Moses knew that God had chosen His people and had promised them a set-apart or holy nation.
“Jehovah, The LORD your God, has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).
God never rejected His people. Like the father of the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable, God’s love for His people has never changed, even though they have often made Him sad.
The idea that God has a special relationship with the nation of Israel does not go down well today. Our society is preoccupied with equality and equal opportunity. Why should God choose one nation out of the many that fill the globe? What is so special about that tiny strip of land between the continents, the country we now call Israel, for which He seems to have such a deep regard?
The man all Jews look back to as the father of their race is Abraham, the son of Terah. Abraham was brought up in a city called Ur, close to the River Euphrates in what is now Iraq. At an age when most people are thinking of retiring, Abraham had a visitation from the Most High Elohim, Jehovah God who asked him to leave Ur of the Chaldees:
“Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house,” he said, “to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).
It was a lot to ask of anyone, but with what turned out to be a characteristic faith in God, Abraham sold up and moved out, not knowing, to begin with, exactly where he was going. After a long trek up the Euphrates, he was guided to the west and south until he came to a 200 mile long strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, mountainous in the centre, with coastal plains to the west and the Sinai desert to the south. No-one appreciated, at that stage, the strategic position of the land of Israel, sited at the junction of three great land masses. Nor could they foresee the beauty it will have, one day, when the desert is made to blossom as the rose. That was all tucked away in the drawer of plans. God promised Abraham simply,
“To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7).
There was an irony about this statement. Although Abraham and his wife had been happily married for many years, to their intense regret they had had no children. Yet God was promising the land to their descendants! The promise was repeated and expanded as the years passed, but Abraham and his wife moved round the land in their tents, still childless, and no nearer to possessing the land than when they first arrived.
One night Abraham had opportunity to question the messenger from the Lord more closely.
“I am the LORD,”
he had just been told,
“who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess”.
Instantly Abraham unburdened his anxiety.
“0 Lord GOD,” he asked, “how am I to know that I shall possess it?” (Genesis 1 5:7,8).
To confirm and guarantee His promise, the Most Almighty Elohim Hashem Jehovah the Giver of life, proceeded to make a solemn covenant with Abraham, after the custom of the times, sealed with the blood of sacrifice. At the same time, He outlined His plans:
“Your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for 400 years; but I will bring judgment on the nation which they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. . . And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete” (verses 13,16).
The Revival of Israel
Ezekiel prophesied in about 590 BCE when the nation of Israel was in captivity in Babylon. He gave many fascinating prophecies, including this vision of a valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). The well-known spiritual song “Dem dry bones” refers to this prophecy. It is a very clear prophecy with each element of the prophecy being explained in the chapter.
Ezekiel’s vision was of a collection of dry bones lying at the bottom of a broad valley. The bones come together and were covered with tendons, flesh and skin, but the bodies that were formed remained dead. Then breath entered the bodies and they became a vast army.
Observe throughout that it is the Divine Creator Jehovah God who is going to revive His politically ‘dead’ people, yet it is the ‘Son of man’ who initiates each step. Ezekiel is the Son of man who participated in the vision, but the Son of Man who brings it to reality is Jesus Christ. The condition of the bones was unchanged until the Son of Man acted. (In Luke 17:37, Jesus himself foretold that the Roman eagles would gather together to devour the body of Israel).
In verses 11-14, the prophecy is explained. It depicts Israel’s revival in two stages. Jews were to be gathered out of many nations around the world. They were to become one nation in the land of their ancestors, the land of Israel. This is precisely
what has happened over the past century.
No other nation has maintained a national identity after more the 1800 years of exile. But no other nation has had these prophecies made concerning their history. Other nations that have been dispossessed of their land have lost their identity within a few years. What has happened to Israel is extraordinary.
The Jews are a standing miracle, a wonderful example of fulfilled prophecy. The fact that their history was predicted so accurately shows the Bible is God’s book.
We have only seen the first stage of Ezekiel’s prophecy fulfilled.
Israel has returned to their land as predicted, but God’s spirit does not yet dwell in them. A recent survey revealed that most Israelis do not consider that God is responsible for their current position and survival in the land. These prophecies indicate that they are yet to become a religious nation relying on God and obeying Him. This second stage, when breath came into them and they lived, will also be the work of Christ, who will
“gather the elect (nation) from the four corners of the earth” (Matthew 24:31).
At his return he will cause a national repentance when his people at last recognise him and mourn for what was done to their saviour (Zechariah 12:9-14; Romans 11:26).
The last stage in the prophecy is described in verses 24-28.
All Israel Will Be Saved
25 Brothers and sisters, here is a mystery I want you to understand. It will keep you from being proud. Part of Israel has refused to obey God. That will continue until the full number of Gentiles has entered God’s kingdom. 26 In this way all Israel will be saved. It is written,
28 As far as the good news is concerned, the people of Israel are enemies. This is for your good. But as far as God’s choice is concerned, the people of Israel are loved. This is because of God’s promises to the founders of our nation. (Romans 11:24-28 NIRV)
After the Jews turn back to God, they will have a new king “David” who will rule over them forever in peace. Luke 1:30-33 makes it clear that this king will be Jesus, who is a descendant of the earlier King David of Israel. He is to sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem.
We can be confident that the Jews will turn back to God and that Jesus will return to be king, because the first part of this vision has been fulfilled. The Jews are back in the promised land as predicted in the Bible.
(An extract from Getting to know the Bible better)
Why is the nation of Israel being restored?
The Jews have fulfilled Bible Prophecy
Will There Ever be Peace on Earth?
Sign of the Times and the Last Days
- A Divine Plan or God’s purpose in creation
- Necessity of a revelation of creation 7 Getting understanding by Word of God 5
- Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
- Israel God’s people
- Jerusalem Gods city
- Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
- Sukkoth, Gog, Magog, Armageddon, a covenant and Jerusalem
- Hazor: Canaanite Metropolis
- As there is a lot of division in Christendom there is too in Judaism
- This fighting world, Zionism and Israel #1
- This fighting world, Zionism and Israel #4
- Pesach and a lot of brokenness in the world
- Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude
- Our life depending on faith
- Together tasting a great promisse
- Romans 4 and the Sacraments
- Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4