November 23, 2022

I’m no alarmist but the news lately re: the drying up of major rivers, is more than a touch concerning. The Rhine, Colorado, and Mississippi rivers have been at risk for a year or so, but recent news re: the historic Jordan and Tigris-Euphrates is troubling.

These two rivers play a huge role in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. They are shared rivers forcing geo-political cooperation and compromise that is forcing these countries to grit their teeth in negotiations.

But from a historico/biblical perspective these water crises are truly alarming. Not only is the story of ancient civilizations dependent on the abundance of water from these rivers, but modern history is being seriously altered by drought. We watch with deep concern.

Personally, I have a great attachment to the Jordan. It was a big part of my family’s life when we lived for seven years in Israel. Indeed, I baptized all three of my children in its ancient waters. Sometimes when driving through the heat of summer from Jerusalem to the Upper Galilee we would stop and cool off with a brief plunge where the river emerges from the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Jordan is our friend. And now it’s a mere trickle. It’s like watching the death of a loved one.

Fortunately, Israel and Jordan have recently agreed to work together in restoring the river. Iraq and Turkey have yet to do the same for the Tigris/Euphrates, but they know they will have to work together or the entire region may be forever changed.

Indeed, we live in a major time of change. We must hope in hope.


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