"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose" (Is. 35:1).
Isaiah 35 is a chapter that describes the public return of Jesus. When He returns in glory, the deserts will begin to bloom. Interestingly enough, this prophecy is beginning to happen in our time.
The Hebrew word translated as desert in Isaiah 35:1 is arabah or aravah. While it is a generic word that can refer to a desert place, it is also a specific word referring to a desert valley in Israel. When Israel first gained independence in 1948, the Arava was a barren place. Very few people wanted to live there. As of 2017, 14,000 people live in this area, which is approximately 108 miles long.
Over the years, Israel has developed remarkable irrigation techniques. These practices have turned the former desert valley into a prosperous source of agricultural production. A recent report stated that the Arava produces over one-half of Israel's agricultural exports, which includes crops such as squash, dates and strawberries. They are also growing flowers!
When we study prophecy, there are events that occur leading up to the fulfillment of God's prophetic word. God prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and a time of captivity for the nation of Judah (2 Kin. 21:7-15). Nebuchadnezzar took at least one group of people to Babylon before the final destruction and captivity in 586 BC (see 2 Kin. 24:1-12, 2 Kin. 25).
As we look at the amazing progress of God's people in the desert, we are reminded of God's promise in Isaiah 35. It is a promise that will be brought to fulfillment at the return of Jesus to rule and reign. This is a tremendous sign of the end. The Spirit and the Bride say come!
Kelly McDonald Jr. is an ordained evangelist at Hungry Hearts Ministries in Jackson, Tennessee. He has written over 40 books and booklets on pursing Christ, Hebrew roots and end-times prophecy. He is currently president of the Bible Sabbath Association (BSA). You can follow him at kellymcdonaldjr.com.
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