The Book of Hosea
Time to Favor Zion is Come!
will arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto
her, for the appointed time is come." Psa. 102.14
History recalls the rise and fall of nations
and empires as the tides that ebb and flow. In this ceaseless cycle variations
have occurred only in the manner of appearance and disappearance. Whether with
great and thunderous breakers or with quiet lapping waves the nations have come
and gone. one lone nation arises above history to lift its head from the depths
of ages past to live again. It is Israel.
Israel's rise and fall may have been similar
to that of other nations in some particulars but in one respect it was without
parallel—God dealt in an exclusive way with them. Not that they alone
proclaimed Him as their God—others may have made such boast, but the Lord
declared Himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the God of
Israel. (Exod. 3:15; 5:1; Jer. 28:4) To make this distinction certain the Lord
through Amos said, "You only have I known of all the families of the
earth." (Amos 3:2) Such has been the heritage of Israel.
Rebirth of Israel as a nation is the great
phenomenon of our day. our generation was awed in that great moment of history
when men touched their feet on the moon—it was thrilling to see—but the rebirth
of Israel holds far more significance to those who see this event as a
fulfillment of God's word. The rebirth of Israel could never have occurred
without the astonishing fact that the people of Israel, who had been scattered
throughout the entire earth for nearly 2,000 years, remained a distinct and
homogeneous people in the lands of their sojourn. Neither persecution, nor
famine, nor fame or fortune was able to cause them to assimilate with the
peoples of other lands. Could blood ties alone prevent assimilation? No. It was
the Law and the Prophets of Israel which marked them and preserved them with a
common hope and faith while in Diaspora.
Now the pattern of history is broken. A
nation is reborn and its people are coming home to their native land.
Notwithstanding the terrors of pagan Rome, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the
ceaseless proselytizing attempts of Christendom and the ever constant stigma
for those who spurned the advances of the church-state offer of salvation.
The dispersion of the Jews did not occur by
chance. It was carefully planned and executed by the Roman powers who were at
an end of their patience with this "troublesome" people. Constant
revolt and rebellion on the part of the Israelites caused the Roman powers to
devise a scheme more cunning than the Babylonians. The Babylonians took the
Israelites captive to Babylon, but did not disperse them further. The Romans
knew the Hebrews returned successfully from Babylon and rebuilt their nation. They
were determined this would never happen again. They carefully fragmentized the
captives and sent them in every direction over the world of that time. The
logic was simple. Once fragmented and diffused among the nations they would
inevitably be assimilated and lose their identity. With this, their national
aspirations would end. Israel's pres-ence again as an independent nation is a
testimony of a greater plan than the Romans'. Surely, only the Lord could have
preserved this people and brought them again to their homeland. The Lord
carefully forecast the scattering and the regathering of His people.
Standing at the threshold of the fulfillment
of the Lord's prophecies with respect to His people, at the very dawn of the
Lord's appointment, some in Jewry strangely have lost faith in the inspiration
of the Torah. Even when the Torah is retained, too often it is viewed for its
beauty and history as by distant observers who fail to grasp the living force
of events transpiring in the Divine destiny for His people. Even when
confronted with rare phenomena of the regathering and rebirth of Israel,
somehow Jewry often views each event as an isolated happening rather than as
part of a whole program designed for world restoration and blessing.
With all that has happened in the
regathering and restoration of Israel, it is often equated as
"natural"—the sequel to human discipline and achievement. While the
returned citizens of Israel are buoyed up with hope, the unheralded truth is
that these people are responding to the magnetic force of the Divine will and
the immutable purpose of God for Israel .
Why should the human impression be so great
and faith in the divine so small? Israel came to the point in her experience
when she learned not to worship heathen images. Is she now to bow before the
deity of humanism'? The spirit of unbelief was not the Abrahamic heritage.
Abraham believed God and grew great, and when Israel believed their God they
prospered. When they disobeyed they failed. Any other view is not in keeping with
Israel is the only nation with a complete
record of its past, an accurate prophetic portrayal of its present and a
complete description of its destiny among the nations. As a people, they have
suffered and endured more than others, yet viewed from the standpoint of God's
purpose with his people they have been extremely favored. God's remarkable
kindness toward them cannot be appreciated except by considering the prophetic
panorama of Israel's birth, growth, decline, fall, exile, return and ultimate
role in the Divine Plan of the Ages.
God had something big in mind when he
appeared to Father Abraham, saying, "Get thee out of thy country, and from
thy kindred and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy
name great; and be thou a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and
him that curseth thee I will curse; and in thee shall all the families of the
earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:1) Not only did God make this immutable
promise to Abraham, but to establish for all time its certainty of fulfillment,
he later confirmed it by an oath. Because He could swear by none greater He
swore by Himself, "In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I
will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is
upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in
thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 22:16-18)
Notice the promise has two parts:
- The seed of Abraham is to possess the land forever.
- "In thy (Abraham's) seed shall all the nations of the earth be
The role of Israel as a nation of blessing
does not fit the past. Zechariah said, "And it shall come to pass that, as
ye were a curse among other nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so
will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing." (Zech. 8: 13) From
Zechariah's time to the present this people's role and lot were without means
of prolonging God's blessing for themselves -- much less other nations. Neither
did they have the land for an everlasting possession. God was speaking of
greater things which cannot be fit into the difficult past. Even Abraham was
given sufficient insights to know that many years would pass before any hope of
obtaining the land would be realized. "Know of a surety that thy seed
shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and
they shall afflict them four hundred years." (Gen. 15:13) Abraham could
not foreknow the great span of time that would elapse before God completed his
commitments. Standing where we are today, it is apparent God has not been
The heirs of Abraham all avoided mixing with
the world in spite of natural tendency to assimilate with the world. Joseph,
when he brought his family to Egypt urged them to separate themselves by
telling the Egyptians they were keepers of cattle, for "every shepherd is
an abomination to the Egyptians." (Gen. 46:33, 34) The plan worked. They
remained separate. Egyptian bondage ended under the leadership of Moses. With a
high hand the Lord brought his people out of Egypt. The deliverance was
extraordinary, but as always the responsibilities as-sumed in dealing with the
living God almost turned the deliverance to annihilation. Even before the
tables of the Law were delivered, while Moses was in the Mount in face to face
communication with the Lord, God interrupted the proceedings to announce his
readiness to destroy this people and to make of Moses "a great nation."
