Inside View Nov/Dec 2021
Modern Israel has become the world’s leader in water technology, and its innovation in this important area is one way God is blessing the world today.
Israel sees water as critical for the health and well-being of people everywhere. It pioneered drip irrigation, which delivers precise amounts where needed, using a fraction of the water traditional irrigation systems require. This highly efficient method provides water for agriculture and has transformed the desert into lush farming communities. Because Israel has shared this technology liberally, drip irrigation has reduced hunger around the world.
More recently, Israel developed cost-effective desalination technology that turns seawater into drinking water. More than 75 percent of Israel’s domestic water comes from desalination plants. The country no longer pumps large amounts of water from the Sea of Galilee for home use. As a result, the lake is rising to normal levels.
Israel is sharing this technology with other water-starved countries that can access ocean water, and these nations are building desalination plants.
Israel also purifies wastewater and uses it for agriculture. This tiny Jewish nation squeezes more out of a drop of water than any other country. A full 85 percent of its wastewater is recovered and reused. Decades of work devoted to developing and implementing water technology are paying huge dividends in Israel today.
The Jewish National Fund reports the small community of Halutza, located in the Negev on the border with Egypt and Gaza, is using cutting-edge water technology to create one of the most successful agricultural communities in Israel. What used to be barren desert is now bursting with crops.
Another amazing feat is the Beer Sheva River. A few years ago, it was nothing more than a dry riverbed in the Negev where garbage was dumped. Today it is a vibrant, 1,300-acre park with the second largest lake in Israel and a developing waterfront. Israeli technology is transforming barren desert into a major recreational site for the residents of Beer Sheva and surrounding areas.
The Bible makes an unmistakable connection between water and life. In Genesis, God used water to judge the world with a flood; and centuries later, He used water to drown Pharaoh’s army during the Exodus. When the Israelites wandered in the desert, God provided water from a rock to keep them alive.
Water played a prominent role in Jewish worship and ceremonially purified people before they entered the Temple complex. A water laver stood between the outer court and altar for washing the priests’ hands and feet.
During the Feast of Tabernacles, an elaborate water-drawing ceremony was held each day for seven days. The priests walked from the Temple to the Pool of Siloam, drew water, then returned to the Temple—greeted by the sound of shofars—and poured the water on the altar.
It was a joyous celebration of life, as crowds followed the priests. The Talmud says, “One who had never witnessed the rejoicing at the place of the Water Drawing had never seen true joy in his life.” The ceremony was connected to Isaiah 12:3: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water in John 4, He offered her living water: “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (v. 14). Jesus offered her water from the well of salvation, as He offers us today.
Israel’s connection to water goes much deeper than a drink to preserve life on Earth. Israel, through her Messiah, is the source of living water for all who will believe in Him.