The Land of Palestine: Who Does it Really Belong To?

COPYRIGHT WARNING

Palestine

How current events in the Middle East, may lead to an attack on Israel by Russia in the near future.

The issue of who has the right to inhabit the land of Palestine is a primary point of contention amongst Jews and Arabs in the world today. Both cultures and people have occupied this land over several hundred years, both have deep roots in their ancestry to Palestine.

First, to establish a correct basis for this discussion, it is important to look at the true origin of all things on this planet. Man has lived upon the earth for such a great deal of time that he has now become accustomed to the idea that ownership or rights of possession can be conveyed to certain people.

By virtue of its creation, the earth is the property of the LORD, and not men. As God created the universe and made this planet habitable for us, it is His. He has given this planet to all people; to use, to enjoy, to care for, and to share. We should understand that none of us owns the things that we possess; they are simply loaned to us while we are alive.

The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. Psalms 24:1

…for all the earth is Mine. Exodus 19:5

We may purchase a piece of land. We might fight a war and win a country or territory. No human being can claim any land, or material possession that came from the earth—as his own; everything on this planet belongs to God. He has graciously determined that He will share the earth with each one of us.  All that He asks is that we acknowledge Him as God, and express thankfulness to Him for all that He has given to us.

If you think that your house, your land, your car or other personal possession belong to you, consider that when you die, you will not be taking anything with you. They will bury your body in the ground or burn it and place it in an urn. All that you have worked for, accumulated, worried about and took great care to keep, will no longer be yours. In truth, none of us own anything.

Concerning the land of Palestine; both the Jews and Palestinians claim that the land is theirs. In reality, neither own the land. Both cultures should learn to live together in peace and enjoy the land and its resources and allow others to do the same.

The true issue regarding the land of Palestine is who has the right to govern and control the land. 

Since we have established that the whole earth belongs to God, we read that He has given the land of Palestine to the descendants of Abraham, through Isaac—forever. This does not mean that the God of Israel has no love or concern for those of Arab descent or any other culture or people. In fact, after God told Abraham that the land belonged to his descendants—through Isaac (Israel), He went on to state that He would also bless the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael.

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. —Genesis 17:20

God made this promise to Abraham, because of his love for his son, Ishmael.

And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Genesis 17:18

The true origin of the Arab people

Many people believe that all Arab people are descended from Ishmael, this is not true. In the book of Genesis, chapter 10, verses 26-29, the earliest people who lived in Palestine were the descendants of Joktan, a descendant of Shem. Noah had three sons; Shem, Ham, and Japheth. All Jews and Arabs are descended from Shem. Later in history, the 12 sons of Ishmael, one of which was Keturah, found in Genesis chapter 25, verses 1-4, also lived in the area of Palestine. In reality, only a small portion of all people that are Arab, are descended from Ishmael.

The issue of land rights, for the purpose of governing, was given by God to the descendants of Abraham, through Isaac. The claim of many Palestinians for the land of Israel, is based upon their presence in this area, before the Jews arrived. This would be correct, apart from one very important fact: God conveyed this land to the sons of Isaac, based upon His sovereignty. At a future time, God would bring His Son into the world as the Savior of all people. He chose the descendants of Abraham, through Isaac, based on Abraham’s firm trust in what God has said, concerning salvation. Abraham “believed God, and this was accounted to Him as righteousness.”

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3

And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Then He said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.” Genesis 15:4-7

God made a promise and Abraham believed what God said. This became the only basis for true salvation that exists in the world. For this trust that Abraham placed in God, He was seen as “righteous,” this is to say; God saved Abraham and conveyed eternal life to him and the removal of his sins, because He believed that salvation came from God and not by the works or efforts of man.

Those of us who will be saved, since the time of Abraham, are saved in the same way: We believe that God has sent His Son into the world to pay the penalty for our sins. When we place our trust firmly in Jesus and do not move away from this hope—all the days of our life, we are saved.

God loves all people exactly the same

For some reason, Christians have developed the idea that God only loves the Jews and those who surrender their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is not true. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” God loves all people on the earth, equally and without respect to their particular rank or position in life.

God desires that all people come to the knowledge that there is only One God, who has created all people. He has provided one effective way that every person can have their sins forgiven and be united to Him for eternity. God did not create a religious system for men to follow so that they could be acceptable to God. He made the way of salvation through His Son—available to anyone who will simply believe what He has said and respond in faith.

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” Acts 15:11

The boundaries for the land that God gave to the descendants of Isaac, who is later renamed to “Israel,” begin at the Nile river in Egypt, and extend all the way the Euphrates River in Iraq.

The Euphrates River is the true west bank of Israel.