(Ex. 32:9, 10) Moses' prayer and plea for Israel succeeded in staying the
Divine anger and preserved this people.
Moses prevailed in still another great
encounter with God. The Divine presence with Israel was becoming a consuming
experience. To avoid unnecessary loss of life the Lord offered to send his
angel before them into Canaan to secure the land for them, adding, "I will
not go up in the midst of thee; lest I consume thee in the way." (Exod.
33:3) in one of Moses' greatest moments he interceded again, saying, "If
Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein now shall it be
known that I have found grace in Thy sight, I and Thy people? is it not in that
Thou goest with us, so that we are distinguished, I and Thy people, from all
the people that are upon the face of the earth? And the Lord said unto Moses,
'I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken.' " This best explains
Israel's distinctiveness. It also portends something big.
Under Joshua's leadership the land of
promise became a reality. The land was taken and during the favorable period of
the judges of Israel they carried on the experiment of living by the Law of
Moses—with some success and some failure. There is much to be commended about
this period in Israel's history. The most powerful statement is made by the
Lord—"I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at
the beginning; afterward thou shalt be called The city of right-eousness."
(Isa. 1:26) The experiment under the judges emphasized individual
responsibility in keeping the Law —the higher form of government,
The reign of kings was the era of
compatibility with the environment. It brought the gains and losses occasioned
by centralized government. It tended to the rule of the individual, where power
corrupts, and weakened the rule of the Law. But Israel could not escape the
consequences of such a system. Every man must bear his own scepter! Why does
the human heart seek to avoid its freedom and responsibility to rule? While
Israel did rise to prominence among the nations, reaching its zenith of glory
under Solomon, yet it was this very moment the Lord committed the nation to a
division. (See I Kings I 1: 13) The divine decision to divide the kingdom into
two parts led to the decline and fall of this nation. The two-tribe kingdom
endured the longer, but it became a vassal state and finally came its
dispersion under Rome. All of this had been foretold.
Time of Service is Accomplished"
Israel's history covers two periods of time
each of equal length. The first period began at the death of Jacob. Starting
there, the people of Israel enjoyed God's favor although mixed with punishment.
For 1845 years God blessed them when they served him faithfully. When they
sinned and turned toward evil, He punished them. When they repented He once
more freely received them. But Jeremiah warned of a time in which they would be
punished without national favor. "Therefore will I cast you out of this
land into a land that ye have not known, neither ye nor your fathers; and there
shall ye serve other gods day and night; forasmuch as I will show you no
favor." (Jer. 16:13) This prophecy applied to the time when God's favor
did end and they were scattered throughout the earth. It could not apply to the
70 years desolation in Babylon. The scripture says they would be dispersed
"into a land that ye have not known, neither ye nor your fathers."
Abraham, their father, had come from Ur of Chaldea (Babylonia). His Grandson,
Jacob, had come from Syria. (Deut. 26:5) Therefore the Babylonian captivity did
not find them in a land unknown to their fathers. Not only is the place of
their dispersion different, but the time involved is greater than the 70 years
of desolation. Jeremiah says, "I will recompense their iniquity and their
sin double (mishneh—repetition, duplicate or second portion)." (Jer.
16:18) The period of disfavor in Diaspora was to be equal to the period of
favor before their rejection and desolation as a nation. A careful comparison
of this double or "mishneh" reveals that from the death of Jacob to
the rejection and desolation of Israel was a period of 1845 years, and from
that time they would be without national favors for a similar period of 1845
Projecting to the end of Israel's second
period, the one of "no favor," Isaiah said, "Comfort ye, comfort
ye My people, saith your God. Bid Jerusalem take heart, and proclaim unto her,
that her time of service is accomplished, that her guilt is paid off; that she
hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."—Isa. 40:1.
The first indication of returned favor to
Zion took place as early as 1878, 3690 years after the death of Jacob. Not only
did their "double" of favor and disfavor end here but the prophecy of
Ezekiel 37 about the "valley of dry bones" apparently began to have
its fulfillment. Here the dry and withered bones of Israel's hope began to
stir. Sinews came on them—giving them cohesion and strength, then flesh—giving
them substance, and skin—giving them beauty. In progressive stages they are
prepared for the breathing of life into them, when Israel would live as a hole
nation and people of God.
In 1878 the Berlin Congress of Nations,
under the influence of Lord Beaconsfield (Disraeli), prime minister of England,
settled Turkey's affairs so as to preserve her national existence. Provision
was made, at the same time, that in the event the Turkish nation was dissolved,
the world powers would know which location each could expect. England became
the protector of her Asiatic provinces which included the land of Israel.
Greater liberties were then accorded these provinces. Thus the Jews enjoyed
greater freedom including the right to buy land and colonize in Palestine—a
right denied them for centuries.
While the great Christian powers stood by with
mail-clad hands to seize the coveted portion of land from the grasp of moribund
Turkey, a historic figure stepped forward and said, "The land is
mine!" And when the nations looked at the speaker, they recognized Israel,
the child of the patriarch Abraham who had lived in Palestine at the first. A
wonderful coincidence? No, it was no coincidence! It was God's appointment with
His people; again His face was turned toward them and His hands lifted to bless
them if they would believe Him now.
It was these favorable conditions that made
possible the development of the Zionist hopes. Zionism was as dead as the dry
bones Ezekiel saw until Israel’s "time of service" for her sins was
accomplished. When the time to favor Zion again came, the Zionist movement
emerged. Through this noble appeal of Zionism God called and still calls His
erstwhile subjects back to their land.
Many Jewish commentators recognized that
Israel's subjection to the Gentile powers was a period of chastening and
disfavor. Hosea 3:4, 5 is quoted as proof, "For the children of Israel
shall sit solitary many days without king, and without prince, and without
sacrifice, and without pillar, and without ephod or teraphim; afterward shall
the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their
king; and shall come trembling unto the Lord and to His goodness in the end of
days." Seeing the children of Israel returning, is there not good reason
to believe we are at "the end of days" of service or punishment?
