Last year, I had the opportunity to visit a beautiful farm in the Shiloh area. Over the years, Yisrael, the owner, had worked hard to establish a farm for hundreds of sheep, goats, geese, chickens, and other animals. It was an archetypal example of farms I’ve seen across Judea and Samarial where Israelis work hard to restore and reclaim the Land.
And yet it was one of the saddest days of my time in Israel. No, it wasn’t because it happened to be a cold and rainy November day. It's because of what I was there to do. Yisrael’s farm had received a demolition order—the courts had decided that it had to be relocated, or be destroyed.
I was there as part of a group to help with the wretched task of uprooting the farm for relocation to a hilltop not far from Ariel. The freezing rain came and went in short downpours and, while rain in Israel is a blessing, on that day it also served to set the mood for the sad work we did.
Working to disassemble animal pens
We labored through the miserable weather, disassembling animal pens, moving equipment, and doing whatever else we could to organize for the move. Even the animals seemed to know that things weren’t right. A sweet little donkey trudged around pitifully, while geese honked nervously without provocation and flighty chickens scurried about. Most of the sheep had already been moved, so we began the task of tearing down the old sheltered pen, an activity made all the more treacherous by the mud.
Observations at the new farm
A few months later, I had an opportunity to visit the farm again. Despite its new location on land supposedly less controversial, there was the real danger that Palestinians from the villages below would steal the livestock and cause damage to the farm, as had happened in the past. I arrived at night to assist with a security watch. It was a chilly winter night, marked by sporadic rain, much like my visit to the old location. Yet this time, I felt a sense of peace seeing that the vision of the farm continued.
“God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.” Psalm 46:5
When the sun rose the next morning, it revealed an awe-inspiring landscape. Rays of light illuminated beautiful grassy mountains as far the eye could see. Morning mist clung to the valleys below and fluffy clouds graced the sky above. In contrast to my past visit to the farm, it was a morning of hope. I clearly saw the determination of the Jewish People to rebuild their nation and reclaim the Land that is rightfully theirs.
My view that morning on the farm
The kind of faith it takes to fulfill prophecy
I was witnessing a beautiful example of amazing people of faith who believe with all their heart the words God has spoken: “‘I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.” Amos 9:15
Despite terrorism, not to mention international pressure and condemnation, the Jewish people of Judea and Samaria persevere. Though their homes are often demolished, vineyards uprooted, and trees burned, they continually rebuild.
I have no doubt they will succeed, first, because God spoke it. But also because I believe when, and how, the restoration takes place is facilitated by God’s people. I witnessed the kind of deep faith it takes to see prophecy actualized during the days I spent on that farm in Samaria.
How many of us are embracing the challenge to do the right thing and live out prophecy? Working to see the promises of God fulfilled often takes sacrifice, and while I think we all believe the reward is worth it, we should always be asking ourselves, “What am I going to do today to see Jerusalem made a praise in all the earth?”
Blessed Buy Israel is one way you can get involved in the restoration, but there are many more opportunities as well. Seek them out, give your best, and invest in the bright future becoming reality in Israel! God’s promises never fail and we are endowed with an incredible opportunity to be partners in His Kingdom being established.
“Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwelling places; The city will be rebuilt on its ruin, and the palace will stand on its rightful place.” Jeremiah 30:18