Why is the Dead Sea dying?
How does the Holy Spirit speak such truth in such seemingly ordinary situations? Of course, getting to float in the Dead Sea is not an ordinary situation for me. However, this body of water doesn’t have Biblical explanations written on historical markers around the perimeter. But my soul has been quickened to a reality that I cannot ignore. There are so many lessons to be learned here. I had to wait until getting home to write this lesson because I needed time to think. I believe we all go through Dead Sea phases in our Christian walk and they are so frustrating and sometimes scary. The parallel between those times in our journey through this life and the actual physical Dead Sea are amazing and I want to try to share what I have learned with you. So let’s take this concept apart and see what we can learn.
The Dead Sea sits 1,388 ft below sea level. The Jordan river and some small canals run into it. But, unlike other seas or lakes, no river originates from the Dead Sea. It has no outlet. As a result, the water sits stagnant and depletes by evaporation. In this process the water evaporates leaving the salt and other minerals behind. The rate at which the Dead Sea loses water by evaporation is far greater than the rate at which it gets replenished from the Jordan and from rainfall. The minerals that are left behind – magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and potassium chloride, and sodium are all wonderful and helpful unless there are too many in a small and confined space. Holding all of the good things in and never letting them go out is making the Dead Sea…dead.
As Christians, we have so many good things in our lives that God has provided. His love, grace, forgiveness, joy, peace and the list goes on and on…these things flow into our lives every day. God gives and gives and gives. We are not meant to keep everything to ourselves. If we hang onto all those things and never share them with others, we become just like the Dead Sea. We have the greatest gift of all time and we have to share it. The great commission speaks volumes as Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and make disciples. He also speaks of there being a “cloud of witnesses” and being a part of the “body of Christ”. He also says the most important words of all time; the New Covenant when He says we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 If we truly love then we will be giving, we will share and serve, we will come alongside one another in time of joy and sorrow, we will put others first, we will share life, and most importantly we will share Christ. There is no opportunity for our lives to become stagnant when we are following the instructions that Christ gave to us. Love will flow out from our reservoir of living water and will flow freely out into all areas of our lives. Our life journey will stay fresh and alive because it has an outlet.
Sometimes we find ourselves at a very low elevation in our lives. It can just be from the regular mundane things that have become stagnant or it can be from painful events and circumstances. Either way, the lows of depression and pain can bring us to a place of withdrawing into ourselves – nothing in and nothing out.
Everyone knows that there has to be input in order for output to be maintained. We must realize that we have to be filled in order to have anything to give. The Dead Sea has only two ways to be filled; rain and the Jordan River. Rain is not always plentiful and the Jordan River flows less and less as dams are built and irrigation increases. The Dead Sea evaporates more water than it brings in every year. So it is shrinking in size. The more its volume decreases, the more it dies. An abundant source of fresh water would change everything for the Dead Sea. It changes everything for us as well. We have to be fed and it must be from the living water offered through Jesus Christ. Many times we allow ourselves to be filled by too many other things. Just like the minerals in the Dead Sea, some of them are not bad things, just things. Too much of even a good thing can crowd out the best thing. We fill ourselves by reading God’s word, praying, and making time to worship and be with other believers.
Dead Sea Christianity is a danger for all of us. Many of us go through life without an outlet; never sharing the gift of Jesus with anyone. We become stagnant. Sometimes we give and give and give and never take time to refill. We become weak and lifeless. There are times when circumstances drag us so far down that we can’t seem to find our way. It’s time to open our arms to the filling of the Holy Spirit.
These scriptures come to mind…
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” Psalm 42:1
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38
“But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14
My sweet friends, it’s all about the Living Water. It’s all about Jesus. Say goodbye to Dead Sea Christianity and live!