We are living in the days spoken of by Ezekiel:
Son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of Yahweh: Thus saith the Lord Yahweh; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession: Therefore prophesy and say,
Thus saith the Lord Yahweh; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people: (Ezekiel 36:1-3)
In the following verses the reasons are clearly given explaining why Yahweh is so angry with those that rise up against Israel. The heathen rise up to take Yahweh’s, land into their possession . These people are described as having “joyful hearts” and “despiteful minds” and say “Aha” against you.
This is not just occurring in the nations surrounding Israel but in other nations where people are rejoicing worldwide to see Israel attacked, but while others are mourning.
Therefore thus saith the Lord Yahweh; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord Yahweh; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen: Therefore thus saith the Lord Yahweh; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. (Ezekiel 36:5-7)
There is a prophesy then against these nations that want the land, which is not theirs, but is Yahweh’s, the land which Yahweh promised to Abraham, the seed of Abraham and the faithful from all generations. The heathen would “bear their shame.”
Jews have been returning to their ancient homeland after years of dispersion and persecution as prophesied. Yahweh has a purpose with this earth and the heathen will need to acknowledge Israel’s rights and existence.
The prophecy of Yahweh to Ezekiel then relates specifically to Israel. Israel which would bear the punishment for its failure to worship Yahweh, the Creator and turning to other gods. A remnant was to be saved and return to their promised land when they were “cleansed from all their iniquities”.
The sign that is given that the cleansing process has begun is for all to read about in Ezekiel 36. The land has been desolated, ruined and laid waste for many years but is now blossoming again and inhabited and we are told that it is it is then that the heathen will know that” Yahweh has cleansed them from all their iniquities He has spoken it, and he will do it. and we are told clearly that “He will do it”
Desolation as seen by 19th century visitors to Palestine
There are many 19th century first hand accounts of the desolation left by invaders of the Land.
For instance in 1835 Alphonse de Lamartine wrote that “Outside the city of Jerusalem we saw no living object, heard no living sound...a complete eternal silence reigns in the town, in the highways, in the country.” In 1844 William Makepeace Thackeray wrote, “The district is quite deserted...you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals...scarcely a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride”.
In 1867 Mark Twain wrote: “A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace...hardly a tree or shrub anywhere....of all lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince...sorrowful and despondent”. Another described the land as “denuded, desertified, depopulated, barren, desolate wasteland” This is the land that the heathens now want to take from Israel.
The new Eden
The land was a desolate and down trodden wasteland until the early 20th century when Jews long persecuted in Europe and Russia emigrated there and established some farms and villages, with those oppressed Jews of the Ottoman Empire.
Thus saith the Lord Yahweh; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I Yahweh; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. (Ezekiel 36:33-37)
Today we see the evidence of the transformation of a land desolated and that no one wanted, until Jews turned up and it began to be planted and become green.
Ezekiel exactly spoke of the near kin of the Jews of the land (hence called 'Idumea'), who would seek possession of the Temple Mount, and who would be violent people – yet always lose men in their violence against Israel, and because of their love of spilling blood that turns to be against themselves.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations; (Ezekiel 36:13)
I Yahweh, build
We will see miracles – not for Israel's greatness, but for Yahweh Elohim's names sake:
Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. (Ezekiel 36:36)
We are a privileged generation but in many places on this planet our Creator is no longer respected or acknowledged, despite his wondrous works. The evidence of Israel’s revival was indeed a sign. The evidence is now of the detailed description of how Israel prevails over the blood-shedding and hatred is a sign. We can trust His word as revealed by his prophets as they are being fulfilled - now on our news.