The Berlin Congress of Nations gave to
Zionists the first genuine opportunity to go about with a sparkle in their
eyes. It made possible land purchase in their homeland. This signal awakened
Jewish minds to Divine Providence working on behalf of His people. One of those
great men of vision was Theodore Herzl, whose name stands as a monument of
In 1896 Herzl presented a booklet entitled,
"The Jewish State." He appealed to rich Jews to call a congress of
Jews and begin laying the ground for Zionist activities. The book was a
success. An unexpected success in the wrong quarter. He thought the rich Jews
would spearhead the movement. He was wrong. The poor and oppressed Jews all
over Europe and Russia arose to the appeal. Zionism came to bloom.
When the Kishinev pogrom and severe
persecution meant thousands of Jews had to flee with no place to go that was
friendly, Herzl was ready to accept the British offer of land in Uganda. It was
practical salvation for the Jews who faced death—humanitarian ideals led him to
accept even this land to save his people. Herzl's face turned white when the
sixth Zionist Congress said no to Uganda. The lives of some of his kinsmen
could not supersede the Divine Destiny and it was then he realized with all
those there assembled, that Zionism was linked in-separably with Palestine.
There could be no alternative.
Herzl lighted the Zionist torch and carried
it high and magnificently, but it remained for Chaim Weizmann to plant the
torch in Palestine and gain the international recognition of the rights of the
Jewish people to their former homeland. Chaim Weizmann, by the providence of
God, secured for his people the Balfour Declaration, November 2, 1917.
Time to Favor Zion is Come!
from the late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol
development whose crucial character remains beyond question was the . . .
Balfour Declaration. This was indeed an event of paramount national,
international and historic significance. The promise it held out went far
beyond the formal undertaking of the British Government to facilitate the
establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine: implicit in this
Declaration and herein lies its deeper import—was the promise of a general
international recognition of the historic rights of the Jewish people in
Palestine, a recognition to be realized a few years later in a decision of the
League of Nations.
David Ben-Gurion was aware of one important
fact overlooked generally by Jewry. In an article on the Balfour Declaration,
published November 14 in "Der Yiddish Kampfer," the organ of the
Poale Zion movement in America, he said:
miracle happened and the broken vessel was made whole again.... England has not
restored our land to us. Precisely now at this moment of triumph, it should be
emphatically stated: it is nor in England's power to return our land to us. Not
because the land is not, or not yet, in her possession. After the entire
country, from Beersheba to Dan, is conquered by the British, it will not be
ours even with their consent, and even if all the nations of the world agree to
it. No people can establish title to a land except through its own toil,
creative effort and settlement.
has done a great thing: it has recognized our existence as a political entity
and acknowledged our right to the Land. But the Hebrew people itself must
transform this into a living fact. Through its own efforts of body, soul and
material assets it must set up its national home and complete its national
The American Zionists did not receive
Ben-Gurion's words favorably. To many in Jewry the Balfour Declaration was the
end of the matter, the Balfour Declaration was eternal, and whenever any Hebrew
felt dis-posed to go back to his homeland the opportunity would be there with
The British were the first to observe that
the Jewish people were not in a hurry to return. Aryeh Pincus, Chairman of the
Jewish Agency Executive observed: "Between 1917 and the Churchill White
Paper of 1922—severing Transjordan from the Jewish National Home—there was abundant
room for fast and widespread colonization. But aliya came in trickles, and the
small numbers spread out over the years could not prevent the consolidation of
Arab complicity. This failure made it easy for the British to high-light the
fact that Transjordan was not essential to Jewish national aspirations."
Lord Arthur James Balfour told Dr. Weizmann
after the approval of the Balfour Declaration and the decision on the British
Mandate at the San Remo Conference: "Now you have got the signal to start,
but you yourself will have to do the running." Failure on the part of
Jewry the world over to press into the land shows that few of them were in
touch with reality. While those in Russia were sealed within the Bolshevik
bastion, those elsewhere—free to return—found it difficult to be more than
spectators and were unprepared to "run" to the land of promise.
The Balfour Declaration did start a small
return of Jewry to Palestine and the work of rehabilitation and reclaiming the
land was under way. "For who hath despised the day of small things."
(Zech. 4:10) Ironically, the Nazi persecution, which was bent on destroying
world Jewry and came near to its goals in Europe, became the very force that
guaranteed the survival of Israel. Ben-Gurion said,* "Jews from Germany
provided the country with know-how, ability, capital and initiative."
David Ben-Gurion also observed that in 1933, immigrations "rose to 30,377,
in 1934, to 42,259, and in 1935, 62,000." This fact reminds us of Psalm
76:11: "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee; the residue of wrath
shalt Thou gird upon Thee."
Timing and Significance of the Balfour Declaration
Those living in the new state of Israel need
no convincing of the importance of the Balfour Declaration. It was the only
constructive outcome of World War 1. The Balfour Declaration was overshadowed
by the Bolshevik Revolution, but often truly great events go unheralded. The
violent always captures world recognition.
The Balfour Declaration was made November 2,
1917. It was not a world-shaking event, but a small political concession at a
time when the world was on fire. It excited no one except a few men with
Zionistic hopes. But even here, it was only a conversation piece, because few
Jews took seriously any thought of returning to Palestine. However, per-secuted
Jewry in Russia was coming to the end of its rope. The plight of the Jews in
Russia was the main argument by which the faint heart of the British were
finally persuaded to give the Jew his homeland. The war had brought an end to
the emigration of Jews from Russia to other lands and in view of their pitiful
plight, the British gave their consent for a homeland in Palestine.
November 7, 1917, five days later, the
Bolshevik Revolution erupted and invalidated the main argument of the Balfour
Declaration. The Revolution sealed the Jewish population within Russia where
they remain until this time. Needless to say, despite the claims of
com-radship, the Jews are still identified as Jews in Russia and they are
discriminated against. Zionists in Russia must wait until the Lord fulfills His
promise to bring them "from the land of the north." (Jer. 16:15) The
important thing is that the Russian Revolution came five days too late to
prevent the Balfour Declaration. Nor can the children of Abraham be detained
within the boundaries of Russia very much longer. The Lord will regather His
people from the land of the "north."
