The Covid-19 pandemic has been a difficult, painful, and traumatic experience for many of us. Political divisions have deepened. Many have been separated from family by government regulations and ongoing international travel restrictions. Millions have died and we all know people who have been sick. I myself have three close family members and friends who were sick with Covid-19 and (praise God!) have recovered.
Even so, as Christians and Zionists we have a perfect hope, and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8.28-29). I want to point out a couple things God is working for our good and Israel’s good, to encourage and strengthen you.
Firstly, God worked the 2020 grape harvest together for good. In the midst of all these troubles and uncertainties He allowed 70 volunteers from the nations to come to Israel for three months and harvest 386 US tons of prophetic grapes. For all these volunteers it was a very blessed time of fellowship, of growing deeper in relationship with God, and understanding more of God’s eternal love for Israel and Zion. God proved He wants the grapevines of Judea and Samaria tended no matter the circumstances! (Due to proximity with the Shmita Sabbatical year we expect the 2021 grape harvest to be even more blessed—in every way!)
Through Covid-19, God is also increasing love of the Land of Israel in the hearts of the Jewish people. According to “A year of COVID-19 lockdowns revives Israel’s kibbutz movement” from The Times of Israel, there has been a sharp uptick in Israeli families moving to kibbutzim and embracing a more rural way of life.
One kibbutz resident, Liora, is quoted in the article saying, “[…] here on the kibbutz the children are running around, playing in the mud with the cows. It’s just lovely.”
For many Americans the socialist ideology of kibbutzim might be unpalatable. But God used kibbutzim in a pivotal role supporting the founding of the State of Israel; I believe He’s also using them today to help fulfill His prophecy that:
“‘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).