Feb 1, 2011

Israel: The Super Sign of the End-Times (Part 1)

Todd BakerBy Todd Baker
B'rit Hadashah Ministries


Preachers and theologians are often fond of saying that History is “His story,” meaning that God plans and determines the details and events that make up human history ruling over the process from beginning to end to fulfill His great purpose for Mankind. Nothing could be truer of Israel. The history of the Jewish people is “His story” played out within human history, which has been revealed, foretold, and written in the Bible.

Israel’s history is supernatural from beginning to end. It began with the Patriarch Abraham some 4,000 years ago when God called this nomadic wanderer from Ur of the Chaldeans (Modern day Iraq) to leave his homeland and go into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham obeyed that call and became the father of the nation Israel and the Jewish people. Though Abraham, and Sarah his wife, were well beyond the age of having children (Genesis 18:11), God miraculously rejuvenated the ninety-year old body of Sarah to bear them a son; Isaac through whom God would raise up the people and nation the Messiah would come through (Genesis 21:12).

With the promised child came the Promised Land — the land that is called Israel - where Abraham and his descendants would live. In Genesis 13:15 and 17:7-8, God promised to give the land to Abraham and his descendants (the Jews) for an “everlasting possession” under the unconditional terms of an “everlasting covenant”:

“For all the land which you see I have given it to you and your descendants forever. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.”
Here we observe from Israel’s inception that the history of the Jewish people and their divine destiny is inextricably bound up with the land God promised them. The covenant referred to in Genesis 17:7-8 is formally called the Abrahamic Covenant. It is an eternal covenant made between God to Abraham and his descendants forever. God essentially established through this Covenant with Abraham a people from him (the Jewish people), a place for them (the land of Israel), so that the purpose of blessing all the nations of the world could occur in perpetuity, that is forever. Thus God gave the land of Israel to the Jews forever and to no other ethnic group or nation, protestations from the Arabs, Palestinians, and international community notwithstanding.

One of the basic laws of Bible interpretation is the law of first mention. The law of first mention states that when a thing is mentioned for the first time in the Bible it carries the same meaning all throughout the Scriptures. It establishes the Bible as consistent in its meaning from beginning to end as it applies to persons, places, events, and things.

In Genesis 13:15 we have the first mention in Scripture stating that God gave the land of Israel to Abraham and the Jewish people forever. This truth is reiterated throughout the rest of Scripture and establishes the rightful owners of the land to be the Jews granted by divine right. There is no deviation or alteration by God from this covenant. It stands for all time. The ongoing struggle for Israel’s right to live in the Land of Promise has already been settled once and for all by the eternal counsel of God as codified and enacted in the Abrahamic Covenant. God has spoken and His Word on this matter is settled forever (Psalm 119:89); thus all the political wrangling about who the land belongs to is quite simply moot and in the end irrelevant and inconsequential.

The current Middle East crisis centers around who owns the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. But unbelief coming from the world disputes and dismisses the whole issue being settled by the inerrant Word of God. One cannot begin to understand the current Middle East crisis and how it relates to Israel’s past, present and future without knowing and understanding the fundamental importance of this divine covenant. Author Richard Booker wisely wrote:
“Indeed the key to understanding today’s headlines and tomorrow’s news lies in the past within the sacred covenant God made with Abraham.” (Richard Booker, Blow the Trumpet in Zion, p.17).
In the series of articles to come, we will explore how this is true throughout the divine panoramic plan God has for Israel in the past, present, and future as revealed through Bible prophecy.

Related Links
Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: Abrahamic Covenant - SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Palestinians urge Quartet to back their state - Khaleej Times
Merkel warns against stalled Mideast peace talks - Deutsche Welle
What is the Abrahamic Covenant? - GotQuestions.org
Abbas Reveals His True Agenda - Family Security Matters