God’s promises to the Jewish People

It was just a few weeks ago when I blow trumpet bookrealized the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was upon me.  I was reading a book called Blow the Trumpet in Zion, written by Richard Booker.   As I read it, I realized the message within was one that needed to be shared, especially with Christians.

One particular verse stood out to me as I was reading the book.   It came from Isaiah 6.  It says…………

tree stump
This is the stump of my tree after it had to be cut down. I was so sad to see it go.

“Then I said, ‘Lord, how long will it be before they are ready to listen?’ And he replied, ‘Not until their cities are destroyed—without a person left—and the whole country is an utter wasteland, and they are all taken away as slaves to other countries far away, and all the land of Israel lies deserted! Yet a tenth—a remnant—will survive; and though Israel is invaded again and again and destroyed, yet Israel will be like a tree cut down, whose stump still lives to grow again.’”

These verses are referring to the fact that the nation of Israel has been invaded, plundered, devastated and at times deserted.  But, even so, a remnant has always survived.   God has always allowed a remnant to be

new tree
A new tree was planted after my tree was cut down in 2017.

spared.  This is a testimony to his faithfulness.  Throughout  Israel’s history it has often appeared the nation was destroyed, and the people forsaken.   The nation looked like the stump of a tree that had been cut down.  But miraculously, this stump grew again.   Why?  Because God supernaturally allows life to spring forth from death.  This is exactly what God has done for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people.  He has done this many times throughout history.  Though nations have tried to wipe the Jews from the face of the earth, none have been successful.  The nations continue to this very day- conspiring to wipe Israel off the map.

You are probably familiar with Hitler’s attempts to wipe out the Jewish people.  I first learned about the Holocaust in 7th grade.  It was a lesson that stuck with me, even as I write this.  But, back then I didn’t realize the Holocaust was just one of MANY, MANY attempts by the “world” to get rid of God’s chosen people, the Jews.  Why am I saying “chosen”?  I am saying it because God says it in the Bible….

A lot of people think the Jews are no longer chosen people because they rejected Christ on a national level.  Well, the truth is, God has never “unchose” his people.  I know “unchose” is not a word, but it makes my point.  God still chooses the Jewish people as his treasured possession.   Look at the verses below:

Deuteronomy 7:6- “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” NIV

Deutoronomy 14:2-“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all peoples who are on the face of the earth.”  NKJV

Psalm 135:4 -“For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession.”  

Even the prophets declare the Jewish people are chosen:

Isaiah 41:8-9 -NIV-  “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham My friend…..you are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” 

“Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.”  Ezekiel 16: 60, 62  NKJV

The Apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 11 that the Jews have never lost their chosen status:

Romans 11: 1-2

“I ask then, has God rejected and deserted his people the Jews? Oh no, not at all. Remember that I myself am a Jew, a descendant of Abraham and a member of Benjamin’s family.  No, God has not discarded his own people whom he chose from the very beginning.”

Also, keep in mind that God made a covenant with the Jewish people when he chose Abraham to be their seed.  This wasn’t just any covenant- it was a BLOOD COVENANT!  Those kinds of covenants cannot be broken.  God cannot break his own covenant.  God entered into a covenant with Abraham and this is described in Genesis 15.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+15&version=NIV

This covenant was an unconditional, binding, everlasting covenant.   The fulfillment depended on GOD, not Abraham.   God said this covenant would stand FOREVER!    Abraham, of course, had to believe and obey.

Abraham did believe and obey as seen in the verses below.  Abraham took his son Isaac to Mt. Moriah to be sacrificed.  God saw Abraham’s faithfulness and obedience and  because of that God provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac.  This foreshadowed God sending his only son Jesus, to be sacrificed on the cross.  Jesus would come through Abraham’s family line.   But notice in the verses below that GOD SWORE  by himself to GUARANTEE THE FULFILLMENT of the covenant.   See Genesis 22:16  TLB

 “I, the Lord, have sworn by myself that because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your beloved son from me,  I will bless you with incredible blessings and multiply your descendants into countless thousands and millions, like the stars above you in the sky, and like the sands along the seashore. They will conquer their enemies, and your offspring will be a blessing to all the nations of the earth—all because you have obeyed me.”   

