish. How, exactly, the salt will be removed from the sea is a mystery, but this follows an interesting pattern found elsewhere in the Bible. That pattern is one of the giving of law, followed by lawbreaking, then judgment, and finally restoration. This same pattern occured with the nation of Israel (the giving of the Law through Moses, their gradual drifting away from God, followed by the exile and their restoration to the land).

Much like the Dead Sea's future restoration, anyone can experience the kind of restoration God can offer. This can be found in II Peter 3:9 where it states:
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
Like the Samaritan woman in John 4, the offer of "living water" stands for anyone who is willing to receive it. And discussed above, the living water will flow again, too, someday on a grand scale in what some might consider the most lifeless region on earth.

What about you? Do you think God can restore anyone no matter what condition they are in?

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