My area of academic study included theology but the main focus was on political science, international relations and economics. I’ve found, however, that these secular subjects contain a fair amount of lessons with spiritual applications, among them the fact that what’s true in the life of a nation has much in common with what’s true in the life a typical individual member of that nation.
For example, an individual usually won’t forsake their pride and admit their need for God until they’ve come to the end of their own strength. That’s also true of nations, and Israel is no exception.
I was reminded of this recently when the Reuters news agency ran a story describing a situation which has surprised many people here in Israel, including the government. It was about a severe water shortage due to the shortage of rain over the last four years, but that wasn’t the surprising part. There’s been lower than average rainfall, shorter and dryer winters and hotter summers in Israel for a lot longer than the last four years.
But we’re surprised because we thought we had the problem beat by building massive de-salinization plants and water recycling infrastructure, and we were very proud of ourselves because of this. The article begins, in fact, by saying that these technological solutions to the water shortage was “a source of national pride” but that now, it’s proving to be inadequate.
Many measures aimed at improving the situation are under discussion, including building yet another de-salinization plant and reservoirs, re-instituting water-saving educational programs in schools, etc. But until it starts raining more, all that other stuff might help stave off disaster, but they won’t solve the problem.
Many theologians have pointed out that God placed His Chosen People in this country for many specific reasons, including the fact that here more than anyplace else, they’d be dependent on Him for water, the basic element of life. The rains that come in the winter months literally make the difference between whether or not people can physically exist in this country.
The most obvious Bible passage which comes to mind here is 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (NASB)
“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Also relevant is John 7:37-38 where Jesus said “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
Israel needs a lot of help from Christians for many things, but there’s some things we have to do for ourselves, with national repentance and humility being at the top of the list.
So, if you are reading this and wondering how to pray for Israel in this situation, pray that these people will stop being so proud of their technology and instead humble themselves before God, put away their idolatry (which is what their pride adds up to) and all their other wickedness, admit their need for Him, and cry out to Him for mercy and healing. Pray for us that now that we’ve nearly come to the end of the technological solutions we thought would save us, that we’ll be broken of our pride and admit our need for the God who is the source of all life.