The Land Covenant

The Land Covenant
By Bob Westbrook - November 8, 2010

In the Bible, we are often reminded of the power and greatness of God through the marvelous acts he accomplished in history.

"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, O descendants of Abraham his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit."" (Psalms 105:1-11 NIV)

We feel the emphatic resolve behind the oath God swore regarding possession of the land
Among the "wonderful acts" the God of Abraham performed to confirm His covenant was the assignment of the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham. This land corresponds to the land of Israel today and beyond, including the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights. In that Psalm, we feel the emphatic resolve behind the oath God swore regarding possession of the land.

It was not to Ishmael's descendants this promise was made, but to Isaac and Jacob's. Ishmael's descendants also became a nation, as God promised, and settled further to the east in Arabia. But the land of Canaan was given only to Israel's descendants.

There were conditional clauses in the Torah in which God warned Israel they could temporarily lose possession of that land if they were not faithful to God. That is indeed what happened, for the very long period of nineteen centuries from 70 AD until 1948 AD. But the Psalm above, as well as other Biblical references, affirms though Israel might lose temporary possession of the land, they would never lose the permanent inheritance.

In fact, one of the most frequently mentioned promises of God in the Bible is the eventual return of the Jews to their own covenant land. For anyone looking for proof that the God of the Bible exists and His declarations are trustworthy, this improbable fact is a very good starting point.

One of the most frequently mentioned promises in the Bible is the eventual return of the Jews.

"Listen to me, you nations nearby or across the sea. I scattered the people of Israel, but I will gather them again. I will protect them like a shepherd guarding a flock; I will rescue them from enemies who could overpower them. My people will come to Mount Zion and celebrate; their faces will glow because of my blessings." (Jeremiah 31:10-12 CEV)

This declaration from the prophet Jeremiah could not be clearer. Israel would be regathered in spite of overwhelming and fierce opposition from enemies who tried to stop the process. The land would once again belong to them, because the God who promised it to them at the beginning was resolved to carry through His intentions.

Who are those "enemies" who attempt to stop this process? It is no coincidence many are related to the nation of Ishmael. The intense hatred expressed towards Israel was initially expressed in the resentment of Hagar, that her son Ishmael would not share the covenant promises with Isaac. But the modern expression of that hatred is conveyed through another religion that arose first among the Arab descendants of Ishmael - Islam. It is a fallacious religion which has emerged as a hostile rival to the God of Israel and to His promises to Abraham.

The nearly universal Islamic animosity towards Jews and Israel has continued to this day
The nearly universal Islamic animosity towards Jews and Israel is not only a byproduct of historical hostility expressed by Mohammad against the Jews, though that was the starting point. When most of the Jews in Arabia refused to accept his ludicrous claims that he was a new prophet of God, Mohammad massacred large numbers of them. Islamic hatred of the Jews has continued to this day, flaring up in the 1920s as many Jewish emigrants began returning to their promised land.

Eventually, those returning Jews became a nation once again, accomplishing what God had promised many times in the Bible. In 1948 and again in 1967, God executed great victories for Israel, regaining more and more of their covenant land. These were the first steps to restore, in stages, the land God promised them. This gradual repossession is direct fulfillment of what many prophets of the Bible said would happen. But the process is not over yet - God will continue to show His greatness by the final recovery of all the land promised to Israel, and the expulsion from that land of all who oppose this. The religion Mohammad invented which propels that vicious opposition will, as a result, be discredited as an impotent farce. I believe many who had been blinded by that cruel religion will come to know the true God.

"Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced." When we look at the history of Israel, we see many examples of these. Those examples refute those who smugly assert there is no evidence of God acting in history. Yet God's actions have not ceased in our time. For all with an open heart, His actions on Israel's behalf today - those wonders, miracles, and judgments - are happy confirmation of His power and greatness!


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