In Israel, our leader, Grady, pointed out many places where topography illustrates Biblical truth. One great example is the contrast between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The water in both comes from the Jordan River, which flows from a natural spring at Banias in the northern tip of Israel, enters the Sea of Galilee from the north, comes out at the southern end, then flows south another hundred miles and enters the Dead Sea. There the river ends.
Both seas receive their water from the same source, yet they are completely different. The Sea of Galilee is a beautiful freshwater lake teeming with many kinds of fish and other living things. The Dead Sea is so salty that nothing can live in it except some microscopic bacteria. The water is nearly 35% salt, making it so dense that people can easily float on it, as my niece Nancy enjoyed doing.
Water entering the Sea of Galilee has an outlet at the other end of the lake, so there is a continual influx and outflow of moving, “living” water. When water enters the Dead Sea, however, because the sea is so low, like a giant hole in the ground, it has no outlet streams. Water comes in, but can’t flow out. As it evaporates, it leaves behind salt and other minerals.
This contrast illustrates an important truth for our lives. God has blessed us to be a blessing to others. When we try to hold onto what He has given us, we become stagnant and lifeless, like the Dead Sea. But when we allow the blessings– money, love, wisdom, whatever God has given us – to flow through us to others, we are like that living water, full of life. To find ourselves in a continual flow of blessings, we need an outlet.
Jesus said it this way: “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (Luke 6:38 NLT).