From Genesis to the Gospel of John, Christians have become infatuated with the River Jordan. And rightly so.
This river has majestic meaning to the Body of Christ. From being parted for Joshua, Elijah and Elisha to Naaman being cured of leprosy, the Jordan River has been home to some of the most memorable and miraculous events in the Bible.
However, the most famous Jordan River marvel was the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist:
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17 NKJV)
Glory to God! See there, that’ll preach. Needless to say, even if you are not an aficionado of Southern or Urban Gospel, this river is sacrosanct to the Church. And so, when I read this story in Treehugger.com, I was highly perplexed:
Even the most famous and admired places aren’t immune to the problems of abuse and pollution – the Jordan River being a prime example as it’s expected to run dry by 2011 due to overexploitation, pollution and lack of regional management, according to Friends of the Earth, Middle East (FoEME).
Get that… Jesus’ river. Dry? To environmental stewards (of which, the entire Body of Christ should be), this is a harrowing story because this is another mighty body of water that has been destroyed because man was too lazy to care. This isn’t some “liberal rant”; this is ecological fact.
Not only is it historically significant but the river valley is also one of the world’s most important crossroads for migratory birds, with 500 million birds migrating twice a year.
The story continues to inform us that more than 90 percent of the river’s water has been diverted by Israel, Syria and Jordan, and what’s left is an unappealing mix of sewage, saline water, and run-off from cropland. Yet, we still go to the Holy Land in throngs recreating the aforementioned baptism of Christ unaware of this lamentable situation.
In 2011, that will no longer be possible so this is on your bucket list, call your travel agent today. However, there is a glimmer – albeit a miraculous ray – of hope:
According to FoEME, the river once had a flow rate of of 1.3 billion cubic metres a year, but now it trickles at less than 100 million cubic metres. The organization says that a rush of fresh water released into the river could save it.
Is anyone preaching ahead of me here?
Wall Watchers, we are vessels of living water. And if we utilize the power of the Holy Ghost inside of us, why can’t we pray for that rush of “living water” (approximately 400 million cubic metres annually worth) to flow back into the same river that brought a well of God’s spirit to us?
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38 NKJV)
Why couldn’t this happen? Why wouldn’t this work? We have seen the Lord do so much more with so much less.
Sure, it may seem like an asinine thought, but the FoEME is devising a water management plan to help save the River Jordan. Why can’t Christians help? God did give us dominion over this earth; we can exercise it here in the Holy Land.
Still thick in vegetation, the Jordan River was more than a lifesource for people to eat, bathe and drink. It was a barrier of protection and a divine source of inspiration. Today, after this clarion call, helping restore this river should be our obligation.
It descends into the Sea of Galilee. From there, it travels 65 miles to the Dead Sea, but because of its meandering path, it travels 104 miles to get there. That’s a lot of space to cover, but nothing is too impossible for God (Luke 1:37).
I’ll get back to fun, yuks and fresh tags, but this distressing tale is certainly Writing on the Wall.
Pray to become better stewards of this planet. Pray to be mindful of ways to conserve our resources. Pray to exercise that dominion more actively. And pray for the restoration of the Jordan. Selah. Peace.