Genesis 12: 1-3  KJV describes the covenant

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curse thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Abraham was obedient to God and went to the land God promised him.  So, God told him this:  Genesis 13: 14-17 KJV

 “And the Lord said unto Abram…….. Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward.  For all the land which thou see, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.   And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.  Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.”

God gets specific about the breadth of the land in Genesis 15: 5,7 and 18, NKJV

“…..’Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them…. so shall your descendants be….I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit with Abram, saying: ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates…..'”

Genesis 17:2, 4-8 speaks of the covenant:

“Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers………..

 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram ; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.  I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.  The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

God is clear that he has made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants.  Who are his descendants?  Isaac and Jacob of course!  From the Old Testament we know Isaac is the father of Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel are descended from Jacob.  Thus, the nation of Israel is under God’s everlasting covenant.   It included them becoming a great nation, as well as the land they would inherit.  But, more importantly it included the promise that the Messiah would come from this Jewish family line- that Messiah is Jesus!  Jesus would come from the family line of the tribe of Judah.  He would be “the coming one” promised to the nation.

Even though much of the Jewish people do not recognize Jesus as Messiah, this does not negate God’s covenant.  Keep in mind that the fulfillment of the covenant is based on God’s faithfulness, not the faithfulness of the people.  The blessings of the covenant are certainly contingent upon obedience to God, but the promises of the covenant remain and God swore by himself to fulfill them.  Even though the nation of Israel has been disobedient, as evidenced by the stories of the Old Testament, they have not lost the promises of God.  In fact, the Bible is very clear that God has a great plan of restoration for the Jewish nation.  We also know that through Jesus, Gentiles are now part of the family of God.  Gentiles were adopted into the family when Christ died on the cross.  This astounding blessing came through the lineage of the Jewish Patriarchs- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  What is also amazing is that all who receive Christ (Jews and Gentiles) inherit God’s blessings and become like royalty.  “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession so that you may proclaim the excellencies of HIM who has called you out of darkness and into HIS marvelous light.”  1 Peter 2:9

“For he chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Ephesians 1: 4-5.

God chose the nation of Israel to be a light to the nations and to first receive the Torah-the Word of God.  He chose the nation of Israel to be the lineage of his Son, Jesus.  Without this, the plan of God would not have come to fruition.  Jesus dying on the cross was part of this plan.   The times of the Gentiles are here, but God is not done with the nation of Israel.  He will fulfill the covenant he made with them.

I wanted to explain these things above because I want you to understand that even though history has tried to erase the Jews, God will not allow them to be wiped out.  He will not forget his covenant with them.  His covenant promises will come to pass, which includes them recognizing their Messiah, Jesus.  Will all of them recognize him?  Unfortunately no.  But, a remnant will “look on the one that was pierced” and recognize him.

Zechariah 12:10:  “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

“And in this way, all Israel will be saved.  It is written:  The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.”   Romans 11:26   This verse from Romans means the nation of Israel will eventually recognize Jesus!  When it says the deliverer will come from Zion and turn godlessness from Jacob, it is referring to “Jacob” as Israel.  Why?  Because Jacob is the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel.  Jesus is the deliverer who will turn Israel to himself.  It will be similar to what happens in the story of Joseph.  Near the end of the story Joseph reveals who he really is and his brothers finally recognize him.   There is a lot of weeping, but also celebration as the brothers repent for what they did to their brother.  The Jewish people, in essence, are Jesus’ “brothers” and one day, a remnant will recognize him.  Right now the nation of Israel  functions with “godlessness” because they do not recognize their deliverer- their “brother” Jesus.  Nonetheless, God will not allow them to be destroyed.  In the story of Joseph, bread (grain) was given to Joseph’s starving brothers.  Joseph saved the lives of his brothers!.  Likewise,  Jesus will save his brothers, the Jews.  After all, he is the Bread of Life, and only this bread can save them.  God will also fight for their land, as evidenced in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and Joel 2 and 3.

