Israel Matters to God (Part 2)
Now God does not show favouritism where salvation is concerned, however, He does differentiate between the righteous and the wicked as we see time and time again throughout the whole Bible. Psalm one is a good example. Now God had a land picked out for the Israelites and wanted them to have it as their inheritance as a nation of people free from idolatry and loyal to the One and only Triune God who had redeemed them out of Egypt and that by the blood of the lamb. God had already ordained that He would bless obedience and curse disobedience (Deuteronomy Chapter 28). Moses himself did not enter onto the Land because of a rash judgement but it was Joshua who led the Israelites into the Promised Land given to them by God’s will and foreordained purposes.
Now God kicked out the Canaanites because of their detestable wicked occult practices. They were throwing their children into the fire as they worshipped other ‘gods’ which was the worship of demons as all idolatry is no matter what form it takes (Deuteronomy 32:16-17) (Psalm 106: 36-37) (1 Corinthians 10:20). Today in our culture, the altars of Baal and Moloch where babies were thrown alive into the fire on these altars of these pagan ‘gods’ are the modern day abortion clinics. The Canaanites were into bestiality (sex with animals) disgusting lewd sexual acts and a greedy and violent people as they were in the days of Noah before the flood. God knew that if his people did not eradicate these demonically controlled cities that their evil culture would spiritually defile His people. Of course the Land of Canaan today is called Israel.
Today most of those protesting for the rights of the Palestinians don’t have a clue about Israeli politics and more so about Israel’s history. They just express what they think and put forward their personal opinions based on false information and in many cases given to them by their teachers that are just as ignorant of the real truth as their students are. They know nothing about Biblical truth concerning Israel and how God views the Jewish people and the Land of Israel being their inheritance from Him. Even within wider Christendom many do not understand what is happening in Israel today or what is behind it.
In many churches even among a growing number of evangelical ones, there is little or nothing being taught about Israel and even in some mega-churches no teaching at all about Biblical Eschatology and God’s end-time prophetic purposes for Israel especially for the younger generation. Those who are protesting in the streets and on college and university campuses and in the city streets are plain ignorant of Jewish history and how Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948 and what occurred after this. They have no ability to distinguish truth from error and this is fuelled for the most part by the mainstream media with a slanted bias towards Israel.
Politicians by and large are also conveying to the public misinformation about Israel’s right to exist as a nation under God and malign the Jews. The leaders of the European Union, the United Nations and even the Biden Administration in the United States are no friends of Israel. The truth of Israel’s restoration and right to exist is under fire on all fronts and the Biblical truth is being suppressed by wicked and unprincipled man in high places both within and without Christendom. This is why it needs to be known far and wide that Israel matters to God!
God Exiled His People:
Now God said He would exile His people among the nations. It was His doing and not the devil’s doing. God is in control of everything including what He allows Satan to do as he roams to and from in the atmosphere just above the surface of the earth as “the prince of the power of the atmosphere, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2b). In the case of Job God drew a line in the sand and told Satan in no uncertain terms how far he could go with Job , “this far and no more!” (Job 1:6-22). Let’s not give the devil too much credit. He was kicked out of God’s presence. That fight lasted a split second and now for him to get anything from God Satan has to cower and beg. The fact of the matter is God does what He wants, when He wants, in the way He wants, with whomsoever He wants, and asks no man’s permission. As He says through the prophet Isaiah; “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10). Israel is the clay in the hands of the divine potter who knows how the finished product will turn out in the end. The potters will persevere for a long time moulding the clay to remove the hard lumps until He finally has the finished product (Jeremiah 18:1-6).
Sometimes when the clay does not response to the hands of the potter he will smash the clay and reshape it again. He never discards the clay even though he may need to work it into a lesser shape than He had originally planned. However he chooses to shape it the clay will come out according to the will and design of the potter. This is how God the Divine Potter works with His children. In a very real sense how we live out our faith will to a degree determine the capacity we will have at the resurrection to be filled with the glory of God. Rabbi the apostle
Paul put it this way when he wrote; “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness. In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. All who cleanse themselves of the things (godless chatter a work of the fleshly fallen nature) I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work. Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:18-22).
Moses prophesied that Israel, because of disobedience, would go into captivity and exile and that at God’s hand, but that when they repented He would restore them from captivity and have compassion on them and regather them from all of the nations where He had scattered them.
As He spoke through Moses; “When all these things come upon you—the blessings and curses I have set before you—and you call them to mind in all the nations to which the LORD your God has banished you, and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey His voice with all your heart and all your soul according to everything I am giving you today, then He will restore you from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you from all the nations to which the LORD your God has scattered you” (Deuteronomy 30:1-3).
