Royalty and Ruin


The Healing of the Waters

After crossing the Jordan, the people of Israel had camped in the Jordan Valley, rich with fields of grain and forests of fruit-bearing trees. Before them had stood Jericho, the center of the worship of Ashtoreth, the most immoral of all the Canaanite forms of idolatry. Soon its walls were thrown down, and at the time of its fall Joshua made the solemn declaration, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.” Joshua 6:26. RR 84.1

Five centuries passed. The spot lay in ruins, cursed by God. Even the springs suffered the terrible effects of the curse. But when Jezebel’s influence revived the worship of Ashtoreth, Jericho, the ancient seat of this worship, was rebuilt, but at a fearful cost to the builder. Hiel the Bethelite “laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord.” 1 Kings 16:34. RR 84.2

Not far from Jericho was one of the schools of the prophets, and here Elisha went after Elijah was taken to heaven. While he stayed among them, the men of the city came to him and said, “The situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.” The spring that had been pure and life-giving was now unfit to use. In response Elisha said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” When he received this, “he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.”’” 2 Kings 2:19-21. RR 84.3

God’s miraculous intervention was what healed the waters of Jericho. Through this token of compassion, He who “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust,” saw fit to reveal His willingness to heal Israel of their spiritual ills. Matthew 5:45. RR 84.4

The restoration was permanent. Through the ages the waters have flowed on, making that portion of the valley an oasis of beauty. RR 84.5