“And I give to you (Abraham)and to your descendants after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
— Genesis 17:8
To study the nation and land of Israel is to pursue what is, without question, an additional proof of the existence of God. No other people or ethnic group even comes close to the endurance record of the Jews. And no other tract of land on earth has ever attracted so much daily attention. All of it is related to claims for territory by both Jews and Arabs.
In this connection all eyes are on politics and political maneuvering; but the issue goes far deeper. Almighty God is getting ready to prove something – that His Word is accurate and invincible.
So the question is who owns the land? In Leviticus 26:40-44 God gives a prophetic warning to the people through Moses. They had turned their backs on Him, yet He promised He would still remember them, and also “The Land!”
What is it about this remote piece of real estate, no larger than the state of New Jersey — a virtual dot on the world map – that would cause God to be so interested in it and make such a firm commitment to it? Joel 3:1-2 clears up the mystery. This passage concerns the end times when He will bring judgment and justice. Here He clearly identifies Himself with Israel, as “My people” and “My inheritance.” Then He levels a final indictment against the unbelieving nations. Why? “Because they have divided my land.” Many years after promising the land to Abraham and his descendants, He still calls it “My land”.
Now, to whom was the land given and entrusted? Scriptures answering this question in detail are abundant. To conserve space, we will not attempt to quote them verbatim, but the reader should search out and read them. Here is a sample: Genesis 12:1-7 (the original land grant), Genesis 15: 18, and Genesis 26:4, plus others to follow. God’s Word, His oath, and His everlasting covenant are guarantees that what God Himself entrusted to Israel in terms of territory is unquestionable and everlasting! God Almighty, who owns the land, entrusted it to a particular people whom He commanded to possess and dwell in it. They were to conduct their lives in accordance with His statutes and commandments. The land belongs to God, and nobody – not the United Nations, Washington, European Union, or the Peace Table – nobody is authorized or permitted to sell, barter, give away or negotiate any part of it for any reason! What we have here, then, is God’s divine plan clashing head-on with human politics.
Scriptures tell us that Israel violated God’s conditions, and actually rebelled, resulting in disqualifying themselves from tending God’s land. As a result, both people and land entered into a time of shame and desolation. Jerusalem became a half-ruined, flea-infested village. The blessing had been withdrawn; rainfall diminished and almost everything became desert. And yet these same Scriptures also spoke of hope that this calamity would not go on forever; that there would be a restoration, a healing and a fruitfulness. (Please refer to Ezekiel 36: 5,6,8). Here is a prophetic vision thousands of years ahead when the Jews would be gathered and returned to their homeland. Verses 15 and 24-27 of the same chapter speak of the Lord’s continuing passion for the land. The promise here for spiritual restoration will take place but it will not and cannot happen until the Jews are returned to the land.
Over 1900 years have passed and most of them have been years of desolation and despair for both people and land. But the season of restoration has begun. Isaiah 66:7-9 speaks prophetically of a nation being born in one day. This prophecy was fulfilled in amazing detail on May 15, 1948. Within 24 hours of its introduction, the UN passed a resolution declaring Israel to be a sovereign nation. It was then promptly announced by the new Prime Minister, “This nation shall be called Israel!” She then fought three wars perpetrated by the Arab nations with the sole intent to drive her into the sea, but with God’s help and many real miracles, she prevailed.
In spite of the truth of Scripture and factual history the cry for “Palestinian Autonomy” to replace the nation of Israel continues to come forth with a surprising number of supporters outside the Arab world. So who are the “Palestinians”? Where did the name “Palestine” originate? Here are the answers:
There never was a “Palestine” state. There never was a “Palestine” entity. There never was a “Palestine” culture. There never was a “Palestine” language. There never was a “Palestine” government. They, who claim to be “Palestinians” are simply Arabs. And the Arabs own and control 99.9% of the Middle East, compared to Israel’s 1/10th of 1%. In the year 70 AD, when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans, the Emperor named the region “Ceasarea Palestinia” a derivative from the ancient Jewish enemy, “Philistines”. This was a deliberate slap at the Jews by the Roman Emperor.
The Jewish-Israel connection to that land goes back 5,000 years, and the Jew’s right to the land is God ordained. He said He would bring them back, never again to be pushed out. Hear the words of Jeremiah, chapter 33, verse 24: “Have you heard what people are saying? They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation, but this is the Lord’s reply – I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws of night and day, of earth and sky. I will never abandon the Jews ….” (TLB).
Now Ezekiel 11:17, “Therefore say, thus saith the Lord God; I shall gather you [Israel] from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I shall give YOU the land of Israel.”
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!