(Read Part 4)
Israel’s land is blooming and coming to life in ways thought impossible in the past.
Just a few weeks ago, I enjoyed a trip going south from Jerusalem, through the Negev desert heading to the southern Israeli city of Elat, in record-breaking 117-degree weather. The heat is very dry, so for a person like me from the frigid winter temperatures in Wisconsin, this was a rare and welcome treat. The drive was scenic, if you enjoy miles and miles of desert terrain with large hills and valleys lining the road. On occasion, there is a small town, or a Bedouin village, which proves the point that life is possible and sustainable in the desert lands. However, there is so much more taking place in the desert that jars your reality when an absolutely bizarre image comes into distant view.
While traveling in the middle of the desert, I thought I was seeing a mirage. I was in a nice air-conditioned van, with plenty of Diet Coke hydration, and experiencing a literal mirage made no sense. However, I really thought I saw dozens of palm trees in the distance. We drove closer to the alleged mirage and not only did it not disappear, it became more vivid with many more palm trees in beautifully manicured rows. Right in the middle of the desert were hundreds of gorgeous fruit producing palm trees. The obvious question is: How can you grow such large, beautiful, fruit producing trees in the middle of the stifling hot desert? Israeli ingenuity is the answer.
Simcha Blass, a water engineer, was visiting a friend in the desert in the 1930s when he observed a line of trees, with one tree that was noticeably taller and more robust looking than the others. He dug in the ground by the best-looking tree, and he found a water line that ran to the house with a small hole dripping water. The idea of drip irrigation was born. “Mr. Blass partnered with Kibbutz Hatzerim in the Negev desert to develop entire drip irrigation systems. He tinkered with variations on the idea, but when plastics became widely available in the 1960s, he finally had the ability to put drops of water precisely where he wanted, when he wanted; Mr. Blass and the kibbutz founded Netafim.” They have subsequently sold their systems in more than 100 countries.
The people of Israel use drip irrigation in a variety of agriculture settings to produce a land that is blossoming. However, there remains a great deal of land that is barren. The
prophetic Scriptures speak to a transformed land in the eschatological future.
An Environment of Productive Agriculture
God promised the Jewish people their own land (Gen. 12:1-3; Deut. 30:5). To date, that promise or covenant remains futuristic. God will fulfill that promise after the pre-tribulation rapture of the church age saints (1 Thess. 4:13-18) and the seven year Tribulation period (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 4:2-19:10). Then the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth (Zech. 14:4) inaugurate His 1,000 year millennial kingdom (Rev. 20:1-6) regather the Jewish people to Israel (Ez. 34:13; 36:24; 37:21), and they will experience a transformed land that is highly productive.
Isaiah 35:1-2 states:
The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
The excellency of our God.
An Environment of Productive Building
The Jewish people have faced constant threats from neighboring countries throughout their history. Much of their Promised Land remains in the control of other countries. However, God promised that the Jewish people will build homes during the millennial kingdom, they will not have to turn them over to a foreign invading power and they will plant and eat their own crops in a fruitful land.
Isaiah 65:21-22 tells us:
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
I sincerely encourage you to do much more than take a virtual drive through the land of the Bible. Please consider joining with Dispensational Publishing House and traveling to Israel with their passionate teachers of the Bible to the beautiful and ever-developing land of the Bible. Only in Israel can you vividly see in a real-time format, the past, the present situation and the stage-setting for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Make your Bible come alive as never before as you experience God’s specially chosen land.
(Read Part 6)
Dr. Richard Schmidt is the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photos Courtesy Dr. Richard Schmidt