They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. On my recent visit to southern Israel, the land of Israel spoke thousands of words to me.
For most of my three-hour drive to deliver aid to the residents of Sderot, I enjoyed beautiful green scenery, biblical prophecy before my eyes. The land spoke the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom” (35:1-2). The trees confirmed the words of the prophet Ezekiel: “But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home” (36:8). My heart was filled with joy as I saw the desert in bloom, fields of produce, and acres of fruit-bearing trees.
But when I got within a few miles of the Gaza Strip, the scenery changed completely. I saw endless burnt farmland. The sight of all this burnt land – our holy land – was heartbreaking. It is the result of a new tactic that terrorists in Gaza have been using to attack Israel. They have taken kites, a children’s toy, and transformed them into deadly weapons. The terrorists attach explosives to kites and use the wind to send them into Israel, causing trauma, danger, and damage.
This has been going on for months, with dozens of kites being sent into Israel daily. I couldn’t drive more than a few minutes without passing a burnt field destroyed by terror kites. I felt devastated and utterly outraged.
I thought about the amazing miracle that God has done for the people of Israel by making the land bloom when it had been barren for centuries. While no one thought we could grow anything in our desolate land, we now grow so much produce that we are able to export it to other countries, fulfilling yet another prophecy: “In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit” (Isaiah 27:6).
Seeing this land – which God Himself has touched – burnt and destroyed reminded me that we are fighting pure evil. Israel represents life, growth, and faith. The burnt fields represent how the enemy has no regard for life and no regard for God.
The miles of burnt land that I passed put me into a state of shock and despair. Suddenly, I was jolted out of my shock when I spotted a terror kite flying close to where I was. The kite flew a little bit and then landed right next to a Jewish community, starting a blazing fire in the field beside me. It was another miracle of God that the explosive kite landed in a field and not in the town where there are homes and schools. I watched God direct this kite so that it wouldn’t hit the homes. However, it still destroyed the livelihood of those to whom the fields belong.
When I finally reached my destination, Sderot, the contrast in scenery struck me again. In spite of bearing the brunt of rocket attacks and kite terror, Sderot is a growing, bustling city full of life. The residents choose to live in Sderot, and to remain there, despite the threats from terrorists in nearby Gaza. This sight was all I needed to remember that no matter what our enemies send our way, the Jewish people aren’t going anywhere. Israel will continue to flourish.
We cherish life and will go on living, building, planting, and thriving. I pray to God that one day our enemies will choose to do the same.