These past two weeks I had the supreme honor of taking the Permaculture Design Course on the Greening The Desert project in the Dead Sea valley, Jordan, where they have succeeded in turning a plot of completely dead desert land into a thriving food-generating ecosystem. It was incredibly cool. I had such an great experience meeting amazing people, and learning amazing things about caring for creation.
I will surely write more about it in the future.
On the last day after class, we had a talent show, where we shared with the class things that we were passionate about. I had compiled a list of verses from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible relating to what we were learning about, and shared it with the class. Below is a recording of the reading, as well as a copy of the text I read. Sorry that the audio isn’t great. Might rerecord it later.
There were a few passages I trimmed, and a few phrases I “modernized” or modified to apply a bit more to what were studying.
I also footnoted the original sources of the passages, which you can find at the end of each passage.
I hope you enjoy!
The fortress has been left abandoned.
The noisy city was deserted;
The citadel and the watchtower were turned into a wasteland,
the delight of donkeys, overgrazed by flocks,
until God’s Spirit is poured out from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
People will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
How blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream,
and letting your cattle and donkeys range free. 1
Right now, the poor and needy search for water,
And there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them, and I will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia,
the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
and that God, your God, has created it. 2
In those days many peoples will
come to the House of the Lord and say,
“Come, let us go to the Lord,
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their weapons into gardening tools:
their swords into plowshares,
their spears into pruning hooks.
They’ll beat their guns into shovels,
and repurpose their missiles as irrigation piping.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid. 3
“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
On the day I cleanse you from all your sins,
I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
The desolate land will be fruitful instead of lying
desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.
They will say, “This land that was laid waste has
become like the garden of Eden;
the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed,
are now fortified and inhabited.”
Then the nations will know that
I the Lord rebuild what was destroyed
and replant what was desolate.
I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’ 4
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes?
See how the flowers of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
which is here today and tomorrow is turned into mulch,
will he not much more clothe you?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’
or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness,
and He will make sure you’re taken care of,
and He will work out the details.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own. 5
Then I was shown the river of the water of life,
as clear as crystal, flowing from
the throne of God down the middle of the city.
On each side of the river stood the tree of Life,
bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.
And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be any curse.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city,
and His servants will serve Him.
They will see His face,
and they will be with Him,
and reign with Him for ever and ever. 6