God’s Hidden Blessing

Yael Eckstein  |  December 28, 2022

Aerial view of Mount Tabor with a grassy field in front of it.

I myself will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled. — Leviticus 26:32

One of the founding principles of The Fellowship is God’s eternal promise He made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you.” This is one of 12 devotions exploring the concept of blessing, barak, which is so important to both Christians and Jews.

If you’ve visited Israel in recent years, you have seen a beautiful and flourishing land. But it wasn’t always that way. When the modern Zionist pioneers began arriving in the 19th century, they found an almost entirely desolate land. Much of the country was overrun by swamps where malaria was rampant. The beautiful Holy Land, God’s chosen home for His chosen people, was almost uninhabitable.

Here’s how Mark Twain described what he saw during his journey there in 1867:

“The further we went the hotter the sun got, and the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became… There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

But through heroic hard work and creativity, the pioneers drained the swamps and even figured out how to make the desert bloom. Today, Israel is greener and more beautiful than ever!

Now you might be wondering why God would let His beloved land reach such a sorry state. But the truth is that God promised this in the Bible.

God’s Hidden Blessing

In Leviticus, when God told the children of Israel what would happen if they disobeyed Him, He told them they would be exiled and that the land would become desolate. We read, “I myself will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled.”

Believe it or not, this “curse” actually turned out to be a blessing. Because of this, for over 2,000 years, Israel was not a desirable land. No empire in the world was able to make the land blossom or profitable. Though many tried, Israel would not yield her fruit. And thank God for that! Because had Israel been the blooming and blossoming garden that she is today, there is no way the Jewish people would have been able to return as they have.

The desolation and disease rampant in the land of Israel over the centuries turned out to be one of God’s hidden blessing, keeping the land out of the hands of other nations as it waited for the Jewish people to come home. Now that we’re back, the land is flourishing as never before.

The lesson for us is that God is always on our side. Even when it seems like our circumstances in life are less than desirable, there are hidden blessings waiting for us.

Your Turn:

Are you experiencing struggles in certain areas of your life. Remember that God always has your best interests in mind. Trust His plan and know that even what looks like “curses” contain hidden blessings.