The Negev Desert at first can appear barren, parched, and generally without use except to a few intrepid hikers. But while the Negev is hardly an oasis, there is still a great deal of purpose hidden within. Particularly when approached by creative, determined people; and when God’s promises, prophetic plan, and divine hand enter into the picture.
Join us as we explore how the Negev Desert has begun to transform into the place God’s prophetic promise said it would one day be!
A Desert, A Prime Minister, and A Prophetic Promise!
“It is in the Negev where the creativity and pioneer vigor of Israel will be tested…”—Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion
With rugged desert terrain, poor soil conditions, very little fresh water, an extremely harsh climate, and a very small population, the Negev Desert was largely ignored in the first forty years of Israel’s modern-day existence. Because of that, several large portions of this area might have been given away in 1947-48, when the borders of Israel were being reestablished, had it not been for the vision and support of people like Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion.
Ben-Gurion stood resolute in his conviction that the Negev would someday blossom and rejoice as Isaiah prophesied in ancient times. That God was not a man that He should lie; and therefore, since Isaiah was given this prophetic word from the Lord about the Negev Desert, then it must be true!
“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing…”—Isaiah 35:1-2
Though this prophetic promise about the Negev Desert is one of the most well-known, it is not the only one about Israel’s bright future or the renewal of the desert. Other prophets, such as Amos, also provided God’s prophetic promise for the land, and Isaiah went on to also say this about the Negev Desert…
“…For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water…”—Isaiah 35:6-7
The land of Israel and the Negev Desert within it are a promise of God and a part of His covenant with His children. It is not simply land or resources, it is relationship with God. It is hope. It is God’s Word made manifest throughout the generations.
The Negev Desert. Where Prophecy Meets Reality.
Israel's Negev Desert, though once generally considered uninhabitable, is awakening to the prophetic words of Isaiah, David Ben-Gurion, and others. It is answering the call placed upon it by God Himself!
Although the Negev Desert comprises nearly 60 percent of Israel’s modern-day landmass, only an estimated 8.1 percent of Israeli citizens live there. It is hot, rocky, and dry nearly all year round. But today, a persistent generation of Israelis—farmers, ranchers, scientists, accountants, business owners, and more—are beginning to make a change… and the desert is literally beginning to bloom and grow!
“The Negev is one of the Jewish nation's safe havens.”—Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion
Through the hand of God there has been scientific research to uncover new ways to bring necessary water, energy, and other provision to harsh areas like the Negev Desert, allowing crops that once would have died, the opportunity to flourish!
Today, previously uninhabited areas of the Negev are being inhabited, and those who are moving into this once wasteland are often choosing to plant and cultivate. Crops like olive trees, grapes vines, and more are being planted. But more than that, they are bearing good yields!
This does not mean that it is an easy task. In fact, it is a challenging and costly endeavor; but one that is needed if Israel is to answer its biblical call. This is one of the reasons why My Olive Tree was formed and why, through people like YOU, we are planting olive trees and grape vines on family farms, and in cooperation with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on IDF bases. These are projects that aim to not only cause the Negev Desert to bloom as Isaiah prophesied, but to bless those who care for all that is planted; helping to build up families, the desert, and even to an extent, Israel itself.
Planting the land of Israel is certainly changing the nation of Israel in this season of time, but with every passing year and with new generations, the Negev and all of Israel will continue to blossom and thrive, just as God promised in the prophetic words He gave His prophets.
“‘That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ says the Lord who does this thing. ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land…’”—Amos 9:12-15
We are witnessing what prophets thousands of years ago knew was coming; we are seeing what they themselves longed to see. God’s hand on the Earth, bringing new life and promise!
What is more, we are able to be a part of it. We are able to make a difference as we partner with God to awaken the land of Israel; to cause the Negev Desert to bloom!
“The Negev has begun to awaken. It must never be allowed to sleep again. The Negev makes it possible to double the settled area of Israel. We will combat the barrenness in it, just as we fought the hostility outside of it.”—Israeli President Shimon Peres (November 2007)