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Tuesday, November 28 2017
When The Earth Will Thirst No More
"The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water"
It's ironic that, with about 70% of the Earth's surface covered with vast and deep oceans of water, there are many places that thirst - even on the oceans themselves. The situation is the result of ocean water being undrinkable because of high salt content, but also because of atmospheric weather patterns that provide life-giving rain to some places, while others are left dry.
The English-language word "desert," meaning "an arid region with little or no vegetation," originated from a medieval Anglo-Saxon word which meant to forsake. The definition of desert specifies the key factor as arid - very low precipitation.
Deserts can occur anywhere on earth, hence the reason that they are classified as either "hot" or "cold" i.e. there are deserts in northern Canada, just as there are deserts in the southern U.S. - while there are also seasonally cold deserts in the U.S. (e.g. in Montana) and seasonally hot deserts in Canada (e.g. the Alberta Badlands, that have cactus, scorpions and rattlesnakes).
As is so often the case, a single English word, in this case "desert," is used to translate many different Hebrew words of the actual Holy Scriptures (keep in mind that the Word of God is the Word of God, translations are translations; see also Translation Of Translations). Examples:
The defining-fact that deserts are dry because they receive little precipitation doesn't mean that water can't be found in a desert. As recorded in the Scriptures, water was and is available from an oasis, or from underground supplies, as in these examples in the Sinai.
"2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian [see Moses Of Midian]: and he sat down by a well. 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 2:17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock." (Exodus 2:15-17 KJV)
Interestingly, the Commandment against idolatry includes not making an idol out of "the water under the earth."
"20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6 KJV)
The return of the Messiah (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?; also Could Christ Return Tonight?) is going to produce a new world in which all of the "dry places," geographically ("the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water") and spiritually ("the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped") will be abundantly watered.
"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 Christian Holy Day is a prophecy of the coming spiritual waters that will end humanity's thirst for Truth?
This Day In History, November 28
936: Shi Jingtang was proclaimed to be the first emperor of the Later Jin Dynasty by Emperor Taizong of Liao. It followed a revolt against Emperor Fei of Later Tang (see also The First Chinese American War).
1095: At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appointed Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse to lead the First Crusade (there were actually many "crusades" before that; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and Emperor Constantine's Sun Dogs).
1520:Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan passed through a strait on the southern tip of South America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. It is today know as the Strait of Magellan.
1660: Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray founded the Royal Society (full name "The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge"). The Society today serves as a scientific advisor to the British government.
1698: Louis Frontenac, governor of New France (at first, only what is today eastern Canada), died at age 78. Ignoring orders from his superiors, Frontenac pushed French exploration in the New World, establishing forts throughout North America, from Atlantic to Pacific, and south to Louisiana - an expansion that eventually led to conflict with the British for control of the north of the North American continent (the Spanish held most of the south of North America and South America).
1729: Natchez natives (that early white explorers called "Indians" because they thought North America was Asia; see also The First Chinese American War) massacred most of the 300 French settlers and soldiers at Fort Rosalie, Louisiana.
1821: Panama joined Colombia after declaring independence from Spain.
1868: A major eruption of Sicily's Mount Etna.
1899: During the Second Boer War in South Africa, the British under Lord Methuen battled a force of 9,000 Boers (boer is the Dutch word for farmer) in the Battle of Modder River.
1905: In Dublin, the Irish Sinn Fein was founded.
1912: Albania declared its independence after over 400 years of Ottoman (Turkish) rule (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1941: The U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise left Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to deliver fighter planes to Wake Island, to the northwest of Hawaii. They were unaware that a Japanese attack force was approaching within striking distance from the north. In doing so, it barely missed being in the harbor during the Japanese attack which occurred only 9 days later. The attack on Pearl Harbor was just one of many Japanese near-simultaneous attacks on Australian, Dutch, British and U.S. targets all across the Pacific in December of 1941.
Many U.S. and Japanese aircraft carriers sunk in battle during the war. Japan lost over 20 aircraft carriers (including those that were involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor), while the U.S. lost over 12 (including the Hornet, Langley, Lexington, Princeton, Wasp and Yorktown).
1943: During the Second World War (1939-1945), Britain's Winston Churchill, Russia's Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt met at the Tehran Conference in Iran.
1950: 200,000 North Korean troops launched an attack on South Korea (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1962: Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands died at age 82.
1971: The Prime Minister of Jordan, Wasfi Tell, was shot by "Black September" terrorists outside the Hilton Hotel in Cairo.
1979: An Air Zealand DC-10 flying from Auckland to the South Pole hit Mount Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.
1984: Over 250 years after his death, England's William Penn (Pennsylvania is named after him) was made an Honorary Citizen of the U.S. It is extremely unlikely that he would have accepted it if he were alive. Although Penn did much city building and political work in the colonies that England had created in the uninhabited wilderness, he did so in loyal patriotism to Britain and the King. Penn did not participate in or agree with the revolution - the reason that he returned to England where he lived the remainder of his life.
1989: With communism crumbling all across Europe, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced that it would surrender its monopoly on political power.
1991: South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia. Soviet Russia occupied Georgia in 1921, later becoming part of the Soviet Union as the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic until its own independence in 1991.