Much of the God’s Word contains prophetic teaching, in fact nearly 30% of Scripture is prophetic in nature. Of the hundreds of specific prophecies contained in Scripture many have been fulfilled and many are yet to be. In this part of our teaching on Biblical Prophecy we want to focus on Israel as a people and a Nation State. The Super Sign of the Last Days, is that Israel is once again a nation. The Jewish people are returning from exile. After nearly two thousand years of rejection, God is going to call them His people again (Hosea 1:9, Romans 9:25-26), but first He must deal with their transgression of the Law (Daniel 9:24).
The story of Israel began in the book of Genesis. God makes a binding covenant with Abraham, who was to be the father of the Jewish nation. The provisions of that covenant are recorded in Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God’s land covenant promise to Abraham is the linchpin of one of the most important of all Biblical prophecies. Israel’s eternal right of possession of the land God promised to Abraham. This covenant with Abraham is confirmed several times to his descendants in the Old Testament. When these descendants (after 400 years of bondage in Egypt) were about to enter the land promised to them, Moses told them of a coming time when their idolatry would cause them to be driven from the land that God was giving them. In Deuteronomy 4:27 we find recorded; “And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.”
The Jews subsequently were partially scattered by the Assyrians and Babylonians, and then after a time of exile God restored them to the land. However in 70 AD, as Jesus Himself prophesied, the temple was destroyed by the Roman armies of Titus, and the Jews were driven from Jerusalem. Israel, as a nation, began again to be scattered, and then during the Bar Kochba Revolt from 132 to 136 AD, Emperor Hadrian sent 12 of his 24 Legions to expel the Jews from Israel completely, and they were scattered like chaff in the wind to the four corners of the earth. Hadrian then renamed the occupied territory Palestine.
Yet in spite of all of this, God chose the Jews. He gave them a land; He made them an irrevocable promise, it is a binding covenant! Over the intervening centuries at various times small groups of Jews tried to return to Palestine. They returned in small numbers following various persecutions in the lands that they had been scattered to such as the Spanish expulsion of the Jews in 1492 when 800 to 1200 Jews returned to Palestine. Not until the late 1800s was there a truly united effort to reestablish a permanent community of Jews in the Holy Land as some began purchasing property there.
Beginning with the British Balfour Declaration in 1917 a multinational effort was begun to allow the Jews to return to Palestine. This effort intensified after the horrors of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany during World War II. By 1948 the Jewish population of Palestine numbered approximately 800,000.
In understanding Biblical Prophecy as it relates to the Last Days, one must realize that Israel is God’s time clock. Every prophecy relating to the end times require Israel to be back in their land, the land promised to them by God in His covenant with Abraham. The fulfillment of this prophecy truly began on May 14, 1948 with the rebirth of the Nation of Israel. In comprehending what an incredible act of God this was, we need to understand than never before in the history of the world had an ancient people retained their identity while scattered throughout the world, and then returned to their homeland to reestablish their national identity.
The most significant event since Israel’s independence in 1948 was their capture of Jerusalem and the West Bank at the culmination of the Six-Day War in 1967, when they were attacked by their Arab neighbors. Jerusalem is once again the Capitol of the nation of Israel. Not only have they restored the land itself but they have also resurrected their historic Hebrew language. No people have ever endured more suffering over the centuries than exiled Jews. The persecution they endured is unimaginable, in fact during the Holocaust alone they saw the extermination of one third of the worldwide Jewish population.
The re-gathering of the Jewish people in their homeland is necessary for the rest of the end time prophecies to be fulfilled. The events in the prophecies found in Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Psalm 83, Zechariah 12, Ezekiel 38 and 39, all hinge on Israel being in their homeland. And from Revelation 4:2 through Revelation 19, God is dealing with the nation of Israel to draw them to Himself while punishing the nations for the way they have treated His chosen people, Israel. The Tribulation begins with a peace treaty signed between Israel and the antichrist. Many other things such as a false peace, the rebuilding of the third Jewish temple, and a coming great persecution of the Jewish people under the antichrist have all been prophesied. It will all take place because God has said it.
This incredible rebirth of Israel as a nation is only the beginning, the most incredible in dramatic events of the end times concerning the world and Israel as a nation lie ahead. One only has to look at the news today to realize that the issue of who controls the Promised Land is still one of the most volatile subjects in international politics. Today Israel is surrounded by nations both near and far who have vowed to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
In Zechariah 12: 1-3 the Scripture reads, “The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
Yet God will be Israel’s defender as we read in Zechariah 12: 8-10; “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
This is why as believers we need to understand the importance of Israel in these Last Days. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for God’s chosen people Israel because;
Jesus is Coming Soon!