Why is there so much turmoil over this tiny piece of land called Israel? Why has it been a place of contention for thousands of years? Why, especially today, is there such a desire to see Israel become “Palestine” and have Jerusalem governed by an international committee? The answer can be traced back to the covenant God made with Abram, which included a people and a land.
As we learned in my most recent blog entry, “A New Promise, Part 5”, the Lord revealed to Abram His plan to make Abram’s descendants too numerous to count!
“Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said; “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be. Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:4-6
After this, we read of Abram’s now-famous response of faith, i.e. believing in those things he could not see, a response that was reckoned to Abram as righteousness. It is right after that amazing account that God echoes and confirms the unconditional covenant from Genesis 12 – the covenant of blessings, which included the Land:
“And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur Kashedim to give you this Land to possess [inherit] it” Genesis 15:7
I would like to note that many of the Bible translations do not really do this verse justice by using the word, “possess”. The word “inherit” is actually the correct translation. Why does this matter? It clarifies that the Land is an inheritance of Abram’s descendants through the covenant that passed down to Isaac and Jacob, and eventually, to the 12 Tribes of Israel, which became the Nation of Israel (a people and a land).
The reality is that this Land belongs to God; in fact, we learn from Jeremiah 18 that God is the creator, the Potter. As Creator and Ruler, He can decide to do what He desires. But we also know that there are powers of darkness that oppose His plan, especially where Israel is concerned. Almighty God determined that this land would be a literal inheritance for the Children of Israel, yet the Enemy is working very hard to fight and even discredit God’s covenant.
Today, the issue of this Land is the center of attention throughout the world. Israel is blamed for “occupying” a land that was given to the Children of Israel for millennia, the Land of Promise. The world is pressuring Israel to give away the Land, which it inherited from God. As I wrote before, the Land belongs to God, not to Israel nor anyone else, and therefore, only God can say what His desires are for this Land.
The truth is, however, that the world will continue to pressure Israel to divide the Land, to “give back” what the world say belongs to the Palestinians, which will result in heavy judgment:
“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations, And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land.” Joel 3:1-2
In closing, I want to exhort each of you who read this blog to make a decision regarding Israel. While we tend to complicate the issue, it really boils down to choosing God or the World…there is no middle ground.
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