Why Israel? Part 2

Norbert Lieth

Israel Is on the Agenda Again. The little word “till” in Matthew 23:39 has great meaning. It functions as a bridge and makes it clear that the people won’t remain dispersed forever. In later times the Jews will return to their homeland again from all over the world.

And indeed, since 1948, after about 1,900 years of Diaspora, there has been a Jewish state again. Jerusalem has also belonged to the Israelites again since 1967.

The May 14, 1948 Declaration of Independence reads in part: “In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country. This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.”

The Jews being home again today in their own country and with their own state is a sign from God. Those of us with a different nationality should be aware of this, because the Bible says, “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isa 11:12).

An ensign is a banner or flag with a national emblem. The gathering of Israel into its homeland is such a sign. The prophet Jeremiah also says this and explicitly addresses the nations, the Gentiles: “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock” (Jer 31:10).

Israel’s gathering from the nations into their own land is undoubtedly concrete preparation for Jesus’ second coming, since God says, “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase” (Jer 23:3).

In the following passage, God also explains how He will do it, and that this repatriation will overshadow Israel’s liberation from Egypt: “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land” (Jer 23:7-8).

And what happened after World War II? Thousands upon thousands of Jews returned to their homeland, and the State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. The living God inspired this in His servant Isaiah some 2,650 years beforehand: “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isa 66:8).

God gave us an unmistakable sign in Israel’s return to its own land, and it indicates we are living in the end times. By “end times” we don’t mean the end of the world, but the time immediately prior to Jesus’ return. These are the characteristics of the end times: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt 24:6-8). “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).

Politicians and environmental organizations around the world are trying so hard to get the impending and steadily increasing environmental damage under control. But from all the reports, one thing becomes clear: there is perplexity and fear of what is to come.

Jesus, the Savior of the World
Jesus, the focal point of redemptive history, came into this world, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead in order to give life to everyone who chooses to believe in Him. Whoever lives without Jesus has no hope, and whoever dies without Jesus remains hopeless forever. The devil, who is also called the “prince of this world” in the Bible and who works in the “children of unbelief,” influences world politics. In his blind hatred, he wants to bring the whole world to ruin. But ultimately, as in every era, the profane politics of the nations and the conflicts in the Middle East are obliged to contribute to the fulfillment of God’s plan.

Are you caught up in fear, restlessness, and insecurity? Are you fearful for your future, or that of your family? The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).

A just God must judge this world. He cannot tolerate sin, because then He would be unjust. But God offers forgiveness and protection from judgment. Anyone who turns to Jesus in faith will not be judged and will not come under God’s wrath. This is what the Holy Scriptures say: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9). And, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Rom 5:9).

Israel, the Apple of God’s Eye
The struggle for (or in opposition to) the State of Israel, as we are witnessing now, was announced by God as early as 520 BC: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech 12:2-3).

Why is all of this happening? Because Satan seeks to destroy God’s plan for Israel, and thereby prevent the return of Jesus Christ. 

God says, “he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zech 2:8b). The eye is a notoriously sensitive organ. Even the smallest foreign objects are extremely bothersome and generate a reaction. God said to Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen 12:3).

It has been bitterly proven throughout world history that individuals (or even entire nations) attract God’s judgment when they oppose Israel. An Egyptian pharaoh had to learn it. The Amalekites of that time, who waged war against Israel, experienced it. Balaam also learned it when he was not permitted to curse Israel, but instead had to bless them. And yet, he later tried to seduce Israel into abandoning the Lord. Babylon experienced this, as well as the Persian Haman, who was hanged from the very gallows he had commissioned for the Jew Mordecai (Esther 7:9-10). Much later, Nazi Germany also experienced this when it raised its hand against the Jews. And, at the end of days shortly before the return of Jesus, the whole world will experience it.

Jesus Christ, the Judge of the World
The New Testament continues along these lines. When Jesus returns, He will judge the nations. One criterion will be how they behaved toward Israel: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt 25:40). It is written in Jude, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14-15).

In contrast to the curse that rested (and rests) over all who hate Israel, all those individuals and nations who have blessed Israel have experienced blessings, and continue to experience them today. For example, the midwives who disobeyed Pharaoh’s orders and refused to kill the Israelite babies (Ex 1:20-21).

Whoever loves Jesus will also love His earthly people. The Holy Spirit dwelling in a person who believes in Jesus, is the same one that physically restored Israel in our day, and will restore it spiritually in the future (Ezek 37:9-10, 14). Therefore, let’s say with David in relation to Israel, “Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good” (Ps 122:9).

Israel Cannot Perish
The people of Israel cannot perish: “Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD” (Jer 31:37).

As impossible as it is to measure heaven and probe the foundations of the earth, it’s equally impossible for Israel to perish. The Apostle Paul writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew” (Rom 11:1-2a). It couldn’t be clearer that Israel has an eternal future!

Like every human, Israel is also incapable of keeping the Law of Moses. If God had just stopped there, the Jewish people wouldn’t have stood a chance. But, thank God, the Lord has a solution. In His infinite faithfulness, He holds fast to the promise He made to Abraham: “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise” (Gal 3:17-18).

If God—who would certainly have good reason to—didn’t reject His people but still loves them, how can man presume to sit in judgment over Israel? “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Is 41:8-10).

Jesus Christ will return in glory and power after a period of judgment, as described in Revelation. Then His people will know Him, repent, and accept Him by faith (cf. Zech 12—14).

The Chance of Your Life
In this article, we’ve briefly traced biblical prophecy, which runs through the whole Bible like a thread. It was fulfilled in the past, is being fulfilled in the present, and will be fulfilled in the future. It never contradicts itself. As God’s Word, the Bible is absolute truth. And God has a single purpose in everything: to redeem man, forgive him, and draw him back into fellowship with his Creator. Since Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, heaven has been open to everyone. God Himself has opened the door, and says yes to everyone who in turn says yes to Jesus. God accepts everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus in faith, no matter how far they have fallen.

Those who put all of their trust in Jesus will not only be freed from their bondage to sin, but also from their guilty conscience and deep-seated fear, because they will obtain peace with God: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). Such people know that they are safe in all the storms of life.

News from Israel - 05/2021

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety