The crocus in Israel
1. Israel blooming (Matt. 24:32-33). One of the signs of Christ’s soon coming is the fact of Israel’s blooming. It blooms not only on the top of the earth with its many beautiful gardens, but also under the earth with its new discovery of gas and oil. These blessings were predicted by the prophets long ago. The earliest promise was to Abraham, which we call the Abrahamic covenant: “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2).
Part of that blessing on the nation was that its desert land would grow into beautiful gardens, as the prophet Isaiah and Ezekiel prophesied.
The wilderness and the desert will be glad,
And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom;
Like the crocus
2 It will blossom profusely
And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
The majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
The majesty of our God.
“And they will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate, and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’
Later when Jesus first came, He prophesied of Israel’s blooming in terms of His second coming.
“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
In this parable the fig tree is Israel. Though Israel was born long ago when Joshua took possession of the land (that was promised to Abraham), the sprouting of its leaves occurred just 69 years ago, in 1948, when it officially became a nation. Since that date Israel has progressively been putting forth its leaves and growing into a very prosperous nation. Many have called it a modern miracle; for as they have testified, in 1948 the land was almost nothing but desert and barrenness, but over the years good people have made it into a very prosperous land. The land not only feeds Israel’s own people, but they export much fruit and vegetables to many places of the world.
Recently Israel has also been blessed with hidden treasures below. In 2014 Israel discovered oil and natural gas lying under the Mediterranean. Then in 2015 a huge oil find ten times larger than the average oil find was discovered in the Golan Heights. These discoveries confirm ancient biblical prophecies (Deut. 33:18-19, 24; Is. 45:3; Ezek. 38:12), and assures us that His coming is near.
2. Alignment of nations against Israel (Is. 17:1; Ezek. 38 and 39). Prophecy scholars suggest that there will be at least two dramatic events that will occur sometime around the time of the rapture—either just before or after the rapture. The first event they say will be the total destruction of Damascus (Is. 17:1).
The next thing that will happen is that certain nations (Russia, Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Northern African nations, and others) will attempt to invade Israel in order to rob her of her great wealth. The bible says (in Ezekiel 38) that they will come like a storm on the mountains of Israel, and they will come “to capture spoil and to seize plunder.” But God will instead come against them by a great earthquake, by torrential rain and by causing every man to fight against his brother (the armies will apparently destroy each other in their confusion).
Since these events will probably happen soon, it is likely that we will witness the unity and alignment of these nations to do their dirty work against Israel. Indeed we have already seen things happen, such as Russia forming alliances with Turkey and Iran. Yes, we live in exciting times. As I said, these events could occur very soon, even before the rapture; but they more likely will occur during the gap between the rapture and the Tribulation.