"Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favor her, yea, the set time is come. For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones and favor the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord and all of the kings of the earth Thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory." Psalm 102:13-16
People sometimes ask me, “Pastor, why do you keep going back to the land of Israel?” Because I love the land and I love her people. They are God's chosen people, a people of destiny. I go to Israel for two reasons.
The land of Israel, I believe, is the most important spot on earth. The most important city is not Washington or Moscow, but Jerusalem. The most important land, believe it or not, is not America but tiny Israel, about the size of New Jersey.
Israel: the geographic center. “See, I have set thee in the midst of the nations (Ezekiel 5:5). Israel, called “the navel of the earth,” is strategically located at the hub of three continents.
Israel: the revelation center. From this land, the land of Moses, the prophets and the apostles, came the Word of God.
Israel: the spiritual center. In Bethlehem Jesus was born. In Nazareth He grew to maturity. In Galilee He walked and taught on the mountainsides and beside the Sea. In Jerusalem our Lord was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. From the Mount of Olives He ascended. And to the Mount of Olives He will return; His feet will first touch down upon the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).
Israel: the prophecy center. Prophecy is “pre-written history.” The land of Israel is the only land belonging to God’s people. The details of their future are minutely recorded in the Bible. If you want to know what God is doing, study Israel and her people.
Israel: the storm center. The Middle East, specifically Israel, is the world’s greatest trouble spot. The Bible says “Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all people” of the world[CAP1] [CA2] - (Zechariah 12:3), and indeed we see in the daily news the gathering storm clouds of Armageddon.
Israel: also the peace center. We’re told to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). There will never be peace on earth until there's peace in Jerusalem, until Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, rules and reigns from Jerusalem. When we're praying for the peace of Jerusalem, we're praying, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” We want our Lord to reign from Zion, to sit upon the throne of his father David.
Israel: one day will be the glory center. When our Lord returns, all nations of the world will come to Jerusalem to worship (Micah 2:3). Jerusalem will be the capital city not only of Israel but of the entire world, and the Word of the Lord shall go forth from Zion (Isaiah 2:3). Jesus will reign from Jerusalem (Luke 1:32). Israel is at the center of God’s plan.
FOUR MIRACLE PROPHECIES
(THREE BEING FULFILLED TODAY)
As we look at Israel, I want you to see four miracle prophecies about this land.
1. The prophecy of Israel’s miraculous generation (How Israel came to be a nation)
In Genesis 18:18 God gave Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, the promise of a son—and descendants. He said, “Abraham, through your son all the nations of the world are going to be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, 22:18). When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, God gave them a miracle child. Every Jew alive today is the direct result of a miracle birth. Therefore, our precious Jewish friends should have no difficulty believing in the virgin birth because every one of them is here because of a miracle birth. That's the miracle of the generation of the Jewish people.
Then God promised Abraham a land for His people. God Himself gave Abraham the land we call Israel. And He gave it irrevocably. (Genesis 12:1, 15:16, 15:18-21, Deuteronomy 9:4)
2. The prophecy of Israel’s miraculous preservation
Not only did God bring Israel into being as a miracle nation, but God keeps Israel as a miracle nation. Psalm 89 shows God’s heart on this.
18 For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king…. 20 I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him: 21 With whom My hand shall be established: Mine arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 24 But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted…. 27 “Also I will make him My first born, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him forevermore and My covenant [an unbreakable promise] shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure forever and his throne as the days of heaven.”
God declares the descendants of David shall endure. Looking down through the tunnel of time, He foresaw (v. 30) that if David's descendants 30 “forsake My law and walk not in My judgments [and by the way, they have forsaken God's law and not walked in His judgments] 31”If they break My statutes and keep not My commandments,” [they have broken His statutes, they have not kept His commandments], then God says, “32Then will I visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. 33Nevertheless,” [highlight the word “nevertheless]“My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail, 34My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips, 35Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36His seed shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. 37It shall be established forever as the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky. Selah.” [Selah means “pause and think about that.”]
God has said:
the Jews would be disobedient—and they were,
the Jews would be disbursed—and they were,
the Jew would be discredited—and they were,
but you could no more destroy the Jewish race than you could destroy the sun, the moon and stars. They may be chastised, they may suffer, but God said, “I will keep My word to David, his seed shall endure” (v. 29).
Jeremiah 31:35-37 confirms this.
35 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): 36 “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.” 37 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.
If you want to get rid of the nation Israel, you will first have to get rid of the sun, moon, and stars. In other words, God is saying, “I'll tell you when I'll cast off Israel: the same day you can tell Me how high is ‘up.’ I'll cast off Israel the same day you can show Me what this earth suspended in space is resting upon. You’ll have to pluck the sun, moon, stars from My heaven before you can annihilate this nation.”
They exist as a miracle nation. They stand beside the graves of their persecutors. They live on. When they returned, the land was a rock-filled desert. Zion now is blooming as a rose.
Every Jew is here today because of God's keeping, preserving power upon His chosen people.
Throughout history, Satan, Israel's ancient foe, has tried to eradicate this nation and obliterate this promise, but he could not do it.
Egypt’s pharaoh could not diminish God's chosen people.
The Red Sea could not drown them.
Jonah's whale could not digest them.
Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace could not burn them.
The gallows of horrible Haman could not execute them.
The dictators of this world have not been able to annihilate them.
The nations of this world have not been able to assimilate them.
When other peoples have been taken from their homelands, when they have been scattered, soon they’ve been absorbed, assimilated—swallowed up, so to speak—into the culture of their new location and cannot be traced.
But for nineteen centuries the Jewish people, wherever they were found, kept themselves together, maintaining their traditions, laws, statutes and even language. God preserved them as a nation, an identifiable people.
God said He would “visit their iniquity with stripes” and indeed He has. They suffered unmentionable atrocities under Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great and the Greeks, Nero and the Romans, under the Turks, and Hitler. Under Russia they have and are now suffering. Under the Arab nations they have and are suffering. But they have endured because God's Word prophesied they would endure.
Join us for Part 2 of this subject when we will look at Miracle Prophecy # 3 and #4.
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[CAP1]No! You're absolutely right. In my haste I overlooked that extra, redudant, "wascally" comma!
[CA2]Since there is a comma after the scripture reference, does there need to be a comma here as well … especially since there’s a conjunction after the first thought?