 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 (Nile) to the great river, the River Euphrates—” —Genesis 15:18

There is much discussion today concerning The West Bank of Israel and who should retain control over the city of Jerusalem. All of the conflicts in Israel today are based upon a long standing dispute over who should control the land.

It is the stated goal of the Palestinian leadership that their intention is to acquire control over the entire area of Israel and drive all of the Jews who inhabit the land, into the sea.

“Throughout the Arab-Israeli conflict, and especially prior to the Six Day War in 1967, Arab leaders have at times pledged to drive the Jews into the sea as part of a victorious jihad to eradicate the Jewish state.”[2] —Jonathan S. Tobin

The next objective of the Palestinian leadership is to take the West Bank from Israel and capture Jerusalem. The major reason that Israel surrendered Gaza to the Palestinians in the first place, was in the hope of making peace and a possible subsequent action to allow continued Jewish control over the West Bank. It is certain that Israel will never surrender all of the West Bank, because it contains their most cherished city—Jerusalem.

Under David, Israel’s kingdom extended to Damascus. Under David’s son Solomon, the kingdom extended all the way up to the Euphrates River. In Genesis 15, God said that the land which He gave to Abraham and his descendants, through Isaac, extended from the south, at the Nile river in Egypt, to the far north at the Euphrates River. Since the end of Solomon’s kingdom, Israel has possessed only a fraction of its former boundaries.

David's Kingdom[3]

In order to understand this conflict, we must first understand the terms: “Jew,” “Muslim,” and “Arab;” for they have specific definitions that are often misunderstood.

Jew: a people descended from Noah’s son, Shem, and Abraham, through Isaac.
Muslim: A religion, not a race.
Arab: A people descended from Noah’s son, Shem, and Abraham, through Ishmael.

Not all Muslims are of Arab descent. Not all Jews believe in the God of Israel. There are atheist Arabs as well as atheist Jews. There are Christian Arabs and Christian Jews. You get the point.

In the plan of salvation, God also includes all the sons of Shem, which encompasses all of the Arab people

God also promised to bless the sons of Ishmael and make them a great nation. He did not, however, promise to bring the Savior of the world, through the descendants of Ishmael, but He specifically chose the descendants of Isaac.

The reason that God chose Isaac, rather than Ishmael, or any other descendant of Shem, is based upon God’s promise to Abraham, who sought salvation—based on faith in what God said, rather than something that he could accomplish himself.

The basis for salvation is Faith

The way in which the Lord will set Abraham apart from the rest of the world—who does not know God, and shows Him how to have a relationship with God, is extraordinary. The Lord does not reveal His plan to Abraham until he is 75 years old. He calls this aging patriarch to leave his family and his home and go to a place that the Lord will show him. In order for Abraham to discover what God’s plan is, he has to begin with faith. Abraham doesn’t even know where he is going. The Lord simply tells him to pack up and leave, and He will show him, later, where he is going to live.

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. Genesis 12:1

This first promise that God made to Abraham, must have seemed strange considering his age and the past circumstance of his life. Abraham is 75, his wife Sarah also well advanced in age. They have not been able to conceive a child in their earlier years, and have remained childless to the present day. With these facts in mind, God tells Abraham that He is going to make him a great nation and someday, all of the families of the earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s faith in God.

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 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.” Genesis 12:2

Exactly how a man becomes a great nation when he has no descendants, is a mystery unknown to Abraham at this point. Despite these facts, he decides that he will pack his belongings, leave his family and friends, and go to a place that the Lord will show him later. Abraham is going to trust God to do what He said He will do. This is an important fact for us to remember when we are seeking to understand God, and what He requires of us in order to have a relationship with Him. Before anything else, we must first trust what God has said.

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:7

At this appearance of the LORD, Abraham knows how he is going to become a great nation; by acquiring descendants. God is telling Abraham about things which do not exist, and at this point in time, they must have seemed quite impossible. We learn as the story progresses, that a future descendant of Abraham will be called the Messiah, the one who will make it possible for all human beings to have a present and personal relationship with God and live with Him forever.

The Plan of God Unfolds

It was the dream of Abraham and Sarah to have a son. All of their lives they bore the cultural shame of being childless. In the society of Abraham’s time, not having any offspring was considered a curse from God. The shame and disappointment that this elderly couple felt must have been unimaginable.

When God came to Abraham and told him that he was going to have a son, Sarah had already reached an age where it was physically impossible for her to have a baby.

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Genesis 18:11

In order for the Lord to fulfill His promise, it would take a supernatural work of His Spirit to cause both of their aged bodies to once again have the capacity to conceive a child.

