The Desert Blossoms
In today’s edition of Israel Today online there was a headline that read; “The Desert Blossoms.” There was a video presentation about the blossoming of the Negev desert. The brief article said; “The prophets foretold a time when Israel would be restored, and that the land itself would rejoice; that the desert places would again blossom after centuries of desolation. The fulfilment of those prophecies is now an annual occurrence in the south of Israel, where many will be surprised to see just how colourful and full of life the Negev Desert is following the winter rains.”
The restoration has begun
Watching this excellent video has made me think again about what God has started to do in Israel in regards to their national and spiritual restoration as a nation. The desert wasteland is starting to bloom. It is not man made even though today there is much of the land that has been turned into fruit bearing pasturelands by the Israelis themselves. God is starting to show us by this natural vegetation and flowering of the natural desert regions that He is starting this restoration spoken of through the prophets. This blossoming natural vegetation springing up in the Negev desert, untouched by man, is a physical sign or indication that the national and spiritual restoration of Israel has begun.
Signs of life
From 70AD onwards Israel nationally and spiritually was like ‘a desert wasteland’ for almost 2,000 years with no sign of a national or spiritual restoration. In 1948 this ‘desert wilderness’ began to show ‘signs of life’ when Israel started to blossom as a nation once again. As we see Israel’s natural desert region in the Negev desert starting to blossom here and there, it would indicate that there is already a spiritual awakening that has started in the land of Israel, a harbinger and foreshadow of the final spiritual restoration of the nation that is to come. There are signs of life in the spiritual desert that by enlarge is seen in the nation of Israel today. It has not yet come to its fullest fruition and Israel as a nation is yet to pass through God’s refining crucible to remove the remaining dross.
The Refiners Fire
As the prophet Malachi writes; “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire, like a launderer’s soap. And He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in days of old and years gone by.” (Malachi 3:2-4)
However, when the LORD has done His purifying and sanctifying work, Israel as a nation will come forth as pure gold and the face of the refiner Himself will be reflected in the surface of the purified gold. While the nation of Israel as a whole is not yet spiritually restored there are many within Israel today who are turning back to the Messiah our Lord Jesus more than at any other time in history and these are like the natural plants and vegetation springing up in the Negev desert in Israel we see today as this video has shown. Once the spiritual restoration has fully come the desert will bloom beyond ones imagination.
The Glory of the LORD
As the prophet Isaiah writes; “The wilderness and the land will be glad; the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose. It will bloom abundantly and even rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon will be given it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the LORD, the splendour of our God.” (Isaiah 35;1-2) As the prophet Malachi writes; “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight,” says the LORD of Hosts.” (Malachi 3:12)
A delightful land!
This regeneration of the desert places in Israel will not ultimately be the work of man even though the Israelis today have turned much of the wilderness landscape into pastureland since 1948. This final blossoming of the land spoken of by the prophets will not be the work of man alone, even though spiritually renewed Israelis will be involved in its regeneration, but it will be the work of God. In that day the whole of Israel will be a delightful land and like the Garden of Eden before the fall of man.
The LORD dwells in Zion!
As the prophet Ezekiel writes; “The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through. Then they will say, “This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden. The cities that were once ruined, desolate, and destroyed are now fortified and inhabited.” Then the nations around you that remain will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt what was destroyed, and I have replanted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do it.’” (Ezekiel 36:34-36) In that day the cry will resound around the world “The LORD dwells in Zion!” (Joel 3:21) This is Israel’s glorious future to come under the reign of the Messiah.