What we know is that the Bible says God gave the land of the Canaanites to his chosen people to show that he is God of gods.
The same Scriptures make it clear that Israel’s security in the land would depend on their faithfulness to the covenant that God made with them. According to Moses, if God’s chosen people did not remain true to the covenant, he would temporarily remove the nation and scatter it to the four corners of the earth to show, once again, that he is God of gods. (Deut 28)
Ezekiel seems to have predicted that the scattered nation would ultimately be returned physically to the land before being restored spiritually. In his vision of the dry bones, the bones come together, and flesh is restored to the bones, before God breathes his life into them (Ezekiel 37).
In the meantime many of us are convinced that Israel’s Messiah appeared on schedule (Daniel 9:24-26). He was born of a virgin, died voluntarily to become God’s lamb of sacrifice not only for the sins of Israel, but for the sins of all of us, and then rose from the dead to live his life through anyone who would trust him. (pic Herod’s family tomb– to left of opening–shows top of stone rolled over door of first ancient middle east tombs)
What we don’t know is where we are on God’s calendar. Many of us sense that he has once again used a very faulty human process to begin bringing Israel back to her ancestral homeland. Current events in the Middle East seem to be setting the stage for what the Bible predicted for the end of this age.
Wrongs against God and humanity are multiplying on all sides of the resulting regional and international conflict. Yet, as the patriarch Joseph experienced, in some mysterious way God can bring good out of the evil that we do to protect ourselves at the expense of others.
So how are we to respond to what we know and don’t know? Can we rightly apply to the secular state of Israel what God has promised to her in her future spiritual restoration?
What if the divided voices of the Knesset suddenly came together around what they hear some in the West saying? What if they said, “These Christians are right. Our own Hebrew Scriptures say the same thing. We are only living on a fraction of the land that the God of Abraham has promised us. Let’s not wait. Let’s go to war with all of our neighbors in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan Iran an Iraq. Let’s take what has been promised to us from the river of Egypt to the great Euphrates river of Iraq” (Gen 15:18).
Am thinking such an action would violate not only all kinds of principles of international justice, but also the precedents of Scripture that show how badly a chosen nation can harm herself and others by moving ahead on the basis of presumption rather than on God’s terms and in God’s time.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).