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Blooming Deserts

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2024 8:00 pm

Blooming Deserts

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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May 8, 2024 8:00 pm

A century ago, lush forest covered roughly 40 percent of Ethiopia, but today it’s around 4 percent. Clearing acreage for crops while failing to protect the trees has led to an ecological crisis. The vast majority of the remaining small patches of green are protected by churches. For centuries, local Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido churches have nurtured these oases in the midst of the barren desert. If you look at aerial images, you see verdant islands surrounded by brown sand. Church leaders insist that watching over the trees is part of their obedience to God as stewards of His creation.

The prophet Isaiah wrote to Israel, a people who lived in an arid land where bare desert and brutal droughts threatened. And Isaiah described the future God intended, where “the desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom” (Isaiah 35:1). God intends to heal His people, but He intends to heal the earth too. He’ll “create new heavens and a new earth” (65:17). In God’s renewed world, “The desert will bloom with flowers” (35:2 nirv).

God’s care for creation—including people—motivates us to care for it too. We can live in sync with His ultimate plan for a healed and whole world—being caretakers of what He’s made. We can join God in making all kinds of deserts bloom with life and beauty.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. I'm Wynn Collier, and I wrote today's piece, Blooming Deserts. A century ago, lush forests covered roughly 40% of Ethiopia.

But today, it's around 4%. Clearing acreage for crops while failing to protect the trees has led to an ecological crisis. The vast majority of the remaining small patches of green are protected by churches. For centuries, local Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo churches have nurtured these oases in the midst of the barren desert.

If you look at aerial images, you see verdant islands surrounded by brown sand. Church leaders insist that watching over the trees is part of their obedience to God as stewards of his creation. The prophet Isaiah wrote to Israel, a people who lived in an arid land where bare desert and brutal droughts threatened, and Isaiah described the future God intended, where the desert and the parched land will be glad, the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. God intends to heal his people, but he intends to heal the earth too. He'll create new heavens and a new earth. In God's renewed world, the desert will bloom with flowers.

God's care for creation, including people, motivates us to care for it too. We can live in sync with his ultimate plan for a healed and whole world, being caretakers of what he's made. We can join God in making all kinds of deserts bloom with life and beauty.

Today's scripture reading is from Isaiah 35, verses 1-7. The desert and the parched land will be glad. The wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom. It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands.

Steady the knees that give way. Say to those with fearful hearts, be strong. Do not fear. Your God will come. He will come with vengeance, with divine retribution. He will come to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs, and the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds, and papyrus will grow. Let's pray. Creator God, please show us how to help heal and restore what's broken in the world. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-08 21:35:08 / 2024-05-08 21:36:38 / 2

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