"Dead Sea by David Shankbone" by David Shankbone - David Shankbone. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dead_Sea_by_David_Shankbone.jpg#/media/File:Dead_Sea_by_David_Shankbone.jpg

“Dead Sea by David Shankbone” by David Shankbone – David Shankbone. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dead_Sea_by_David_Shankbone.jpg#/media/File:Dead_Sea_by_David_Shankbone.jpg

Some friends of mine recently visited the Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea. They literally floated on the water because it is a hypersaline body of water, which means it is over nine times saltier than the ocean.  Even though they temporarily enjoyed their buoyancy, they said it wasn’t a place they would want to live.  They were happy to hose off with non-salty water and move on. The Dead Sea’s saltiness makes it nearly impossible for life to flourish even though it is fed by the Jordan River. Why is this? Because it is located on one of the lowest places on earth, there are no outlets to allow the water to keep moving. As the water stands, it evaporates and even absorbs the salt and minerals from the earth, which then remain in very high concentrations.

There are many analogies to a life of worship that can be gleaned from the Dead Sea. The next couple of weeks I will share a few that I have gleaned.

The Dead Sea contains salt, which can be beneficial.

The salts and minerals in the Dead Sea are said to be good for the body. ‫. . Tourists come from all over the world to experience the potential health benefits of the salt, minerals, and black mud from the sea on their skin.  Many claim that these minerals combined with the unique bromide-rich air have healing properties.

Jesus once said, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13).

Authentic worshippers are God’s spiritual salt in the world. A life given to God the Father in the person of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit becomes God’s powerful “salt” in the world.  The spiritual flavor of our life comes from Christ, not ourselves.  The salt of God’s presence is a gift we have been given to share with sin-ravaged people who are in need of a new life and change, not just profound healing.

The Dead Sea is fed by the Jordan River.

The Jordan River is very important in the Bible, with many significant events taking place there. Most often the Jordan River represents a significant transition. The Israelites crossed this river to enter into the Promised Land, and Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.  For Christians, the Jordan River symbolizes a personal entering into the death of Jesus (and the death to our old self) to enter into a new, redeemed life in Him. It is the transition from the lost wilderness of our past into a forgiven, cleansed, and forever-accepted-child relationship with God.

Just as the source of the Dead Sea is the Jordan River, the source of an authentic, Christ-follower’s life isn’t any self-made fountain. The only true source of eternal life flows from God alone. Jesus once said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

The source of our life makes a huge difference.  The kind of worshipers God is looking for are those thirsting for His presence in the core of their being.

By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m only telling part of the story (otherwise I would have entitled this blog” The Living Sea”). Check back next week and we’ll look at some of the dangers and consequences that the Dead Sea represents to Christ-followers.

Thanks!

Chris