The Bolshevik Revolution unleashed a force
in the world that will help bring the nations to an end, while Israel rises to
shine. A destructive force is at one hand and a building force at the other. We
are living at this transition time. At ancient Israel's decline, the Gentile
powers, by divine grant, were given dominion. The Babylonian captivity ended
God's kingdom nation and gave rise to universal Gentile dominion. Daniel's
concern was for his people. Daniel saw Babylon devour his nation. He then saw
Babylon fall and Medes and Persians assume dominion. He knew Israel must wait.
His interpretation of Nebuchad-nezzar's dream indicates that four successive
empires would hold world dominion. As long as the Gentiles held dominion it
would not be Israel's. But there was hope. Summing up the vision, Daniel said:
"And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,
which shall never be destroyed; nor shall the kingdom be left to another
people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, but it shall
stand for ever." - Dan. 2:44
GENTILE TIMES—How Long?
"7 Times" (Years) — There is a
scriptural parallel in Israel's punishment and Nebuchadezzar's madness both
involve "7 times." The Lord punished Nebuchadnezzar with madness 7
literal years for his pride and failure to acknowledge His sovereignty. (See
Dan. 4:16, 23, 25, 32; in Masoretic Dan. 4:13, 20, 22, 29) God threatened
Israel with "7 times'' of punishment if they disobeyed Him. (Lev. 26:21,
24) What meaning is there in these time parallels'? in Ezekiel 4:6 is found the
basis for figuring time: "forty days, each day for a year, have I appointed
it unto thee.''
The degradation of Nebuchadnezzar was
typical of human degrada-tion under the four beastly governments during seven
symbolic "times" or years - a year for a day, 2520 (7 x 360 = 2520)
literal years. It is interesting to note that this time period parallels the
period when the crown was taken away from Israel and it ceased to be an
independent kingdom nation. The last king of the two-tribe kingdom of Judah was
Zedekiah. Upon removing him the Lord said: "O wicked one, that art to be
slain, the prince of Israel, whose day is come, in the time of iniquity of the
end; thus saith the Lord God: The mitre shall be removed, and the crown taken
old: this shall be no more the same: that which is low shall be exalted. and
that which is high abased. A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, will I make it; this also
shall be no more, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it
him." Ezek. 21:25-27
The removal of the crown marked the end of a
kingdom nation identified with God. This was forecast at the very outset when
God outlined the possibility of blessing and the alternative of cursing that
might befall His people. In Leviticus 26, after speaking of the possible
blessings, God warned: "And if ye will not yet for these things hearken
unto Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins." In vs.
21 and 24 the Lord repeats the same threat of 7 times of punishment for sin. If
the clue of Ezekiel is followed, the 7 symbolic times (7 x 360 = 2520) comes to
2520 actual years. The period of Gentile rule is depicted by Nebuchadnezzar's
madness, the time also of Israel's punishment and humiliation. Gentile dominion
starting with Babylonian conquest of Israel under Nebuchadnezzar to World War I
measures 2520 years. The figures being correct, we could expect 1914 to be the
beginning or the end of Gentile dominion and the beginning of Israel's ascent.
And so it was As the Gentile dominion crumbled with all its ruling houses of
splendor, so the Balfour Declaration lighted the star of David in Palestine.
The Bolshevik Revolution guaranteed the continued consumption of Gentile power.
World War 11 ended with the atomic
holocaust, leaving the world frightened as it looked on the awesome powers
poised to destroy the human race. The second war brought the world into an
inescapable whirlpool drawing them to Armageddon. The only good that came of
the World War 11 debacle was the subsequent partition of the land of Palestine
and the birth of Israel in 1948. For the rest of the world the loss was
staggering and ended forever the dream of returning to the status quo. The
consuming process will continue upon the Gentile powers. The nation of Israel
can only ascend in influence. In Jeremiah 30:11 the Lord's intentions
concerning Israel are declared as well as his intentions concerning those
nations wherein His people have been dispersed: "For I am with thee, saith
the Lord, to save thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I
have scattered thee, but I will not make a full end Of thee; for I will correct
thee in measure, and will not utterly destroy thee."
Lesson of Jewry in Russia
The Balfour Declaration and the Bolshevik
seizure of power, dis-similar though they were, have special lessons for world
Jewry today. Joel Carmichael, in an article in the Jerusalem Post, Nov. 2,
"In terms of human material the kinship
between the Russian revolutionaries and the Zionist activists was striking . .
. The relationship between movements, was, indeed, a sort of intellectual
rivalry. This was heightened all the more because of the great preponderance of
Jews in the Russian revolutionary movement, at least before 1905. Restless
Jewish youths, infected by enlightenment and wide open to all the ideas of
world reform currently corroding traditional society, very naturally tended to
slip into the Russian movement. Since traditional Jewish society was also being
attacked by the new ideas, any Jew abandoning traditional Jewish values without
becoming assimilated had a very natural set of alternatives—socialism, or the
new Jewish nationalism called Zionism.... The tug of war between cosmopolitan
socialism— which gradually came to be predominantly Marxism—and Zionism for the
souls of Jewish youth was thus a very natural, as it were organic, development.
It was also a tug of war in which the major forces appeared to be on the side
of the socialists, or more particularly the Marxists.... Yet it was
intellectually often difficult for Zionist debaters to withstand the sweeping
claims made by socialists and especially by Marxists. The Marxists, who after
all took all human society and all human history as their arena, naturally
tended to look down on Zionists. ... it required great character and devotion
for early Zionists, the debates that raged between the two movements for so
many decades, to insist on the really quite simple-minded proposition that they
chose to remain Jews.... Zionism in its essence really did no more than
proclaim the fact of Jewish identity, the significance of Jewish continuity,
and the determination to restore that identity and continuity in a certain way
in a certain place. One can easily visualize the painful condescension the
early Zionists had to put up with from their Marxist adversaries...."
He goes on to observe the contrast in
results: Marxism, on the other hand, which in its prostate days did have
valuable things to say, has been simplified, institutionalized and dogmatized,
i.e., made compulsory. It has been, in fact magicalized, and its magic has been
made an accessory of sanctified authority....
