Thursday, January 20, 2011

Troubles in the Sea of Galilee

In Deuteronomy 11 Moses stressed the importance of rain for the land of Israel. "The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt...where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven" (11:10-11).

Israel is still dependent on rain, and the past 10 years have seen a prolonged drought in the country. How serious is it? A recent report in the Jerusalem Post highlights the impact of the drought on the Sea of Galilee. The Sea has fallen to its lowest average level since the 1920s. As a result, the fish population in the lake has dropped by 90% over the last decade. Some scientists are raising the specter of the Sea of Galilee becoming a "fish-free lake" if the drop in the water level continues.

Israel has always been dependent on rain, and God said He would send that rain if His people were faithful. "So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil" (11:13-14). A drought in the land was a sign the people had strayed from God.

Could the current drought be God's way of calling His people back to Himself? It certainly was in the past.

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