and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.
“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”
says the LORD your God. — Amos 9:14–15
Aliyah is Hebrew for “ascent” or “to go up.” In biblical times, it was used to describe the pilgrimage all Jews made three times a year to Jerusalem for holy festivals. Today, it refers to immigration to Israel. These devotions explore aliyah and the fulfillment today of biblical prophecy that God would bring back His children to their ancient homeland, Israel. Discover how you can participate in fulfilling biblical prophecy through The Fellowship’s On Wings of Eagles ministry.
In 1867, Mark Twain visited the Holy Land. This is what he saw: “A desolate country . . . given over wholly to weeds . . . a silent mournful expanse . . . a desolation . . . we never saw a human being on the whole route . . . hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” The land that Mark Twain saw was the way that the land looked for more than two thousand years. As foretold in the Bible, once the children of Israel were exiled, the land ceased to blossom.
At the inception of the nation of Israel, God had commanded the people to “Be holy” (Leviticus 19:2). And He gave the fledgling nation explicit instructions on how to do that. When God gives a command, it is not to be taken lightly. As these verses in Amos demonstrate, failure to heed God’s Word can lead to disastrous consequences.
The prophet addressed a wayward nation and told the Israelites that they were to be exiled from their land. As the God had warned them in Leviticus, “Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out” (Leviticus 20:22). Once the children of Israel failed to keep the laws of the Lord, it was only a matter of time before they would be spit out. And indeed they were.
For two thousand years, the nation of Israel was exiled from the land of Israel. During that time, it was as if the land itself was in mourning. This is how Mark Twain found the land in 1867. But history was about to advance to the next stage mentioned in the verses from Amos: “ . . . I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities . . .” God promised to return the people of Israel to their land. And indeed He has.
Reading the rest of the verses from Amos, one can hardly believe that the prophet is talking about the same land that Mark Twain had seen. He describes cities with vineyards, plentiful wine, abundant vegetation and fruit. Yet, this is a perfect description of Israel today. Miraculously, the “silent mournful expanse” was transformed into an abundant garden!
Friends, we are living in miraculous times and watching biblical prophecies unfold before our very eyes. Join us here at The Fellowship as we do our part in contributing to God’s purposes. In the end, God’s Word will be fulfilled, but we can choose to play a part in the unfolding of His plan.