"It is probably Zionism and its
offspring, the State of Israel, that now provide ... the sole rallying-point
for the whole of the Communist world, now divided on so many other issues. It
must be deeply embittering for the many Jews living in Israel to be forced to contemplate
the perversion of all the ideals of the Russian Revolution, forced to witness
not merely the anti-Israel political tactics of the Soviet Government but the
recrudescence of vulgar anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union itself. It may be a
consolation for them to reflect that many of the ideals of the Russian
revolutionary movement, what may in fact be called its human core, have been
transplanted to the soil of Israel."
The Jewish people have always been amenable
to ideals, high ideals, but all too often they have been trying to give
themselves to the world, thinking it too parochial to give themselves to
Zionism and its embodi-ment—the State of Israel. They overlook the fact that
the more they have tried to give themselves to the world the less they have
endeared themselves with the world and, in the end, the more they have
contrib-uted to the suffering of their kinsmen.
Their heritage is a parochial one. Abraham,
their father, was the heir of a parochial promise—"in thy seed shall all
the families of the earth be blessed." The end result would embrace all
men, the promise was parochial only in designating the seed.
Abraham forsook Ur of the Chaldees for the
parochial promise of God. Moses forsook the world embodied in Egypt and chose
to identify with the descendants of Abraham. These did not give themselves to
the world, but through God's providence, they gave the world some of its great
treasures. In like manner, all who are of the line of Abraham, marked with the
pen of Moses, need not give themselves to the world— but the world shall seek
them. "Ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew saying:
we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."—Zech. 8:23
While the day has not yet come when the
world seeks Israel, neither has the day come when Israel's people seek the Lord
with all their heart. But, the day of God's favor has already dawned upon this
nation. The fulfillment of prophecy is unfolding before our eyes—moving
progres-sively toward the fulfillment of God's promise to bless all the
families of earth.
Return of God's Favor
"Thou wilt arise, and have compassion
upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is
come." (Psa. 102:14) There is a visible scale of observation in our time
on which we may begin to measure the fulfillment of prophecy.
(I) The Ingathering of the Exiles.
Isaiah 43:5, 6 is one of many prophecies that foretells the regathering of the
Jewish people to the promised land. It reads: "Fear not, for I am with
thee; I will bring thy seed from the east and gather thee from the west; I will
say to the north: Give up, and to the south: Keep not back, bring My sons from
far, and My daughters from the end of the earth." The Jewish people have
been gathered from the four corners of the earth. Nearly 3 millions are
assembled in the land of their fathers, coming from 75 different countries.
Still the work continues. For God said: "As the Lord liveth, that brought
up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries
whither He had driven them; and I will bring them back into their land that I
gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord,
and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they
shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts
of the rocks."—Jer. 16:15, 16.
The Zionist movement compares to the fishing
method of gathering. The Zionist activities provided the land with a vital
nucleus of people that enabled it to become the new state of Israel. The
"many hunters" would be those persecuting forces that led the Jews to
face the necessity of return to Palestine. The early persecutions of the Jews
in Russia and Europe served to turn many faces toward the homeland. The early
Nazi persecution forced a considerable number of educated and talented Jews to
Palestine. These brought the necessary technology and human re-sources to
prosper Israel. In that the fishing and hunting referred to by Jeremiah was
with the view to bringing the children of Israel home, did the later Nazi
persecution also fit this purpose? It was more than persecution. It was a
diabolical attempt to destroy the "seed of Abra-ham" and to make void
the promise of God. Even the Nazi attempt to drive eastward in Africa to take
the Holy Land indicates that a superhuman attempt was being made to frustrate
the Divine Plan. It is clear the Nazi's plan was to annihilate the whole race
of Jews, not after they conquered the world, but while they were engaged in doing
so. Even when they knew the war was lost, they kept the incinerators going
until the last moment of defeat. The failure of the Christian churches to
protest and their willingness to cooperate with the Nazi insanity has raised
many eyebrows. How could Christian nations look the other way while the
slaughter went on? The scripture still has not lost its meaning: "I will
bless them that bless you and I will curse them that curse you." (Gen.
12:3) God is a God of judgment. (I Sam. 2:3) This is one truth the modern
generation will not own. The time of reckoning is here.
(2) The Reclamation of the Land.
Amos 9:14 describes the work of the regathered people in their land—"they
shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them: and they shall plant vineyards,
and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of
In 1905 the Prime Minister of the
Netherlands observed, "The Jews have come in vain. Only God can check the
blight of the inrushing desert." A miracle has happened. Miles of malaria-infested
"no-man's land" have been drained; deserts have been irrigated and
the land is being transformed into an Eden of citrus-bearing trees. The barren
hillsides and the dried-up desert wastes are taking on new life, returning to
the fertility of old. The work goes steadily on.
The land reclamation is an observable
feature as the beginning of the fulfillment of prophecy, a small beginning, but
one that shall grow and "fill the whole earth."
We bypass the opportunity to mention the
many and varied accom-plishments in Israel because of lack of space. But since
the 1967 war an especially interesting beginning of fulfillment focuses on
Isaiah 35:1, 2. The prophet here said that the "Arava will rejoice and
blossom as the rose." The "Arava" is not "wilderness"
in general, but that specific desert valley that lies between the Dead Sea and
Eilat. Drilling in the Arava has brought in artesian wells flowing with
sufficient quantities of good water to irrigate large fields. Through the
season vegetables now grown in the Arava are flown regularly to Europe, and the
quantity is expected to increase so much that vegetables shall be shipped by
refrigerated ships, while the strawberries and roses will be Gown out as
exports. Truly, the Arava is blossoming as the rose, as prophecy marks its
beginning of fulfillment.
