The Jewish people have a special relationship with their land. The Lord gave it to them and they love the gift He gave.
Moses and the ancient prophets spoke of Israel as a land flowing with milk and honey. God promised them abundance. Yet, after they were driven from their land, it became desolate and barren. In fact, Mark Twain visited the land in 1867 and wrote this in Innocents Abroad:
A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action….We never saw a human being on the whole route….There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.
– 1867 (Quoted in Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, London: 1881)
The land was virtually uninhabited, as no one saw any value in it. Yet, the prophet Ezekiel wrote of the Lord’s preparation of the land for the Jews’ return. Chapter 36 of Ezekiel speaks of that preparation, followed by the Jews’ return in chapter 37. He had not forgotten His promise of abundance!
Today, Jews pray fervently for rain and for abundance in their land. When they get it, there is great rejoicing! When God grants the moisture, the land becomes a gorgeous testimony to God’s goodness.
Israel is currently in the midst of a terrible drought. In fact, the Sea of Galilee (Israel’s most important water source) recently reached dangerously low levels, and it was feared irreversible damage was being done to the ecosystem. But last week the God of Israel honored the prayers of His people, sending abundant rain (we might call it flooding!) to the land. Miraculously, the water level on the Sea of Galilee rose an astounding 19 centimeters (about 7.5 inches) in just 2 days!
In Israel, no one complains when it rains! In fact, it is always seen as a blessing. The land becomes lush and beautiful, reminding everyone of the Lord’s promise of abundance. Take a look at some of the sights. Enjoy!
PS: Check back tomorrow when I’ll share some interesting ways in which God is fulfilling His milk and honey promises!