Choose Life or Choose DeathNovember 13, 2017 in Israel
It's a good place to begin. Any trip that starts in a garden seems like it'll be a good trip. Our first stop here in Israel was a Biblical Garden in the hill country of Judah called Yad Hashmona. I took a bunch of photos there, only to discover that I had forgotten to put my memory card back into my camera. I want to go back and recapture them, but those photos are gone now.
But even with that little mishap, a garden is still a good place to start a journey. Adam and Eve started in a garden. Theirs was a garden with a choice. They were going to choose to obey God or not. One way would lead to life and the other way would lead to death. "I have set before you life and death," God would tell them. "So choose life." (Deut 30:19).
We ended last night with a dark drive down 3000 feet to find ourselves on the shore of the Dead Sea. This is the lowest place on earth. It actually feels like you're closer to the center of the Earth here. It's dry, the air is heavy and hot. This sea is dead and you can tell.
One of the reasons this Dead Sea is a dead sea is because it has no outlet. The Sea of Galilee to the north teems with life as the Jordan river flows in and then right back out. It brings nutrients and life in and the Sea of Galilee responds by letting nutrients and life right back out.
But that same Jordan river only flows into the Dead Sea. Nothing flows out of it. So the water sits.
All that potential for life sits and stagnates.
"I have set before you life and death,"
My devotional this morning reads, "Whether in Eden or Canaan or California, our decision remains the same. The land where we live - be it lush or desolate - is the stage on which we act out God's glory. Regardless of our location or influences, God gives us a choice each day from which tree to eat."
Paul writes to the Romans in Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
As we walk through our days today, may we see every opportunity to overflow with hope and to bring life.
Because if hope and life get stuck in us and never flow back out, it rots.Read more