(3) "And Jerusalem shall be
inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:6). Up
until the victory of 1967 the Jerusalem that belonged to Israel was the new
part of the city. True to this prophecy, the Lord did not intend to divide the
city of Jerusalem, but his intention was that Jerusalem would again be in its
own "place, even in Jerusalem." Here is an almost incredible
The context of Zechariah's prophecy
indicates the role Jerusalem shall play as the nations "burden"
themselves with the Holy City. The Lord says, "I will make Jerusalem a
stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall
be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together
against it." (Zech. 12:3) That Jerusalem should come into the hands of the
Israeli has been an embarrassment even to those sympathetic with the cause of
Israel. The nations are burdened with this problem. Instead of accepting this
matter as the Lord's doing the nations are intent upon getting involved. Yet
Jerusalem's destiny is certain. Though the nations gather against it, they only
stand to be wounded in the process. They cannot remove Jerusalem from its
rightful owners nor the owners from their rightful possession. Powerful kings
and popes have long coveted the Holy City, sending Crusades one after another
to take the city. They always failed. These world leaders were prepared to make
enormous sacrifices to get this city. If they could have fulfilled their
purpose they would have made its streets of gold and its gates of pearl. If
they could have possessed this city, how it would have strengthened their
claims to be the Kingdom of God. However, with all the power and wealth these
world leaders were mocked in all their claims to be the Kingdom of God. Why?
Because who does not know that when God's kingdom is established, "Out of
Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
(Isa. 2:2, 3) The kingdom of God will be Israelitish. Jerusalem will be its
seat of government.
(4) Return of People to God. The
turning of the hearts of the Jewish people to their God is somewhat lacking.
Oh, yes, there are many who believe in God, but who have not the faith of
Abraham who believed God. Religious Zionism was not the main incentive for the
great regathering. Political Zionism, practical Zionism and persecution
provided the main motivations for the present exodus. But this is in itself a
(fulfillment of prophecy. Political and practical Zionism will yet develop
religious roots. Ezekiel 20:32-37, specially directed toward the
assimilationist Jew, reads: "that which cometh into your mind shall not be
at all; in that ye say: we will be as the nations, as the families of the
countries, to serve wood and stone. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with
a mighty hand . . . and with fury poured out, . . . will I . . . gather you out
of the countries wherein ye are scattered, . . . and there will I plead with
you face to face.... And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will
bring you into the bond of the covenant." The Lord says he would
"plead" with the people during the regathering—it is a "face to
face" encounter, indicating the Lord's face is upon them. The purpose is
to reach the heart of his people. The work of cleansing shall however be
accomplished after the regathering into the land.
In Ezekiel 36:24-28 God says: "I will
take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and
will bring you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you,
and ye shall be clean; . . . A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit
will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and
cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep Mine ordinances, and do
them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall
be My people, and I will be your God." Such being the case, we need not
look askance at those returning to the Holy Land in an unclean state of heart.
It is after the regathering that the Lord has promised to "sprinkle clean
water upon" them.
Time to Favor Zion is Come!
Torah and the Land
Man has a capacity for law. Where man is
there is law. His progress and advancement are in direct relation to his
capacity to understand and abide by law. No one has given to the world a
greater legacy than did Moses when he gave Israel and the world the Law of God.
Nothing has contributed more to human dignity and honor than the Law of Moses—
both for Israel and, to the extent it was copied, the civilized world.
Particularly in this civilized world of the present time there is a great, an
almost uncontrolled passion, for remedying all the problems of men on all
levels. Yet strangely men find it increasingly difficult to remedy world
problems while living under the noblest of laws.
When law ceases to be a high standard, and
when men need not stand on tiptoe to reach it, it ceases to serve man's
greatest need. Man's course tends downward. Nobility comes by guided discipline
and conscious endeavor and not by abandonment. Much of the present study and
research on man is based on observing him as he is -- whereas the real need is
to know what man must be. What man must be is not observable, however. The
scientific method has nothing to conclude when it has nothing to observe. Moses
gave Israel and the world something that science could never give. He gave them
God's law, the standard, and since that day till now it has been a light in the
Moses reminded Israel of how God
"afflicted thee, and suffered you to hunger, and fed thee with manna,
which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee
know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth
out of the mouth of God doth man live." (Deut. 8:3) Man may choose to live
by the word of men—such is their privilege. However, they cannot escape from
the consequences of their choice.
When Israel received the law of God from
Moses it was immediately apparent to them that it was worthy of their highest
commitment. They said: "All the words which the Lord hath spoken will we
do." (Exod. 23:4) Now, centuries later, it is quite discernible that the promise
was not in line with the performance. Yet, despite repeated failure at keeping
the law, the decision was a good one, lifting this people and nation above
others in many ways and underscoring their failures. In their successes and
failures the great value of the law was in its ability to teach the needs of
men as well as the consequences of yielding to the inner weaknesses.
In addition to the moral aspect of the
Torah, there were the ordinances of worship. The Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of
Passover, the new moons, etc., synchronize with the agricultural cycles of the
land of Israel. Consequently, the centuries of daily prayers uttered by the
Jews in Diaspora are only made meaningful by one place on earth—Eretz Israel
with its uniquely interwoven harvests and lunar cycles. The Torah molded the
Israelites to the land. The Torah made the land of Canaan Eretz Israel. The
Torah gave Israel deep abiding roots in the land that date back over 35
centuries. The Torah was and is Israel's heritage in Eretz Israel. That is why,
after the current regathering, Ezekiel (36:24-28) reveals that God will
"cause you (Israel) to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My
ordinances and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your
fathers: and ye shall be My people and I will be your God." This is the
hand of Divine Providence, before which all other claims to the land must bow.
Deep are the Palestinian Roots?
Jordan seized the West Bank, including
Jerusalem, in the '48 War. But in 1967 the people of the Bible obtained their
historic territories, Judea and Samaria. All during Jordan's 19 year occupation
there was not one Arab cry for a Palestinian State on the West Bank. Instead
the cry was for a Palestinian State on the ruins of the Israeli State. But once
Israel occupied the West Bank there was a united Arab demand for a Palestinian
State on the West Bank.
Over the years millions of dollars have been
spent in a P.L.O. propaganda campaign which is changing the tide of world
opinion. The Arabs' "moral right to a Palestinian State" is fast
becoming a majority concept. But both the Bible and history confirm the shallow
roots of the Palestinians.
