Hi friends! I hope you’re hungry for more because today I want to share the 4th Biblical principle regarding Israel. If you missed the first three, or just need a refresher, scroll down to yesterday’s post where we discussed three foundational principles:
- Principle of Ownership – the land belongs to Israel, whether or not they actually occupy their land.
- Principle of Righteousness – while ownership of the land is an unconditional promise of the Abrahamic Covenant, living in the land is conditional upon Israel’s righteousness to God.
- Principle of Discipline – God will use Israel’s neighbors (and enemies) to discipline His people.
Finally, we come to the Principle of Retribution. God will, indeed, use enemy nations and people to discipline Israel. However, those who desire the total destruction of Israel and the Jewish people will fall under God’s retribution, and it will be severe. Think of the great empires throughout history that have come against Israel, and who no longer exist. Need some examples? How about:
All are either totally gone, or stripped of their power. The same is true today. Those who seek to destroy Israel will pay a very high cost. Consider two passages from Isaiah:
For thus says the Lord:
“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
and I will save your children.
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
that I am the Lord your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted,
who are drunk, but not with wine:
Thus says your Lord, the Lord,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
“Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more;
and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
who have said to you,
‘Bow down, that we may pass over’;
and you have made your back like the ground
and like the street for them to pass over.”
Finally, everyone is eventually faced with “the Israel test!” What will we do with Israel? Will we pray for her, stand with her and support her…or will we abandon her, leaving her to be divided and scattered? Joel 3:1-3 seems to indicate the latter:
“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. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.
The time is coming when ALL the nations will be brought down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat and will be judged on how they treated Israel. Each will face the “Israel Test!” Though the passage in Joel indicates that God will gather ALL the nations, I pray that our nation does not rush to scatter God’s people or divide up their land. Let’s pray that our President and all our nation’s leaders will stand with Israel during this generation. But consider this also: though nations will turn against Israel, each of us has an individual choice as well.
How are you doing on the “Israel Test?”