Sunday, March 30, 2014

Agriculture in the Deserts of Israel: Fulfillment of Prophecy?

"For the palace is forsaken, the populous  city deserted;
The hill and the watchtower will become dens forever,
A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks;
Until the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
   And the wilderness  becomes a fruitful field,
   And the fruitful field is deemed a forest."
- Isaiah 32:14-15

I have heard TV preachers, especially Pat Robertson and John Hagee, talk about the agricultural success of Israel as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. And I certainly admit that the way the Israelis have made the desert bloom is amazing. However, that is a far cry from agreeing that it is a miracle of prophecy.

What do the verses above tell us? They consist of two examples of Hebrew parallelism. The first three lines describe the judgment of God, which was to lead soon to the exile in Babylon. The second three lines describe, not irrigation or agriculture, but a move of the Holy Spirit (see also Isaiah 35). That is, the prophecies of the prosperity of the desert aren't about orange groves among the sand dunes, but about conversion! When Israel, ethnically speaking, not geographically or politically, as a nation, opens its eyes to our Messiah Jesus Christ (Romans 11:25-26), then the desert of their hearts will blossom in new life.

Whether this is to happen in the State of Israel or among the diaspora, I can't claim to know. But I don't think that's an issue. However, either way, I can only see that the fulfillment of this biblical prophecy is a far cry from the dispensational spin that is commonly put on it.

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