Not able to donate every month?
In Israel, mountainside vineyards surrounding Shiloh drip with sweet wine. Israel is filled with breathtaking beauty, and is springing back to life after millennia spent in mourning! Miraculously, God continues to gather the diaspora of the children of Israel from the farthest corners of the earth—just as He promised! (See especially Deuteronomy 30 and the surrounding chapters). But why should Christians worldwide care about all this?
In his phenomenal book Reforesting Faith, Matthew Sleeth keenly observes:
God is close at hand in the fields and woods. Unfortunately, when I was a kid, no one told me so. The theological move to disconnect God from the natural world was well underway by the time I was born.
Sleeth goes on to note God’s special protections for fruit trees during sieges as evidence for God’s care for the natural world. Deuteronomy commands “do not cut them down,” and then continues, almost sarcastically, “are the trees of the field people, that you should besiege them?” (Deuteronomy 20.19).
I believe God cares deeply for everything He creates. When one encounters the beauty of God’s creation, one encounters Him, in just the same way one encounters Van Gogh in Van Gogh’s artworks. If this is true everywhere, how much more so is it true in Israel, the Land God loves? Indeed, God tells the Israelites:
The land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. (Deuteronomy 11.11,12)
The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky proclaims His handiwork. Day to day makes utterance, night to night speaks out. There is no utterance, there are no words, whose sound goes unheard. Their voice carries throughout the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19.1-5)