On Friday morning a week ago, I at last had the opportunity to run my car through the car wash. Complications following my recent vitrectomy, (retinal reattachment surgery), have made it necessary for me to make the 240 mile roundtrip to the retinal specialist three times a week, leaving very little time for anything not work or sleep related. Washing the car was not high on my to do list. So, after far too long, it was nice to finally see the country road dirt disappearing down the car wash drain.
And as neither I nor my car had left home that weekend, on Monday morning, it was quite disconcerting to find it looking as though I had taken it mudding. (I promise, I had not!). From roof to wheels, my little charcoal gray Prius was covered with large reddish brown muddy splotches.
Because of a news article I had read several years prior, I immediately recognized the fact that part of the Sahara Desert had again been transplanted to Oklahoma during the night. Yes! Really!
The article explained that when it “rains mud” in the Southern USA, it is actually sand, or dust, from the Sahara Desert descending with the rain! Yes! The SAHARA! The largest and hottest desert in the world, the Sahara experiences strong windstorms which sweep the fine sand, or dust, of the desert 2-3 miles into the atmosphere where it is then carried by the trade winds as far south as Texas and Florida! When it encounters moisture in the atmosphere, the Sahara rains down as mud. In case you’re wondering, The Sahara Desert is approximately 7000 miles from Oklahoma!
So, you see, this week, the Sahara moved to Oklahoma, and to my place in the country. I then drove the Sahara through town to work until it was washed into the ground at my home last night when strong thunderstorms passed through the area, dumping 5+ inches of rain.
So, while it is true that the visual evidence of the Oklahoma Sahara is no longer apparent on my car, it is also true that it is indeed still here on this land. In fact, the Sahara is constantly being relocated around much of the globe. It is amazing to consider, isn’t it?
Let’s now search the Scriptures to see what lesson might be implanted in this totally natural (by design) phenomenon. How might sand from the Sahara raining down on the land on which I reside, speak of things spiritual?
First, we find that YHVH promises that He will make Abraham’s descendents like “sand,” or “dust.”
Gen 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Gen 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Okay, so now we have a possible connection between sand or dust, and Israel. And that will become the first corner piece in the puzzle we are assembling.
Next, we see that because Israel was disobedient to God’s Torah (teaching and instructions), He would scatter them to the far reaches of the earth where they would be “lost” or assimilated into the surrounding communities.
Jer 13:24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. 25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
Eze 5:10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
Neh 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Zechariah 7:14 “but I scattered them with a storm wind among all the nations whom they have not known Thus the land is desolated behind them so that no one went back and forth, for they made the pleasant land desolate.”
Zechariah 2:6 “Ho there! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the LORD, “for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens,” declares the LORD.
To the corner piece of Israel being represented by sand or dust, we add another corner. It was because of disobedience that God would scatter Israel to the wind, depositing them in other nations, where they would be assimilated. Striking similarities are beginning to emerge between Israel and Sahara sand, are they not? Because the Sahara dust is not “anchored” to anything (there is no vegetation or live growth), the dust is susceptible to every wind. What is that old adage – If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything? And it was because Israel was no longer anchored in His Word, that they were scattered. How would we have known if Israel were anchored in the Word? It would have produced “fruit” (vegetation). Interesting. The Word produces fruit, and the fruit grounds us to the Word. Hmmmm
You will recall that I mentioned that just 3 days after Sahara rained down on my car, a strong storm system moved through dumping greater than 5” of rain, completely “erasing” all “evidence” of the Sahara. Nonetheless, the Sahara did not return to the wind from whence it came. It remains on this property. Washed into the native sand of this land, it has been “assimilated,” “disappearing” into the land to which it was scattered by the wind.
And now we’ll add yet another puzzle piece as we continue to assemble the full picture. It seems that there are scientists who study the trade winds, and particularly the affects of this transport of the African Sahara along the trade winds circuit. It has been discovered that this Sahara sand brings with it African bacterium and microbes, which are deposited along with the sand. There is evidence that these bacterium can be credited with an uptick in asthma, meningitis, and other respiratory illnesses in the places in which they are deposited. We’ll put this on hold and see if it fits into our puzzle soon.
Perhaps we are about to complete the frame, and discover its relevance to us personally, as we contemplate the following.
Do you consider yourself chosen? Did YHVH choose you? Did you become “adopted,” “grafted into Israel” when you chose to join yourself with Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus)? If so, this Sahara Sand lesson is for you, is it not? I believe Scripture clearly indicates that this is indeed the case.
Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Since the Scriptures attest that as believers, we are part of Israel, what might we learn about ourselves by considering the “sand”/”dust” Scriptures cited above, along with what He has revealed in His creation?
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Might we be wise to take warning that when we disobey Torah, we no longer have any anchor? Should we be looking to see if the Word is indeed producing fruit in us? For without an anchor, we, like the desert dust, are then easily swept away by whatever wind is prevailing at the time.
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Do we hitch a ride on the “trade winds” and find ourselves carried far away from where we want to be? Do we unwittingly transport with us “bacteria and microbes” that not only make us sick but also those among whom we are planted? In other words, can we infect others with Torah disobedience? Have we disappeared into the surrounding nations and now look no different than they do? Something to consider!
Ahhh, the Oklahoma Sahara; a lesson in the effects of disobedience.
Perhaps the next time you wake to find that it has again rained Sahara where you live, you will contemplate the truth of what happens when we separate ourselves from Torah and are scattered to the winds.
And, may it be our prayer, that, though we be scattered at times without our Torah anchor, He will one day gather us together as we return to Him and His good and perfect teachings and instructions.
Deu 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: 5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
May we all be gathered again to Him, from wherever we have been scattered, soon and in our days.