During the "double" of disfavor,
Divine Providence kept-the land desolate of man and beast until God's appointed
time to "favor Zion." (Isa. 40:1, 2; Psa. 102:13) Many scriptures
foretold this desolation. Why? So that there would be ample room for the mass
return of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel. Isaiah speaks of repairing
"the waste cities, the desolations of many generations."—Isaiah 61:4;
Amos 9:14; Ezekiel 36:33-35
From 1200 CE to 1917 CE there was
uninterrupted Moslem rule in Palestine. For over 600 years Arabs had free
access to Palestine; yet Philip Hitti, the noted Arab historian, observed that
the total population of Palestine in the 1840s was less than 180,000. This
included Arabs, Turks, Christians and Jews. This shows that Arab families did
not develop roots in Pales-tine. They did not for the most part remain in
Palestine generation after generation. Rather, Palestine was always considered
undesirable. It was a place Arabs wandered in and out of according to economic
need—but not to settle and develop a continuity of family roots that span the
centuries. By Divine intent the Arab population in the 1840s was both meager
and shallow rooted so that there would be ample room for a mass return of the
children of Israel "to the land that I gave to their fathers."—Jer.
When the return of the exiles began in the
1870s the economy of the land took an upswing. Arabs followed the Jews to Eretz
Israel to enjoy the new prosperity. One of the most important books in recent
years on the Arab-Israeli conflict is entitled From Time Immemorial by Joan Das
Peters. Peters proves that Arabs did not live in western Palestine from time
immemorial, but moved there only after Jews had settled and devel-oped the
area. For example between 1933 and 1936, over 30,000 Arabs left Iraq, Syria and
Trans-Jordan for "the better life" in Palestine. In 1946 Bartley C.
Crum, a United States Government observer, noted that tens of thousands of
Arabs had entered Palestine because of this better life and they were still
coming. Most of the Palestinian refugees are the Arabs or descendants of Arabs
who entered Palestine since the 1880s.
Word About the Refugee Problem
The "refugee problem" should have
been solved in 1948 when it began. Approximately 600,000 Arabs were displaced
in that war. What is not as well known is that 600,000 Jews who were living in
Arab nations had to flee for their lives because of Arab hatred. The solution
to this double refugee problem was simple—an even exchange. The Israelis opened
up their arms and absorbed the 600,000 Jewish refugees. The Arab nations
refused to absorb the Arab refugees. Instead, they placed them in refugee camps
which became showplaces of hate and misery that turned world opinion against
Israel. Less than one percent of one year's Arab oil in-come could comfortably
settle the so-called "Palestinian refugees" in Arab lands.
The current struggle between Arabs and Jews
to territorial rights in the Middle East dates back to the breaking up of the
Turkish Empire by the Allies at the end of World War 1. Both Arabs and Jews
requested in-dependent states in this vast territory. The world powers were
generous in the extreme to the Arabs by granting them 21 independent Arab
states so that they now enjoy sovereignty over 1,250,000 square miles. The Jews
asked for only three percent of this vast territory for a national home in
Palestine. The Allied powers agreed. In 1922 the League of Nations recognized
the legal, moral and historic right of the Jewish people to a national home in
Palestine, including the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Then vast oil reserves were discovered in
Arab lands. Consequently, when Israel was finally granted independence in 1948,
international intrigue resulted in Israel receiving less than one-half of one
percent of the territory given to Arab states. Since then, the worsening oil
crisis has caused world powers to become progressively more supportive of the
If the Jews had a right to the West Bank and
Jerusalem in 1922, that right is valid today.
Psalm 83 describes the determination of the
Arabs to destroy Israel. However, Isaiah 11:14 shows that Israel will finally
gain a decisive victory over the Arabs. And thus the Arab-Israeli conflict will
finally be resolved and peace will finally be achieved.
Genesis 15:18 shows that the ultimate
boundaries of Israel will be from the river of Egypt unto the Euphrates River.
More specifically, Zech. 10:9-10, Micah 7:14 and Zech. 12:6 prophesied that
Israel would acquire the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights (Bashan)
and even the East Bank (Gilead) during the current Israeli-Arab conflict.
Therefore, ac-cording to Scriptural and historical roots, not only the West
Bank, but the East Bank as well belongs to Israel.
Since 1922 Zionist leaders have time and
again been willing to accept territorial compromise. However, Divine Providence
has had a way of over-ruling these compromises. If, for the sake of peace,
Israel surrenders portions of the West Bank, Golan Heights or Jerusalem, the
above scriptures indicate Israel will once again acquire these territories
before her final victory over the Arabs (Isaiah 11:14).
"And at that time shall Michael stand
up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people: and there
shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to
that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered." (Dan.
12:1) Daniel's burden and prayer was for Israel. The answer Daniel gives points
to the Messiah as "Michael." It is He, "the great prince who
standeth for the children of thy people" (the descendants of Israel). Who
can observe events surrounding the restoration of Israel, at the right time in
the right place, without a sense of awe and wonderment? Surely there is One
standing for the "children of thy people." It is equally true that
the regathering and restoration of this people to their homeland has taken
place in the most troublesome time in human history. The time of trouble is
upon us. who can deny in the face of two world wars, in the face of
thermonuclear war with guided missiles capable of being delivered anywhere,
that we are in the day spoken of by Daniel.
In Israel, the day before Independence Day
is a Memorial day to those who died in order to secure the independence. In
1968, at the memorial service in Ashkelon, one of the speakers, moved by the
successes of the 1967 war as well as other events said: "Look, the Old
City of Jerusalem is now in Israel. The Western Wall and the Temple area are in
our hands. Think! This can only mean one thing. Either the Messiah is coming
very soon, or he is here already." Not all are prepared to receive a
personal Messiah, as the "prince" who stands for Israel. Some are
inclined to think of Israel itself as the Messiah.
While Israel is still Rushed with its
military successes, it is only natural for it to trust to its internal and
material capabilities. But these shall fail! Israel's extremity will become
God's opportunity to manifest His power. Ezekiel 38:1-13 gives a detailed
prophecy of this event. Some apply this to the Hitler massacre, overlooking
that it applies at a time Israel is dwelling safely in the land. He describes
the enemies of God's people, called "Gog"—a representative force of
all nations—and shows how they will come against the "unwalled" or
relatively defenseless people of Israel to despoil them. These invasion forces
will include some of the major world powers. Israel will be helpless in its own
power. Those Israelites who trust in the "arm of flesh" will go
forth, only to fall before the enemy. The concept that Israel itself is the
Messiah will fall with them. But those who believe God and trust in the
"arm of the Lord" will see the glory of God when he fights for his
people as he did in the day of battle. The formidable forces of Gog will be
destroyed by Divine power. (Zech. 14:2, 3; Isa. 28:21; Jer. 31:7-9) of this
time the Prophet says; "They shall know that I am the Lord their God, . .
