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The Central Issue In Our World Today

Source: Art Sadlier, Saturday May 1st 2010

The Lord said through Zechariah 2600 years ago, “I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about ...” Zechariah 12:2.  In verse 3, He said, “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people:” After 2600 years that prophecy is being fulfilled in this very hour.

Today the whole world is under the illusion that if they can placate the Muslim world by dividing Jerusalem and the so called West bank, world peace will ensue. Peace, they believe, will come by removing Israel from a section of the Promised Land. Today the burden of the world is Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

God promised all of the land of Canaan to Israel. Later the Romans would rename it Palestine. Today there are a people who call themselves Palestinians, who claim to have descended from a Palestinian people who lived for thousands of years in a land called Palestine. That claim is a hoax.

There never has been in all of history a Palestinian people, nor a Palestinian nation, nor a Palestinian government, nor language, nor culture, nor economy. As late as the 1950’s the Arabs in the land refused to be called Palestinians. The term was used exclusively for the Jews who lived in the land.

A travel guide to Palestine and Syria published in 1906 illustrates the fact that the Jews were the predominant residents of the land. At that time, the Islamic Ottoman Empire ruled the region; the population at that time was about 60,000. There were 7,000 Muslims, 13,000 Christians and 40,000 Jews.

The Land of Palestine or Canaan was promised to Israel by God.

The lord said unto Abraham in Genesis 12:7, “Unto thy seed will I give this land:” notice the future tense. In Genesis 13:15, the Lord said to Abraham, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.” Notice three words, 

  • “ALL” = the land
  • “THY SEED”= the Jews
  • “FOREVER”= including our day

This promise is repeated many times in the scriptures.

Some say that Ishmael is also included in this promise that is not what the bible teaches. In Genesis 26:3 and Genesis 35:12 the promise is repeated, this time through Isaac and Jacob, Ishmael is not included in the promise.

Loss of Possession of the Land was promised for Unbelief and Disobedience.

The Lord said to Israel that if they would not trust and obey Him, “Ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Deuteronomy 28:63.  There would be temporary loss of possession, they would be driven from the land, and they would wander throughout the world in persecutions and troubles.

There was also the Promise of Ultimate Restoration and Blessing.

In spite of this chastening God said He would preserve Israel and ultimately restore her to the land, and to the promised blessing. Jeremiah 30:11, “For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will not make a full end of thee: I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” God’s promise cannot be broken. The Lord said in effect, in Jeremiah 31: 35-37, as long the sun or the moon or the stars shine, there will be an Israel.

There is a struggle going on in our world today, a struggle between God and Satan. That struggle involves Israel and the land, and it involves Israel and the nations.  In this struggle we see two re-gatherings of Israel, one in unbelief and one in belief. The first is almost complete with approximately half of the Jewish people now in the land. It was God’s powerful hand that moved the UN in 1948 to unexpectedly give the land back to Israel. It was God’s powerful hand that gave Israel incredible and miraculous victories over vast Arab armies in three major wars.

The second re-gathering is yet to come, at the close of the tribulation the rest of Israel will return and be redeemed and restored to a relationship with the Lord. See Zechariah 13:9, Ezekiel 20:34.

Today, Israel has returned to the land in unbelief. God returned to Israel, all the land that David possessed during his reign. This happened in the war of 1967, when God gave a miraculous victory to Israel.  He returned to them, Judea and Samaria, He gave them the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip,  the Sinai Peninsula, East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Miraculously, all of the land Israel had held under King David was now theirs.

Sadly, Israel has been re-gathered in unbelief, the day after Israel regained the Temple Mount they gave it back to Jordan. Later they gave up the Sinai to Egypt; three years ago they surrendered Gaza to the Palestinians. Now they have accepted a two state solution, which means the surrender of Judea and Samaria. All of this is being done in unbelief and disobedience; they fear their enemies more than they fear God. Just as at Kadesh Barnea, they are saying, we can’t trust God, we won’t obey God.

Just as in the case of Kadesh Barnea, God will judge Israel for unbelief and disobedience. Israel will yet learn obedience and faith during the chastening of the tribulation period. God hates unbelief and disobedience, He will not tolerate it in your life or mine, He will not tolerate it in the church, and He will not tolerate it in His people Israel. The severe chastening that awaits Israel is recorded in Zechariah 13:8-9 and Matthew 24:21.

Israel has been blinded by unbelief, the Arabs and the Nations of the world have been blinded by unbelief. Joel tells us of the judgment of God that will befall the world at the close of the tribulation period. “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead (judge) with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2.

Today the nations of the world are raging against Israel. Ahmadinejad, Obama, the PA, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the EU, Russia, Turkey, China and the other nations are all calling for Israel to surrender the Promised Land. Ahmadinejad is almost daily vowing to destroy Israel; the whole Arab world is closing in for the kill. David spoke of this situation nearly 3,000 years ago in Psalm 2, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”

It is troubling to watch as the nations defy God in this matter of dividing the land of Israel, knowing the final outcome will be the great Day of the Lord judgment upon the entire world.