Monday, December 13, 2010

Milk and Honey

I now live in a city, but about thirty years ago lived in the country, quite close to where the following three photos were taken, so I know a land flowing with milk and honey when I see it.

I did not expect to see milk and honey, but I was really disappointed with the land of Israel. I did not expect lush green grass, but I was amazed at how barren and rugged the land has become. Much of it is close to being desert. Even on the coastal plain, I was surprised at how much of the land is covered by scrubby trees and plants.

I had read that the Jewish people had made the desert bloom. It is true that they have in places through irrigation and hydroponics, but that is limited by the availability of water.

The contrast with God’s word is amazing.

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills;a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing (Deut 8:7-9).
The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end (Deut 11:10-12).
A better description of the current state of the land is in Deut 28.
However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands… all these curses will come on you and overtake you: The LORD will strike you with scorching heat and drought….The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed (vv 15,22-24).
The land is crying out to be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into freedom and glory when the children of God are revealed by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:21).

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