Glimpses of Israel - Land of Promise

by Joseph Hunting

It's hard to imagine the feelings of two or three million people who had been born in slavery, and who had spent the past forty years as desert nomads, taking possession of the land that flowed with milk and honey.

Moses had promised that the Lord would bring them "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 oil and honey; and land wherein you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall not lack anything in it ..." (Deuteronomy 8:7-9).

And so it proved to be. With its highlands and lowlands and diversity of climatic conditions the Promised Land provided everything Moses had promised.

But nearly two thousand years of foreign occupancy almost completely reversed the Divinely ordained conditions. Neglect, harsh laws that resulted in forests being denuded of trees, grazing habits by nomad Bedouin plus the effects of erosion combined to reduce the "glory of all lands" to a desolate wilderness.

Only in our time has the transformation come about that is almost unbelievable, but not without a heavy price in blood sweat and tears. And only superlatives can describe this transformation. Israel boasts the world's largest reafforestation programme, the world's biggest irrigation system, cows that hold world records for milk yields.

Indeed, there is only one expression that adequately describes the remarkable change that has taken place: Israel is a modern miracle. But this merely foreshadows the day prophesied by Isaiah when "they shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

"They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpents meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 65:21-25).