When did the Church get Israel?
When God makes a promise, He REALLY makes a promise!
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It is difficult for us, with our imperfect mortal minds, to understand that God would still remember the Jews after so long. After all, thanks to the actions of the Christian establishment over the previous 13 centuries, their existence had been extremely precarious. As unlikely as it may have seemed, the fact remains that God was going to have His way despite the actions of the Church. He was going to honour His Covenant with the descendants of Abraham. Let us remind ourselves what it involved. We read in Genesis 13:14-15, “The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see I will give to you and to your descendants for ever.'"
And now, after centuries of exile, they had returned to start to see the fulfilment of this ancient promise.
Just as He had ensured the existence of Judah, when Israel had been absorbed into the Gentile Assyrian world, He was not going to abandon His people now. He worked in the way He always works, for His Name's sake, as an expression of His holiness. He is a consistent, honourable God. If He makes a promise, then He will make sure He keeps it, despite the actions of others, even those who claim to be His followers.
It is worth remembering here the words of Jeremiah the prophet, in Chapter 31, verses 35-37, ‘Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar--the LORD of hosts is His name: If this fixed order departs from before Me, says the LORD, then shall the descendants of Israel cease from being a nation before Me for ever.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the descendants of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD.’
How clear can you get! The sun, moon and stars would cease functioning before God would give up on His people, the Jews. Every inch of the heavens and the earth would be explored and measured before His people are cast away! So the Jews were kept intact not only through the hostile Empires of Bible times - the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans - but also during the 13 centuries of ‘State Christianity’, surviving marginalisations, expulsions, massacres and pogroms at the hands of the followers of the Jewish Messiah! But survive they did, so much so that when we arrive at the year 1947, this nation without a land could not remain so any longer.
More next week ...