This week there are several Scriptures which talk about “rivers in the wilderness.” Just one hundred years ago Israel was a vast wasteland: deserts in the south and malaria infested swamps in the north. Clean, fresh water equals life; its absence is a sure, slow death. Over the years God has turned those wastelands into gardens.
He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water-springs into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
He turns a wilderness into pools of water, and dry land into water-springs. There He makes the hungry dwell, that they may establish a city for a dwelling place, and sow fields and plant vineyards, that they may yield a fruitful harvest. He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly; and He does not let their cattle decrease.
When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow, He pours contempt on princes, and causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way; yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, and makes their families like a flock. The righteous see it and rejoice, and all iniquity stops its mouth.
Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord.