Jewish Immigration: A Look at God’s Future

No nation the diminutive size of Israel has captured the attention of the world like Israel.  As of 2014 there were 14.2 million Jews in the world.  According to one estimate that is around 0.002% of the world.  Yet this tiny nation has been the object of both scorn and admiration.

In order to help you understand this small but amazing nation, my blog post will provide: (1) a timeline of Israel.  (2) A Biblical understanding of Israel.  (3) The state of Israel today.

A Timeline of Israel

In 70 AD the Roman general Titus drove his army into Jerusalem and leveled the city.  That was the end of Israel as a nation.

On May 14, 1948 Israel was given nationhood.  Many Bible scholars before 1948 believed and taught that Israel was no longer important to God’s unfolding plan of redemption.  After 1948 many Bible scholars changed their mind.

In 1962 Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the “Final Solution Plan,” was executed by hanging in Israel.

The Six-Day War took place in 1967.  Against great odds, Israel won that war and annexed the Gaza Strip, Sinai, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Then in 1979 Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty.  The foundations of this small nation were firmly established nearly 2,000 years after they were destroyed.

Israel and Biblical Teaching

In Genesis 12:1-3 God made a promise to Abraham.  ESV  Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 12:1-3 ESV)

Notice what God promised Abraham and his kith and kin: (1) a land, (2) a name, (3) a great nation and (4) a blessing to all the nations.

In Exodus he rekindles that promised to Moses and the Israelites enslaved in Egypt.  ESV  Deuteronomy 4:1 “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. (Deu 4:1 ESV)

The promise of a land was reiterated by many of the great prophets.  15 “But as the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.  For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.” (Jer 16:15 ESV)

We find a similar theme in Isaiah.  21 Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.  22 The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it.  (Isa 60:21-22 ESV)

Romans 11:23-26 builds upon this Old Testament understanding.  23 “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.  24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.  25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.”  (Rom 11:23-26 ESV)

Israel has a prophetic future.  God is and will use Israel for His redemptive purposes.

The State of Israel Today

But there are new developments.  Jews from around the world are returning to their ancient land.  AP reporter, Aron Heller in his January 14, 2016 article describes an exodus of Jewish people from Europe.  “Jewish immigration to Israel from western Europe has reached an all-time high as a result of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks.”

8,000 French Jews emigrated to Israel last year.  France has been home to the third-largest Jewish population in the world.  800 Jews from Britain joined the exodus.  According to Heller, “Italy and Belgium are next on the list.”

Jews are going home!

The prophet Zechariah predicted, 7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, 8 and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”  9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Let your hands be strong, you who in these days have been hearing these words from the mouth of the prophets who were present on the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. (Zec 8:7-9 ESV)

The prophet Isaiah picks up a similar theme.  6 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  8 Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!  9 All the nations gather together, and the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right, and let them hear and say, It is true.  10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.  11 I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isa 43:6-11 ESV)

The prophet Jeremiah also heralds this miraculous return to the ancient homeland.  3 “For behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the LORD, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.” (Jer 30:3 ESV)

Amazing Thought

Today we are witnessing God’s plan of redemption and the role Israel has and will play in that plan.

What a great day to be alive.  Students of the Word look on the tumultuous affairs of the world with confidence—God is in charge of human history.  He is in charge of your history.  We have nothing to fear.

I encourage you to review the Scriptures in this blog post.  Enjoy God’s promises.  Then rejoice in the confidence you have in Christ.  Jesus told his disciples these powerful words that are applicable to our day.  “I will never leave you nor forsake you; I am with you always even until the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20)

Warren

Jewish Immigration: A Look at God’s Future

Ben Stein’s confession

“Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as “Holiday Trees” for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America . . .

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein”

Ben Stein’s confession