There is a tree in the Jordan Valley that Scott Stripling pointed out to us.
He called it the Arara tree. He pointed out this desert tree with large mango-like fruit.
Jer. 17:5 Lord, “Cursed (Arur) is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush (arar) in the desert, and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.
We arrived at a relatively new Dead Sea national park built by the Israelis. At the entry level were shops for T-shirts and food, changing areas, etc. Also at entry level was a paved courtyard planted with palm trees with shade-covers extending over picnic tables and a sturdy iron fence where we could look down on the sandy-salt beach below at the water’ edge. Another feature at the picnic area were a continuous line of iron grill boxes at the overlook railing. Some were hot with recently used ashen white charcoal biscuits.
It was a fun day. Some comments/observations from our family members: The beach sand was very hot for tender feet. One grandson shared his socks with a barefoot cousin while he wore his shoes sockless. One found floating in the sea to be easy, but getting out of the reclining/floating position was difficult. Evidently, stronger inner core muscles are required to overcome the power of the saltwater buoyancy. Some with extra dry skin found the salt/mineral content to be quite irritating.
For me, I enjoyed “tarrying by the stuff” (I Samuel 30:24) and remembered the line from a poem we studied in high school: “They also serve who only stand and wait.” (Milton)