This has a future fulfillment.

Before this future fulfillment, persecution of the Jewish people will continue to take place.  In light of this, Christians need to understand just how persecuted the Jews have been, and what this means for the future.  I never realized just how much persecution they endured.  

We often wonder, “Why don’t the Jews just receive Jesus as their Savior? Why are they so stubborn?”  The Bible speaks about a spirit of blindness in Romans 9-11, but there is even more to consider.  As you read through this history, stop and think about how you would feel as a Jewish person, knowing much of this persecution came at the hands of the Gentiles (non-Jews) and sadly, the Church.

Now, I want to go through the history of how the Jews have been persecuted.   Keep in mind that Jesus tells us about a time of domination by the Gentile nations.  He calls this the Times of the Gentiles.    Jesus was asked when he would establish his kingdom on earth and he answered by saying that the times of the Gentiles had to be fulfilled.  The Gentile nations would be given a certain amount of time in power.  During this time they would trample Jerusalem.

“And Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  Luke 21:24.

Below is a list of the Times of the Gentile Nations (when they trampled Jerusalem):  Also listed are the years

Babylonian Empire:  606-536 BC

Persian Empire: 536-333 BC

Greek Empire:  333-63 BC

Roman Empire: 63-312 AD

Byzantine Empire 312-637

Moslem Empire: 637-1099

Holy Crusades: 1099- 1291

Marmelukes: 1291-1517

Ottoman Turks: 1517-1917

British Mandate: 1917-1948

Jordan : 1948-1967

Israel: 1967 (June 7, 1967- 6-6-67 to be specific!) to ??????

Antichrist: ???????

Messiah Jesus ( Thousand year reign)- ???????

Notice there are some question marks, beginning with 1967.  This is the year Israel reclaimed the rest of Jerusalem (from Jordan) in the Six Days War.  This was prophetic as the Jews did not have possession of the entire city since their dispersion after the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 AD.  Even though they technically have possession of Jerusalem today, their claim is not honored by most of the nations of the world.  The United Nations continues to pressure Israel to divide Jerusalem and give land to the Palestinians.  The question mark reminds us that it is possible the capital could be divided in the future.  I sure hope that does not happen on the United States’ watch.  If so, we might as well crawl under a rock because God will not be happy!!!!  That’s a whole other blog altogether!  Jerusalem must stay in the hands of Israel.

The question marks next to the Antichrist are because the Bible says he will take control of Jerusalem at some point in history during the Tribulation.  We don’t know the date- thus, the question marks.

The Reign of Messiah Jesus has question marks because we don’t know the year Jesus will set up his reign in Jerusalem.  We know he will kick the living daylights out of the Antichrist and his armies, but we don’t know the date that epic victory will take place!  It will make the Superbowl look like a T-ball game.   The game will be over before you can say Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

Now, let’s go through the history of some of the persecution of the Jewish people.  I say SOME because I don’t have time to cover everything that’s happened to the Jewish people since they first became a nation.  I would have to write three or four blogs. That is sad to say because after you read this you will be overwhelmed and it will be hard to believe there was even more!

Nonetheless, here we go………………..  see listing above for times/dates

The Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel and murdered thousands of Jewish people from the tribes of Israel.  They were a brutal nation, known for skinning people alive and other forms of torture.  It goes without saying that this was a horrendous time for the Jewish people.

It was the Babylonians who conquered the southern kingdom, which included Jerusalem.  Those who were not killed were taken into captivity and were not allowed back in Jerusalem, or their homeland.  Their entire way of life was uprooted.  Many were forced to serve the Babylonians, or they were sent to foreign nations as slaves.

Next came the Persian Empire, which conquered the Babylonian Empire.  King Cyrus of Persia did eventually decree the Jews could go back to Jerusalem and rebuild, but by that time many had already been scattered throughout Persia.

Also during the time of Persian rule we read about the story of Esther.  The evil Haman hatched a plot to have every Jew in the Empire destroyed.  Because of God’s supernatural protection and the bravery of Queen Esther, the remnant of Jews still left in the Empire were not destroyed.

The Jews would go back into Jerusalem and rebuild with the help of Ezra and Nehemiah, (and Cyrus’ decree, as well as King Darius).  The Temple would be completely rebuilt.  But another Empire would enter the scene……

The Empire of Greece would come along, headed by Alexander the Great.  Alexander would not persecute the Jews.  Instead, he was tolerant and even kind to the Jews.  Unfortunately, after his sudden death, his kingdom was divided among his generals and Jerusalem was caught in the cross hairs.  Yet, miraculously, Jerusalem and the Jews were not mercilessly attacked.  That would change when a Greek ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes took the throne.  He came in and demanded complete allegiance to the pagan Greek Gods.  When the Jews resisted, he massacred them by the thousands.  He outlawed the practice of Judaism and sacrificed a pig in God’s Holy Temple.   This act stirred up a great revolt among the Jews, but miraculously they were able to defeat Antiochus’ army.  If they would not have been successful, Antiochus would have killed every last Jew.  Supernaturally, God protected his remnant.

After the Greek Empire came the Iron Empire- THE ROMANS. The Romans were cruel and unmerciful.  They came down on the Jews like an iron fist.  They destroyed the Second Temple in 70 A.D.,  and scattered the Jews every which way.  They killed at least one million Jews and sold many into slavery.  The Jews were sent abroad to foreign nations where they had no chance of returning to their home.  Many years later, remaining Jews revolted in the BarKochba Revolt.  The Roman Emperor Hadrian crushed the Jews with ferocity.  As one last slap in the face, Hadrian renamed the land of Israel by calling it Palestine.  He was naming the land after Israel’s ancient enemies- the Philistines.  Now you know why to this day Israel is often referred to as Palestine.  Ironically, Israel is now being harassed and attacked on a daily basis by people who call themselves Palestinians.  The Palestinians want Israel’s land and will stop at nothing to get it.  But as you have already learned, the land belongs to Israel and was given to them as a covenant promise.  

Constantine_conversion
CONSTANTINE CONVERSION. Conversion of Roman Emperor Constantine I (280?-337) at the Milvian Bridge in 312: steel engraving, American, 1869.

We know that the Jews were not the only ones persecuted by the Romans.  Christians were persecuted as well.  They were fed to lions and thrown into arenas with wild animals.  They were burned alive and crucified.   But all that changed in 312 AD.  This is when the Roman Empire declared Christianity the official religion of Rome, under the leadership of Constantine.  This had both good and bad effects.  The good thing is that it stopped the persecution of Christians, and helped spread Christianity. Constantine proclaimed religious liberty throughout the Empire.  The bad thing is that Constantine also wanted to distance the “Church” from the Jews.  He put aside the Feasts of the Lord, which are prophetic and known as appointments with the Lord.  The Roman Church began adding in their own traditions and practices- many of which are pagan.    Constantine also wrote some pretty scathing things about the Jews and this caused many to shun them.   See link included here and you will definitely note the anti-Semitism in his words.  https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/const1-easter.asp

Sadly, the Roman Church couldn’t quite remember that the first Christians were actually Jewish!  Think about the disciples!  They are Jewish!   Jesus is Jewish!  Unfortunately, even though Christianity became the official religion, many people were converting without any real heart change or understanding of what it meant to walk with Christ.  Being a Christian became about ritual and ceremony, rather than love and transformation for many.  The common person didn’t have the Word of God- they just had church officials giving them rules and rites.   Many certainly were not told about God’s covenant promises to the Jews.  In fact, many “officials” in the Church believed the Jews were cursed and had lost the promises.  The result became that large numbers of early Gentile Christians developed a hate for the Jews- not all, but very large numbers.  Many anti- Jewish actions were made by the early Roman Church.  The Jews were regarded as outcasts.

Sadly, as time marched on, these anti-Jewish attitudes continued through many persecutions.  This is a tragedy because the Jews of those times saw the Roman Church as followers of Jesus!  These Gentiles professed to following Jesus as Messiah.  Yet, these same Gentiles were persecuting them.  It is no wonder they would not turn to Christianity with that kind of example to follow.  Sadly, if only the Church would have shown love.  In the Bible it says, “I will bless those who bless thee.” Genesis 12:3  Certainly Jesus did not hate his own people, the Jews!  The Church at this time believed the nation of Israel was forsaken by God and no longer chosen.  That was a lie from Satan.  I do not believe every Christian in the Roman Church believed or behaved in this way, but the history of this time period is very clear about what happened to the Jews, and how much of the Church at that time treated the Jews with contempt.

ConquestOfConstantinopleByTheCrusadersIn1204
Conquest of the Crusaders at Constantinople.

As if Rome were not enough, next came the Crusades.  The Crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries were military campaigns carried out by the “Church” for the purposes of taking back Jerusalem- the Holy Land.  Many of these crusaders did not like Jews or Muslims, who were living in the Holy Land at this time. Hundreds and thousands of Jews and Muslims were slaughtered in the name of Christianity.  I am sure not all the Christians in this crusade agreed with every aspect of the invasion, but obviously there were not enough to stop the killing!   To this day, the Crusades are often cited by Jews as a reason why they cannot accept Christ as the Savior.  They associate the killing of the Crusades with Jesus.   How sad!  Jesus would never say to kill people in his name.  Certainly a Christian would not be willing to slaughter God’s covenant people!   Nonetheless, it happened during the Crusades.

 

History continued and the persecution abounded. In the 12th century mobs rose up to hurt the Jews when rumors were spread that the Jews were using the blood of children for their Passover ceremonies.  The lie being spread was that the blood of the children would be smeared on their doors on the night of the Passover Seder!

Black Death
Picture from a Medieval manuscript depicting Jews being killed because of being blamed for spreading Black Death.

Even before the days of World War 2 Jews were often forced to wear badges or clothing that set them apart as a Jew.  The Jews were even blamed for the Bubonic Plague in the 1300’s.  The Jews had better hygiene than Gentiles because of their Kosher laws.  Thus, they did not get sick from the plague as readily as the Gentiles.  This aroused suspicion and led to further persecution.  In fact, thousands of Jews were killed because of this suspicion.

 

I’m still not done with history.  It gets worse as we move onto the Inquisition Period.  Most Americans think of Columbus when they hear the year 1492.  But, they have no clue that while Columbus was discovering America, it was on the heels of a brutal time in history where Jews were being killed and expelled from their homes.  The Spanish Inquisition was one of the worst times in Church history in terms of spilling blood.  During this time, the Church tortured and murdered tens of thousands of Christians and labeled them as heretics.  They also killed hundreds of thousands of Jews.  In Spain and Portugal the campaign was fierce and unforgiving for Jews.  King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were persuaded by the Church to carry out harsh persecution.  Jews were forced to get baptized, or be exiled from the country.  If Jews did not get baptized, their property was taken, as well as their wealth.  Many were killed.  By doing this, the King and Queen could finance their expeditions to the New World with money and property they had seized.  Many Jews converted to Christianity to avoid this penalty.  Some genuinely converted, but others obviously did it to spare their life and property!  To this day there are large numbers of Spanish Jews who are called sephardic

Columbus
This book by Mike Evans explores the question of whether Columbus was Jewish

Jews, whose ancestors survived the Spanish Inquisition.  On a side note, did you know there is evidence that shows Christopher Columbus may have been Jewish?  It is possible he hid his identity from the King and Queen,  and sailed away to a new world, hoping to to find a place of refuge for Jews.  Do some research on this if you have time…………..