. neither will I hide My face any more from them; for I have poured out My
spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God." (Ezek. 39:28, 29)
Then Israel will realize their Messiah is a powerful spirit being, and that it
is He that has been standing on their behalf through the return of favor to
Zion, through the regathering process, through establishment in the homeland,
and finally the deliverance of this nation from the forces of Gog and Magog.
Then not only shall Israel know, but the nations shall learn their needed
lessons. Zechariah (14:16) speaks concerning the people left after Gog is
destroyed: "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all
the nations that came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to
worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of
Fulfilled in Zion
We have followed the events from the first
step in the return of favor to Zion in the Berlin Congress of Nations, the
Balfour Declaration, the regathering and rebirth of the nation and on into
Gog's invasion and God's intervention on Israel's behalf. These events must be
viewed as progressive steps in God's purpose if we are to possess or be
possessed by the hope this holds for those waiting for the consolation of
Israel and the world.
The days when God is removed from men are
ending. Not only are the forces of Gog to be defeated, but the way they are
defeated will be a revelation to the world. "Thus will I magnify Myself,
and sanctify Myself, and I will make Myself known in the eyes of many nations;
and they shall know that I am the Lord." (Ezek. 38:23) Even the burial
goof this mighty force serves to remind the world of God's stately
inter-vention. "There shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they
shall call it "the valley of Hamongog." (Ezek. 39:11) Hamon means
"multi-tude" or the "multitude of Gog." But it may also be
a play on words, a reminder of Haman who would have Mordecai destroyed only to
be destroyed on his own gallows—Haman-Gog. The Lord will manifest his hand to
Israel and to the world.
The Psalmist depicts this time saying:
"Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who hath made desolations in the
earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow,
and cutteth the spear in sunder: He burneth the chariots in the fire. 'Let be,
and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted
in the earth.' The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our high
tower." -Psa. 46:8- 12.
Daniel was told "go thou thy way till
the end be and thou shalt rest, and shall stand up to thy lot, at the end or
the days." (Dan. 12: 13) This must mean Daniel himself will again appear
on the scene, resurrected and invested with princely power, to stand as a ruler
in Israel. What about Abraham'? Did not the lord promise him the land of Israel
for an everlasting possession'? Yet he received not a foot of it in his
lifetime! This can only mean that Abraham must return as heir to the land—the title
to the land belongs to him first and to Israel second. God must fulfill His
promise to Abraham. Did not Job share the view of the resurrection from the
dead when he said, "Oh that thou wouldest hide me in the nether-world,
that Thou wouldest keep me secret, until Thy wrath be past, that Thou wouldest
appoint me a set time, and remember me! . . . Thou wouldest call, and I would
answer Thee"?—Job 14:13-15
God never ceased to be identified with
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob even though they were dead. He identified himself to
Moses, saying: "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob
. ." (Exod. 3: 15) Surely the end of the days are nearing when Daniel and
all the heroes of faith of Israel past will "stand on their lot." This
should not seem an extravagant hope when the promise is made that "Sodom
and her daughters shall return to their former estate." (Ezek. 16:53-63)
Rachel, weeping for her children was promised, "Refrain thy voice from
weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the
Lord; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. And there is hope
for thy future, saith the Lord; and thy children shall return to their own
border." (Jer. 31:16, 17) Surely, the hope of resurrection is abundant; it
includes those of the inner circle of God's favor and those estranged from Him.
In that the arabah is already beginning to
blossom as the rose, it is only reasonable to look for the fulfillment of the
whole of Isaiah 35: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the
ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart,
and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; . . . and a highway shall be there, and
a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; . . . the redeemed shall
walk there; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come with singing
unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain
gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." With such
promises as these before Israel and the world, let none fail to recognize God's
kingdom which will grow and fill the whole earth. (Dan. 2:35, 44)
God's immutable promise to bless "all
the families of the earth" is in the dawn of fulfillment. This promise
will result in the grandest reconciliation between God and men. "And in
this mountain will the Lord of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat
things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on
the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the
covering that is cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all
nations. He will swallow up death for ever; and the Lord God will wipe away
tears from off all faces; and the reproach of His people will He take away from
off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that
day: 'Lo, this is our God, for whom we waited, that He might save us; this is
the Lord for whom we waited, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.'
The present, however, remains a critical
time in Israel's history. Having emerged from the uncomforted mourning and
suffering of her dispersion, emerging as a nation under the shadow of 6,000,000
tormented and slaughtered Jews, standing alone among hostile neighbors, Israel
stands now to be divided between those who trust in the arm of flesh and those
who trust in the arm of Jehovah. Israel's history teaches that it can only
prosper when it serves its Lord God with all its heart and soul and strength.
It is only those who believe God, as did Abraham of old, who will remain the
children of Abraham and worthy to inherit the land as an everlasting
inheritance—becoming the nation of blessing to all the families of the earth.
For the Jews the wages of unbelief have been costly and terrible beyond
description, and yet even now nation al pride stands ready to envelop them.
Will they remember that as a nation they can know no life divided from God? In
no part of Israel's history has she been blessed and had rest except when she
abode "under the shadow of the Almighty."
Israel's hopes center in God's immutable choice and election of this nation
to be his own. God's gifts and callings are not in vain, nor will they fail.
Israel is the elect nation of God—to be the blesser nation of earth. But this
does not mean an individual election. No indeed. Each individual Israelite will
have to demonstrate his worthiness to be a part Of this "holy
nation." So may every Israelite settle it now, settle it forever, his
place is with his God. There is his hope, his life, his eternity. His is the
promise of a new and better covenant that will bring the ultimate blessing -
even life evermore under the light of God's countenance.