Bible Prophecy
6/23/11 at 01:09 PM 0 Comments

ISRAEL - To Whom Does the Land Belong?

text size A A A

According to the U.S. Department of State's website, the nation of Israel is approximately 7,850 square miles, which is about the size of the small state of New Jersey. And yet, amazingly, Israel and Jerusalem itself command the center of attention of the whole world. Even American presidents, one after another, become preoccupied trying to solve Middle East peace, always trying to get the nation of Israel to give away land in exchange for peace. What has become clear is that world leaders in general don't understand what the Bible declares in this regard. This is not a political issue nor is it a diplomatic issue. It is not even a cultural issue – it is a spiritual issue. How do I know? Psalm 132:13 states, "For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation". Therefore, the opinions and positions held by the U.S. President, the Palestinians, the European Union, Israel's Arab neighbors, and even Israel itself are secondary. What matters is what God has said. But I do have a surprise for you. Neither the Jews, Palestinians, or Arabs own the land. So, if not, then to whom does the land belong?

In Leviticus 25:23, God spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai and said, "...FOR THE LAND IS MINE; for you are strangers and sojourners with me". God said the land is His. He is the owner and the key to ownership is that it's His call or decision as to whom He rents or leases. Even Moses and the Israelites were considered 'strangers' and 'sojourners'. If I may say it this way, God is the landLORD! And yes, He has promised the land to someone. Not only is Scripture replete with examples to whom it has been promised, He went so far as to enter into covenant to ensure it stayed that way.

In Genesis 15, the Lord came to Abram in a vision. In verse 18, it says, "In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates". These were covenant boundaries. In these verses God also reveals how He entered into covenant with Abram and his seed. The sign of ancient covenants often involved the cutting in half of animals. The pledging partners would walk between the pieces of the slaughtered animals, affirming that the same should happen to them if they ever broke the covenant. The covenant with Abram was sealed when the smoking furnace and burning lamp, representing the fire of the presence of God, passed between the animal carcasses. But this covenant didn't have Abram's involvement, as God intentionally caused a 'great sleep' to come on him. God made the covenant with Himself on behalf of Abram. This way, Abram and his descendants could never break the covenant, since it was made without Abram's actual participation. What happened next, though, is just as important.

In Genesis 17, the Lord appeared again to Abram when he was 99 years old. God reaffirmed His covenant with him. Abram even got a new name – Abraham, the father of many nations. God promised him that his wife Sarah, who had been barren, would have a son. But Abraham deeply loved Ishmael, his son he had by Hagar, and asked that the 'promise' would be to him. God did promise to bless Ishmael and that nations would come from him. But in Genesis 17:19, God told Abraham he would have another son and his name would be Isaac. Then God said, "I will establish My covenant with him (i.e., Isaac) for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him". The covenant was established with Isaac, not Ishmael. It is the Jewish people who are rightful heirs to the land of Israel, not the Palestinians or the Arab people, and it is based on God's covenant.

This is not about whether God loves Ishmael's descendants. Of course He does, so much so that God told Abraham that 'kings' would come from them and He would bless them. Additionally, 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ gave His life on the Cross for the sins of world, and that included the Palestinians, the Arab people, and everyone else. But whether God loves them is not the issue. It was a unilateral covenant cut by God Himself who then explained it was to be with Isaac and his descendants – the Jewish people. God confirmed the covenant with Jacob, Isaac's son, in Genesis 35:9-12. Also, in Psalm 105:8-11, God said it was an everlasting covenant, "the word which He commanded to a thousand generations". Scholars have said a generation can be 40 years or even much higher. But assuming it is only 40 years, God was saying His covenant would be for 40,000 years. Said another way, God was saying it is eternal!

Some may ask why any of the above even matters. It is in a culture many don't understand, an area of the world that seems so foreign and distant. But in Genesis 12:3, when God first called Abraham out of Ur, God said to him, "And I will bless them who bless you, and curse him who curses you...". To bless Israel guarantees the blessings of God. To not bless Israel brings a curse upon those who don't. Furthermore, Zechariah 2:8 states, "for he who touches you (i.e., Israel) touches the apple of His eye". To provoke the nation of Israel is like poking God in the eye!

Does that mean we have to blindly agree with every policy Israel's government enacts? No. Does that mean they can act with belligerence toward non-Jewish people living in Israel? Absolutely not. But we must recognize Israel's place in the plan of God and realize they are still His chosen people through whom came the Word of God. We should support Israel and stand with her against her enemies. To not do so may find us on the wrong side of God.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).