During the 19th century persecution continued.  This time it was the Russian Pogrom.  Jewish people escaped to Poland to flee the persecution.  The Jews were able to live there in safety for many years.   This did not last forever as Russia began taking over border states, which included parts of Poland.   Over time, Russia began seeing the Jews as a “problem” for their nation.  Much like Hitler, they began targeting the Jews.  They deported them, starved them, or forced them to convert.  Pogrom means “destruction”.  The Russians were trying to destroy the Jews.  Some Jews escaped and began living in Western Europe in places like Germany.  Unfortunately, we know what happens in Germany starting in the 1930’s……

Now we come to the persecutions of the Holocaust.  You are probably familiar with this part of history.  Six million Jews were murdered at the hands of Hitler and his Nazi regime. The Jews were forced to live in concentration camps and systematically murdered in gas chambers.  They were shot, tortured, starved and treated like non humans.  Their possessions were stolen and sold to the highest bidder.  If Hitler had it his way every single Jew would have been wiped off the face of the earth.  But, God would not let that happen.  A remnant was spared and what would happen next jumped right off the pages of Bible prophecy.   The Jews began being liberated in January of 1945, with the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp.  By the end of 1945, World War 2 was over, but now there was an entire population of Jews without a home.

It just so happened that a very important deadline was approaching.  The expiration of the British Mandate over Palestine was nearing.  The mandate would expire at midnight on May 14, 1948.  After the horrific events of the Holocaust, it was clear more than ever that the Jewish people needed a home of their own.  Back in 1917 (during World War 1), the British had gained the land known as Palestine (really this is ancient Israel because remember the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed the area Palestine).  The British seized the land from the Ottoman Turks.  Later, in 1922, a document known as the Balfour Declaration was created and this document declared the future establishment of a Jewish home.   There’s more details to this story, but for time’s sake, let’s just say that all these things led to the creation of the modern state of Israel.

public declaration of state of israel
May 14, 1948: David Ben- Gurion publicly announcing the Declaration of the State of Israel.

Once Israel declared itself a nation in 1948, the persecution did not end.  Right after declaring independence, they were attacked by their Middle Eastern neighbors.  With God’s help, Israel was victorious.  But Israel’s neighbors were Hell bent on destroying her and made no qualms about declaring it publicly.   They made public vows to destroy the tiny new nation.

 

The Arab community would not give up on the persecution.  In 1956 the Sinai Campaign began and Egypt seized the Suez canal and prepared to attack Israel.  Luckily, Israel was able to thwart their efforts and a full scale war was avoided at this time.

In 1967 prophecy was fulfilled when Israel engaged in a war known as the Six Day War.   Egypt, Syria and Jordan were emboldened by Russia to attack Israel.  Israel caught wind of the plan and on June 5, 1967 Israel struck with a swift attack.  The Air Forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan were destroyed by tiny Israel.   Tanks, weapons and most of all, LAND, was seized by Israel.  Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza strip, Golan Heights and EAST JERUSALEM!   Did you catch that?  JERUSALEM!  Before this war Israel only had possession on West Jerusalem, which they had secured back in 1948 during Israel’s War for Independence.  Now, they had the entire city!  God’s covenant people had possession of God’s holy city- the same city Jesus will one day return to!

Unfortunately, Israel has been forced into giving back some of the land they acquired.  The Gaza Strip was given to the “Palestinians” (Arabs), and the Sinai was given back to Egypt.   As of now Israel still has East Jerusalem in its possession, but there is continued pressure to give it back.  My continued prayer is that the United States will not participate in any land negotiations.  Back in 2005, the United States did negotiate a land deal with the Gaza Strip and the consequences of that were disastrous!  From that day forward terrorist attacks began from the Gaza Strip and Israel continues to be attacked every single day of their existence by rockets, suicide bombers, fire kites, and even burning tires.   Why we negotiate with terrorists I will never understand.  I can only say that Satan is behind this plan because he does not want God’s covenant people to survive.  He has tried to wipe them off the earth since the Garden of Eden when it was declared the serpent’s head would be crushed.  Who would crush Satan?  Jesus, of course!  Jesus is Jewish so Satan has continually tried to destroy his “brothers”, the Jews.  They are also part of God’s redemptive plan so Satan makes it his ultimate goal to destroy them.

