Welcome back Bible students! I pray you are blessed as you study these Biblical principles for Israel. Over the past two days (here and here) we have laid out 4 principles regarding Israel. If you missed them, scroll back to the previous two days for the detail. Here is a re-cap:
- Principle of Ownership – the land belongs to Israel, whether or not they live in the land.
- Principle of Righteousness – while ownership of the land is an unconditional promise (to the Jewish people) of the Abrahamic Covenant, living in the land is conditional upon Israel’s righteousness.
- Principle of Discipline – God will use Israel’s neighbors (and enemies) to discipline Israel.
- Principle of Retribution – though God will use Israel’s enemies to discipline His people, He will severely judge those who seek to destroy Israel.
Let’s talk about some implications of those principles regarding Israel. First, correction and judgment should be expected. Keep in mind that living in the land is conditional upon Israel living in righteousness. However, they have returned to their land a secular people. For the most part, a majority of Jews are Jews ethnically, but not spiritually. Though they may be “good people,” in general, they do not seek the Lord or live by His righteous guidance.
God will not leave them unsaved. However, reconciliation with God will come through correction. Ezekiel 20: 33-37 illustrates that. Twice in that passage God declares He will be king over them with a mighty hand, and outstretched arm and with wrath poured out. He will bring them out from the place they are scattered, but will bring them into the wilderness in order to enter into judgment with them. Ultimately, they will pass under the rod and will be brought into the bond of covenant. In other words, through correction, God will draw them near and be their king. He will fulfill the entire covenant established with them.
The second implication to Israel is that God’s dealings with them may result in loss of land. What? You mean God will take away the land He promised to them? No. The land is forever Israel’s. However, they may not always control, or live in, the land. An example today is the Gaza Strip. That land belongs to Israel, per the Abrahamic Covenant. Yet, they do not control or live there.
Land shrinkage is a means of God’s correction. Thus, it is incorrect to think that Israel may be unfaithful to God and suffer no consequences. As Christians, do we understand that God is still in control, and that He may choose to correct His people by transferring control of the land to others? God’s desire is that Israel be in full covenant with Him. We must not hinder what God is doing to draw Israel into righteousness.
Today’s Jews (for the most part) are secular and still in need of being drawn to the Messiah. We must be careful not to stand in the way of what God desires to do with His people!
More implications for Israel tomorrow, but let’s pray for her righteousness, so she may control and live in the land God has given her.