Glimspes of Israel - A Good Land

by Joseph Hunting

A visitor to Israel today would find it hard to believe the transformation that has taken place within living memory. In some parts of the world deserts are slowly creeping over once-fertile country. Over-cultivation in parts of America created the dust bowl and in Australia extensive irrigation has produced salinity that is now threatening the country's largest river and the many towns dependent upon it.

Yet in Israel the very opposite is happening. In the early days of statehood 62% of the land was desert. Today the desert is giving way to cultivation and is indeed even fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, " ... and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose" . (35:1)

The vast swamps that once covered thousands of acres in northern Galilee were drained and magnificent farmlands were created. Pioneers drained the Jezreel valley of the dreaded malaria infested swamps, an exercise that claimed 7,000 lives. Today the Jezreel valley is one of the most fertile pieces of real estate on earth.

Rocky eroded hills have been reafforested resulting in the biggest afforestation programme ever attempted by any country. Indeed, one could go on outlining the fulfilment of prophecy that is transforming the once-desolate hills and valley of Israel.

Yet this land was not always a desolation. 3,500 years ago Moses promised the children of Israel: "For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it ..." (Deuteronomy 8:7-9)

Surely, Israel today is proof-positive of God's faithfulness to His promise: "But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to My people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown." (Ezekiel 36:8-9)