Paul writes the following in the book of Romans (Chapter 9:3-5):
For I wish that I myself were accursed for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
What an amazing summary of the purposes of God with the people and nation of Israel!
Last month I spoke about the calling of Israel and the promise God made to Abram in Genesis 12:3, as well as the curse or blessings which would follow those who either bless or curse his descendants.
Let us now take a look at the covenant God made with Abram, known as the Abrahamic covenant.
This covenant is referred to more than once in the book of Genesis and was initiated by God. Read the full covenant cutting ceremony in Genesis 15:9-20. Verse 18 sums up the reason for the covenant:
On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.” He also says: “Also, I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” — Gen 17:8.
It was an unconditional and everlasting covenant! God put Abram to sleep while He cut the covenant with him. No conditions were placed on Abram. The book of Hebrews records: “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. — Hebrew 6:13-15
The Abrahamic covenant is based on a land promise, within defined territories. No other nation on the earth has had their boundaries drawn by God Himself. God actually says that He sets the boundaries of all the nations according to the number of the children of Israel and that His portion is His people and Jacob (Israel) the place of His inheritance! (Deut. 32: 8-9). The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has chosen to identify Himself with this nation and people. How strange it is then that some can say they love the God of Israel but yet have no regard for the people of Israel, whom He clearly loves!
He chose to bring about our very redemption through a Jewish Messiah, birthed through the people of Israel. We owe them a great debt of gratitude!
Their possession of and prosperity in the land throughout the ages has been dependent on their obedience to Him…and we will look at this in the next column, as it relates to the Mosaic Covenant.
He has committed Himself to ensure that Israel will be in possession of the land as this present history closes, and even connected His Name and His honour to the fact.
This is surely the very reason that the attack against the Jewish people possessing their ancient homeland land, is so illogical and blatantly biased. The enemies of God will undermine the people and nation of God in their desperate attempts to undermine His Name and His Word. Israel only exists because God exists and because He is a covenant-keeping God!
The Jewish people’s right to the land is entrenched not only in Biblical covenants, but also in legal treaties. The Balfour Declaration (1917) was a recognition of the undeniable right of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland and an agreement by the British government of the day to oversee the area for their restoration to it. This declaration was then further ratified at San Remo by the world powers of the day. On Monday April 27, we celebrated the 100 year commemoration of this important event that took place at San Remo in late April 1920. See link to the informative commemoration: https://youtu.be/o9H8edygnsw
Benjamin Netanyahu said on the day… “In ratifying that historic declaration (Balfour Declaration), San Remo recognised a fundamental truth: The Jewish people are not foreign colonialists in the land of our forefathers. The Land of Israel is our ancestral homeland.”
This agreement was confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922, and automatically honoured by the United Nations which superseded the League in 1945 after WW2. It is important to understand that Israel’s full right to the land, under these legal agreements, agreed to and ratified by the international world powers of the day, has never been cancelled or replaced by any further votes or conventions in the UN to date.
However, those who hate God will automatically hate His people and stand up against His promises to them. The battle against Israel is not a new one and is written about throughout the Scriptures. Psalm 83 clearly states that those who hate God will hate the people of God and the nation of Israel….Psalm 83 verse 2 -5:
“For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You.”
It could be describing the United Nations of today.
Those who support a Palestinian state within these God-promised boundaries, are coming against God Himself and undermining His Word and His very character!
God has promised that He will never leave or forsake Israel and will complete all His promises to them in His time.
Last week Israel commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) where they remembered the six million men, women and children who were systematically murdered only around 75 years ago in modern “Europe” just because they were Jews.
Ever since the nation was reborn (May 14 1948) they have faced onslaught after onslaught of various kinds. Israel only a few days ago (Yom Hazikaron April 28) remembered the 23 816 people who lost their lives defending Jerusalem and Israel (dating back to 1860 in the pre-state years) as well as the 4166 victims of terror attacks. See a moving ceremony at this link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=302233427427347&ref=watch_permalink
We also rejoiced with Israel as they celebrated their Independence Day (Yom Ha’Hatzmaut) on Wednesday April 29… the 72nd anniversary of their “born again” experience of being back in the land again after almost 2 000 years in exile!
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock’. (Jeremiah 31:10)
The ICEJ has been operating since 1980 as an embassy representing Christians around the world who stand with Israel and who also recognise that Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of Israel!
Join us as we pray together on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at 3pm SA time during this crucial time in the world’s history, from Jerusalem. The links to the online Zoom prayer sessions can be found on our website http://icej.org.za/pray.