Repentance before Restoration:
We are told in the Word of God that God’s goodness leads to repentance because of His kindness, forbearance and patience (Romans 2:4). God would rather have mercy on sinners than judge them because He loves all men and women, and in the matter of their salvation shows no partiality. He wants all to be saved but in His foreknowledge knows who will be ultimately saved and who will be ultimately lost. Our business is to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and let the Holy Spirit do His convicting and converting work through us. As Peter realised, after he had seen a household of Gentiles come to saving faith in the Messiah and receive the Holy Spirit in the same way that he and the other 119 had received Him on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 10:34). Israel’s restoration will be preceded by repentance which must come first before spiritual restoration comes. This is the pattern of the whole Word of God. Repentance must come first before seasons of spiritual refreshing come from the presence of the lord (Acts 3:19-20).
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to lead us to repentance. He will not do the repenting for us, this we must do ourselves as we have free will. In His convicting and converting work the blessed Holy Spirit gives us the capacity to repent but will not repent for us. We must do the repenting ourselves and when we are willing to do this He will empower us to do it. In the end salvation is the work of God and not man! (Ephesians 2:8-10). God permits free will. Consider Noah, what choice did he have? Either he did what God told him to do or he perished along with the whole world.
Sometimes God will put us between a rock and a hard place and we do not have much of a choice. God waits until the disaster of our choice, should we choose our way and not His way, has taught us, and the foolishness of that choice, but still waits to be gracious towards us as a wayward child that has wandered away from his father. The prodigal son is a good example of the power God the Father has to spiritually restore a son that has strayed. Even though we receive forgiveness and spiritual restoration when we repent, we still have to live with the consequences of our choices. We see this exemplified in the life of David, the man after God’s own heart.
Having said this we also know that God in His benevolence and mercy can restore the years that the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). What is impossible with man is possible with God, and nothing is too hard for the LORD because with God all things are possible! God is waiting to show us favour and desires that we return to Him when we have strayed from His sheepfold. God is very patient as Isaiah writes; “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore He rises to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. Blessed are all who wait for Him. O people in Zion who dwell in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will surely be gracious when you cry for help; when He hears, He will answer you” (Isaiah 30:18-19). His mercy ensures forever!
Even though Israel at present by and large is strangers and aliens to their own covenants of promise God is eager to show them favour. He is just dyeing to show them His unmerited and unearned favour because of the blood covenant cut with Abraham, confirmed by Moses and fully ratified by the blood of the Messiah our Lord Jesus. In fact at the cross God was in the Messiah reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Through Isaiah the prophet God is still saying to Israel as He did in Isaiah’s time, “I will have pity on you from on high because I am a just God and those who wait upon Me, rely upon Me and draw their life from Me will be blessed. You will come back and pay attention to Me which is what I am ordering you to do today. You just have to come back and do what I told you to do in the first place. And why did I tell you to do that? It is because you will be blessed and because I love you and I want you to be blessed.”
God is saying to Israel today what He said through Moses to the Israelites of his day, that He has set before Israel life or death, obedience or disobedience and is asking them to choose life rather than death (Deuteronomy Chapter 30). Of course this is why Israelis must come to repentance towards God and exercise saving faith towards the Messiah our Lord Jesus. Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom to unsaved Jewish people is God’s first priority, even before preaching it to the Gentiles. As Rabbi the apostle Paul writes; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
In these last of the last days God is regathering His people to Israel, not for a picnic as such but for the Time of Jacob’s Trouble which God will use to set apart for himself a faithful remnant of believing Jews who will come to faith in the Messiah (Isaiah 10:21-22) (Romans 9:27-29). A troubled time lies ahead for Israel, and I might add for the whole Gentile world, however, israel will be saved out of it by the return of the Messiah who will reign over them and they will co-reign with Him for 1,000 years in the Millennial Messianic kingdom of God on earth (Jeremiah 30:1-10).
We also know from the Word of God that another partial exile is coming for the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem but after this has occurred God the Son will descend from heaven and fight against those nations gathered against Jerusalem and that have exiled half of the residents of Jerusalem. He will go out and fight against those nations as He fights on the day of battle. On His return with His angels, and also accompanied by the redeemed saints of all the ages, His feet will touch on the Mount of Olives, which we are also told will be split in two from east to west forming a great valley into which the surviving remnant of Jews will run into for safety (Zechariah 14:1-7). After the Messiah has destroyed all opposition the Millennial kingdom will commence (Zechariah 14:8-21). After this the exiles will be gathered again from the Islamic nations to which they will have been exiled (Isaiah 43:1-7). That’s the God of Israel! Wherever they have been scattered He will go there personally through His Spirit and get them and bring them home. Why? Because Israel matters to God!
