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Thursday, July 23 2015
Isaiah 35: What Causes Or Cures A Desert?
"In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water"
Vast areas of the world have become desert wilderness due to lack of rain or snow (deserts are classified as "hot" or "cold" - they can be found at any latitude, from the Equator to the Polar regions). The extreme dryness not only prevents most plants from providing ground cover, but also causes loss of most organic matter that does exist - leaving only rocks and sand.
Prevailing weather patterns can turn almost any well-watered area into a desert or a desert into a well-watered area. Anyone who can control the weather can cause, or cure, a desert. Humans don't have that power, but the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God) surely does - as a blessing, or as a curse.
"107:33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; 107:34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
Isaiah (see also What Did The Messiah Read From Isaiah That Day?) was well-familiar with what causes, or cures, a desert. But notice carefully that every time he spoke of it, he did so within the context of the LORD's blessing the righteous, or cursing the wicked.
"32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 32:3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. 32:4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. 32:5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. 32:6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail." (Isaiah 32:1-6 KJV)
As Isaiah wrote this chapter, Judah and Jerusalem were under siege by a massive Assyrian invasion army (see Why Did The Assyrian Army Cross The Line? and The Sieges Of Ariel - Past And Future). Isaiah prophesied of the LORD's deliverance from the unauthorized invasion - once again, in the context of turning a spiritual desert into a well-watered land.
"35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 35:2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
Fact Finder: What is the largest desert in the land of Israel?
This Day In History, July 23
1014: Brian Boru, "high king of Ireland," was killed while fighting Viking invaders at the Battle of Clontarf.
1348: The first English order of Knighthood, the Order of the Garter, was founded.
1500: Pedro Cabal claimed Brazil for Portugal.
1563: Construction of El Escorial began in Spain by Philip II, a Hapsburg.
1564: The birth of William Shakespeare, one of England's greatest playwrights. He died on the same date in 1616.
1588: The second of three battle encounters of Britain's Royal Navy fleet against the Spanish Armada (carrying thousands of European Marines) that was sent by the Papacy and Roman Catholic Europe to invade England.
1625: Frederick Henry became Stadtholder (ruler) of the Netherlands after the death of Maurice of Nassau.
1632: Three hundred colonists departed for "New France" from Dieppe, France. New France covered what is today eastern Canada, from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Superior, and the most of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River as far south as Louisiana (which was named after King Louis of France, as was St. Louis, Missouri).
1661: Charles II became king of England.
1891: Jews were expelled from Moscow, Russia.
1918: The British Navy under Admiral Keyes raided the German submarine base at Zeebrugge.
1929: The Fascist government of Italy banned the use of foreign words.
1941: King George of the Hellenes and the Greek government fled the Greek mainland from the advancing Germans; the Greek army also formally surrendered to Germany and Italy.
1945: The Russian army liberated the Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrueck concentration camps.
1950: Chaing Kai-shek evacuated Hainan, leaving mainland China to Mao Zedong and the communists.
1952: Gamal Abd al-Nasser, 34, and others, including future Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, seized control of the government of Egypt in a bloodless coup. The "Free Officers Movement" forced King Farouk to abdicate and into exile. Egypt was declared a republic in June of the next year. Another revolution in 2011 overthrew that revolution.
1967: A riot in Detroit, Michigan left 43 people killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned.
1969: Palestinian-born Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy. The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.
1995: Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp discovered Comet Hale-Bopp. At the time of its discovery, the comet was 7.15 au (i.e. astronomical unit; 1 au = the distance from the earth to the sun) from the sun and 1.5 years from perihelion (peri = around, helion = the sun). The comet was estimated to have a 40 kilometer diameter nucleus.