I could continue to go on…………I could describe the Yom Kippur War, which happened in 1973 on Yom Kippur.  Israel was attacked once again.  Then, I could go on to the Lebanon War.   Next, I could discuss the Syrian War……….. I could also go into more detail about persecutions in Russia and around Europe and Africa……………But, I think I have told you enough.

There are more wars and persecution for Israel in the future.  There’s the infamous war of Gog and Magog, graphically described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.  There’s the Psalm 83 war.  There’s the war of Armageddon.  There’s also the Antichrist!  These wars and persecution will surpass even the persecution I mentioned above.  That’s a tragic thought.

It seems like hope is lost doesn’t it?  The Jews have been persecuted their entire lives and even more persecution is coming……. Well, it would be a horrible end to the story, but it’s not the end.

I am not citing all this history to make Gentiles feel bad.  Most Gentiles I know love the Jewish people.  But, I do not think most people really understand what it has been like to be a Jew for the last two thousand years.   I can’t say I truly understand because I am not Jewish.  But, God places a love for them on my heart, and just like Jesus, I long to see them reconciled to their Savior.

As Gentile Christians, we are grafted into the family of God.  We are blessed because a Jewish Savior went to the cross for us.  Certainly we are a treasured possession to God, just like the Jews.

If you were the parent of two children and one child was lost, wouldn’t you do everything you could to find that child?  Even if that child had done something wrong or had been disobedient, would you cast them off?  Would you wash your hands of that child?  Of course not!  Every parent I know would actively and passionately seek that lost child.  They would spend the rest of their lives trying to bring that child back.   This is how God sees Israel.   God is not going to let Israel go.  He’s not going to turn his back on his chosen people.   Just so we can fully understand this, read the verses below where God makes it crystal clear that he is by no means forsaking his people…………

“So don’t be afraid, O Jacob my servant; don’t be dismayed, O Israel; for I will bring you home again from distant lands, and your children from their exile.  They shall have rest and quiet in their own land, and no one shall make them afraid.  For I am with you and I will save you, says the Lord.  Even if I utterly destroy the nations where I scatter you, I will not exterminate you……”  Jeremiah 30:10-11 TLB

“Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coast lands:
‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.”  Jeremiah 31:10-11 NIV

“Therefore say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says; Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’  “Therefore say; ‘ This is what the Sovereign Lord says:  I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.”  Ezekiel 11:16-17

“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.  I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.”  Ezekiel 34:11-13

“I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again, and they shall plant vineyards and gardens and eat their crops and drink their wine.  I will firmly plant them there upon the land that I have given them; they shall not be pulled up again.”  Amos 9:14, TLB

“At that time, I will gather you together and bring home again, and give you a good name, a name of distinction among the peoples of the earth, and they will praise you when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.” Zephaniah 3:20 TLB.

“I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.  I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.   And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.  You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

The verses above are amazing.  God is saying he is going to give Israel a heart of flesh.  Their heart of stone will be removed and their hearts will soften to receive their Savior, Jesus.  The blindness will be gone, and also the persecution of the ages.

Sometimes, I try to picture that day in my mind.  I can see Jesus on his white horse, riding into Jerusalem with great power and glory.  And, I can see the Jewish people…. their eyes looking toward him, and their hearts leaping out of their chest.  In that moment, a great realization takes place.  All the suffering of history is erased in just a few moments.  They recognize their King once and for all.   I can picture the mountains shouting out at that point.  Even the trees will bow.  And the Jewish people will say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

 

Resources:

Blow the Trumpet in Zion by Richard Booker

The Jewish People, Rejected or Beloved? by Dr. David Reagan

The Holy Bible:  NIV, KJV, NKJV, TLB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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