The Name is Israel, not ‘Palestine’:
The Jewish people were completely exiled from Israel or killed after the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135AD. Millions were killed and millions were exiled. Not a Jew was left. In that same year Hadrian changed the name of Israel from “Provincia Judea” to “Provincia Palestina” or in English “Palestine” in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The word “Palestine” is nowhere to be found in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Old Testament). You won’t find the word in the New Testament either. You won’t find the word even in the Quran. The word ‘Palestina’ was a derivation of the word ‘Philistine.’ The Philistines were Israel’s ancient enemy in Gaza which today is known as the Gaza Strip, the home of Hamas. The same principality or prince or territorial spirit that ruled over the Philistines and through them oppressed Israel is today ruling over Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. The Romans may have changed the name of Israel but God never changed the name Israel. God changed the name of the Promised Land from Canaan to Israel and bestowed that name on the Patriarch of Israel Jacob (Genesis 32:28). The name Israel is not a matter of opinion but a Biblical and historical fact! Israel matters to God!
“A Nation Born in a Day!”
The prophet Jeremiah wrote concerning Israel’s ultimate spiritual and national restoration under the Millennial reign of the Messiah when God said through His prophet; “Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt on its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be” (Jeremiah 30:18). No one knew when this and other prophecies like this would come to pass. None of the prophets knew. For almost 2,000 years the nation of Israel lay dormant. If there was no land then there would be no nation for the Messiah to come back to as the King of the Jews. There would be no priesthood, no government, and no sign of national life, but Israel matters to God. No nation in the world has survived two exiles. When they came back to Israel they were all still speaking Hebrew. How did they preserve their language for 2,000 years and still speak it today? This is all miraculous, it is all supernatural. If you try to understand with the natural mind you will end up frustrated or put it into “the two hard basket” which multitudes do concerning Israel’s rebirth and restoration as a nation as foretold in God’s Word, the Bible. All spiritual truth concerning the Triune God must come by supernatural revelation (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
Israel’s rebirth as a nation after almost 2,000 years of exile was a miraculous act of God that occurred in a day! God spoke about this through the prophet Isaiah; “Before she was in labour she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labour she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the Lord; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” says your God” (Isaiah 66:7-9). Israel matters to God!
On May 14th 1948 at 8am David Ben-Gurion the Prime Minister of Israel, the primary national founder of a restored Israel said; “The Land of Israel was the birth place of the Jewish people. Here they gave the Bible to the world. This corresponds to what rabbi the apostle Paul wrote; “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles (Word) of God” (Romans 3:1-2). Paul also wrote; “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Messiah, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 9:4-5). The State of Israel is now open to the Jews from all of the countries of their dispersion. Many have already come and there are still many more to come. Israel matters to God!
A Spiritual Battle:
Everything related to Israel is spiritual. The war that is now happening between Israel with Hamas and with Hezbollah upping the ante on their militancy against Israel from the north is in reality a war between God and Satan. Everything is spiritual where Israel in relation to the nations is concerned. With the announcement of Jewish state in 1948 the devil went into “a tail spin.” Now Mohammad was a replacement theologian. Islamic ideology is a replacement theology and ideology. Islam says that God gave the covenant to the Jewish people but that through unrighteousness they lost it. Then they say God gave it to the Christian people but through unrighteousness they lost it, so He gave it to us they say. In 632 AD Mohammad said; “The Jews are no more even she is replaced by the Church (Christendom).” Replacement theology has been preached for hundreds of years. Satan had been working overtime to put a stop to the survival of the Jews. Replacement theology in a sense was his master stroke to take the focus off of Israel and to place it upon Christendom as having replaced Israel.
So all of a sudden in 1948 when David Ben-Gurion said “We are back!” it made Mohammad look like a liar. He was a liar! So the Muslims along with Satan went, into “a tail spin.” Satan was dumbfounded! He must have thought “How could this happen in a day?” Satan said to himself; “I just put them through the Holocaust. I killed six million of the Jews. I killed 1.5 million children under the age of ten! I thought I had decimated them. How come they are back?” Satan and all of hell shuddered! All David Ben-Gurion said was “we are a nation again and invited publically all Jews not living in Israel to come home. “You want to come home? Then come home!” That was all he said! Israel matters to God!