We have all seen photos of the "Holy Land" and have seen how dry and arid it is. Does it seem strange to you that in Biblical epic films the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey, is a desert? I believe that what we are seeing today is the result of Bible prophecy.

You will recall that Abram and Lot settled together near Bethel (Genesis 13:3-5). The land there could not support both of them because their possessions were great. And their herdsmen began quarreling. Lot said that he would move to the plains of the Jordan, which were well watered, "like the garden of the Lord". The area in which he settled was near Sodom and Gomorrah. Well watered is not how we would describe the area near the Dead Sea today.

Likewise, when the twelve spies went into the Promised Land they reported that it was a land of milk and honey. They cut one cluster of grapes from a vine and two of them carried it on a pole between them (Numbers 13:23). Again, we do not picture the Land of Israel as being able to support such lucious and abundant fruit.

The arid conditions we see today are the result of Israel's rebellion against God. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of "the fruitful land" and seeing it become a desert (Jeremiah 4:26). In Malachi 3:10 the Lord promises to throw open the floodgates of Heaven and bless the people with such a harvest that they cannot eat it all. This is a promise of national blessing, not personal blessing. The opposite of that is what happens when the people rob God and do not honor Him. The people of Israel were guilty of every type of evil deed, and what we see today is the result of those deeds (see Jeremiah 5:24-29). The Lord withheld rain from Israel and the well watered land that was "like the garden of the Lord" became a desert. (Jeremiah 8:13 and 9:12-15)

The land of milk and honey, the Promised Land, is so arid all crops must be irrigated. The Israelis developed drip irrigation, a method of conserving water. This is very ingenious, but is small compensation for the rain and blessing Israel would receive if they honored the Lord.

However, the day is coming when the people of Israel will honor God and will look on Jesus and will "mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child" (Zechariah 12:10). Then the Lord will return the Children of Israel to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6) and will bless the people and the land. "I will turn the desert into pools of water" (Isaiah 41:17-20).

Israel was once a lush land, as hard as that is for us to believe. But the Lord has promised to make it so once again. This will be during the Kingdom of the Lord, when Jesus is King of Kings. I look forward to that time.

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