This first lesson in the Bible Study entitled, “What in the World Is Going On?” by Pastor David Jeremiah, PhD (2008), focuses on the “Israel Connection.” And it is here that we learn why and how Israel was regathered, as a nation, to her Promised Land. The Scripture references, in particular, will be Genesis 12:1 – 7; 15:18 – 21; 17:7 & 8; Deuteronomy 7:7 and 9:6 & 7; as well as Isaiah 11:11 & 12 and 45:4; and Ezekiel 36:24 – 28 (NKJV). As Dr. Jeremiah (2008) puts it, “…After 1,900 years of living as refugees around the world, in 1948, Israel was restored to her homeland.” Of course, not all the world was pleased with the great news of Israel becoming a nation of her own on May 14, 1948, especially the majority of Israel’s surrounding neighbors in the Middle East, but the Bible predicted this would happen (see aforementioned references) and so be it!
Nonetheless, I truly believe that in order to understand the significance of this milestone event in human history, some background information is necessary for correct context. Israel is very special to God and rightfully so as He chose to reveal Himself in the Old Testament through the nation of Israel (and through His Son, Jesus Christ, in the New Testament). In fact, someone once said “that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” Israel is even referred to as God’s wife in Isaiah 54:5 and Revelation 19:7 and the “apple of His eye” in Zechariah 2:8 (NKJV). Thus, God is very zealous for Israel and even declares in Jeremiah 31:35 – 37 (NKJV) that
“Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): ‘If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever. Thus says 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, says the Lord’” (NKJV).
Clearly, God favors and defends Israel regardless of her sins and does the same for His children---The Body of Christ. “For He knows the thoughts that He thinks toward them, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give them a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV). So, when I read and hear about businesses that promote the disinvestment of Israel to pressure the Israeli Government to “end the occupation of Palestinian territories,” I cannot help but wonder how much longer this anti-Semitic ignorance and bigotry must go on. But when certain mainline protestant churches in America chime in, it breaks my heart and certainly the heart of Almighty God. Haven’t these companies and church denominations read the Bible? What part of God’s exact and eternal Covenant with Israel, detailed in Genesis 15:18 and 17:7 – 8, don’t they get? Indeed, God is not done with Israel, by any stretch of the imagination, and He will have the final say in the matter, not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hassan Rouhani, John Kerry, or Barack Obama, for that matter.
All the same, Israel’s (and the world’s) peace, righteousness, and justice will only be realized when Jesus Christ returns during His Second Coming. Friend, are you ready? Stay tuned for the second part of this lesson on our journey together with Pastor Jeremiah---The Israel Connection…See you then!