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!  Genesis 15:1-3

Because Abraham had no son to inherit his estate, upon his death, all that he had would go to his oldest servant Eliezer. In Genesis 15:4, the Lord clarifies the fact that Abraham will have a son that will come from his own body, one who will be his heir, not his servant Eliezer.

And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir. Genesis 15:4

Abraham and Sarah were the couple chosen by God to bring into the world, the Savior of all people. It was therefore important to God that the principles which established this salvation were defined correctly. Salvation must be totally a work of God, and not the works of men. For this reason, we should understand that although someone may be a very good person, they will never be good enough to earn heaven. Salvation requires a perfect life that has never sinned. Since no man can ever be perfect, it is impossible to please God by human efforts.

The Most Difficult of All, Waiting on God

The Lord delayed the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham for 24 years before giving Abraham and Sarah a son.

During the first eleven years of waiting, Abraham began to have doubts as to whether he had heard God correctly and if he should do something to help the Lord with the problem. God promised Abraham that this son would come from his own body, but did this mean that the child must come from Sarah’s body also?

It was a custom of Abraham’s culture, that if a man was unable to have a child by his wife, he was allowed to conceive a child by his wife’s handmaid. The fact that Abraham had never taken Sarah’s handmaid before, is a testimony of Abraham’s great love for his wife.

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.“ 2 “So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid Hagar; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.“ Genesis 16:1-2

When God first came to Abraham, he was 75 years old. By the time we arrive at Genesis chapter 16, Abraham has been waiting on the Lord for eleven years before taking Hagar to conceive a son. Nine months later, Abraham is 86 years old, and Ishmael is born. Imagine the delight Abraham and Sarah must have felt as they finally received their baby boy.

 “So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.” “Abram was eighty-six years (11 years later) old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.” Genesis 16:15-16

When Ishmael was born through the union of Abraham and Hagar, Abraham assumed that this son was the fulfillment of God’s promise. Imagine Abraham’s surprise when the Lord informed him that Ishmael was not the son through which God would fulfill His promises.

And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant,and with his descendants after him. Genesis 17:18-19

Another 13 years pass before God is ready to bring Abraham and Sarah, the son that He had promised them.

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1

And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Genesis 17:2-3

“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Genesis 17:17

It has now been 25 years since the Lord first promised Abraham and Sarah a son. Ishmael was born to Abraham when he was 86 years of age. Now that he is 99 years old, the Lord informs him that He is ready to fulfill His promise to give him a son who will be the first of many heirs.

At this point Abraham is faced with a dilemma. He greatly loves Ishmael and His hope is that the Lord will fulfill all of His promises through him. The Lord informs Abraham and Sarah that the time has arrived when the covenant that the He made with them 25 years before, is about to be fulfilled. Abraham looks at his 100 year old body, and Sarah’s 90 year old body and he can do nothing else but fall on his face in laughter. He marvels that this could be possible. When the Lord first made His promise of a son to this elderly couple, Abraham and his wife were both already well beyond the age of child bearing. What seemed impossible back then, now at nearly to 100 years of age, is unattainable.

Impossibility, is the place where the Lord does His best work

 …Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; 19 I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant,and with his descendants after him. Genesis 17:18-19

The Lord calls this son of impossibility, Isaac, by name even before he is born. God knows everything about us. He forms our body inside the womb of our mother, with hands of precision. He makes us into the people that He has ordained us to be, so that we can accomplish His will. You may not believe that there is a plan for your life at certain places of uncertainty in your life, but God has a unique purpose for you. He has designed a specific plan for your life. He works through difficult and impossible circumstances to cause all things to work together for ultimate Good. You are important, and you are greatly loved by God.

But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” 22 Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. Genesis 17:21-22

The time God determined for Isaac’s birth was specific. The Lord tells Abraham that his son will be born at a set time next year. Everything that the Lord does in all the history of the universe, has a set time. Nothing occurs by happenstance or through luck. All things are under His magnificent control and sovereignty. Everything happens for a reason, and many of these reasons are known only to God.

Our responsibility is to decide whether or not we will trust the Lord, and then live like we believe what God has said. Whatever happens, we maintain our certainty in the goodness of God and His ability to bless our lives: Not because we deserve His blessing or have earned it, but for the simple reason that we believe that He genuinely loves us. Grace, which is defined as God’s unmerited favor, is given to all those who simply trust him, even when everything around them screams of impossibility.

Abraham establishes what faith is, Jesus fulfills this principle by making salvation by grace, through faith, a reality. When we trust in the sacrifice that Jesus has made for our sins on the cross, as a basis for God to forgive us and grant us eternal life, then we have appropriated all of the promises of God that are available to us.

In the New Testament, Paul describes how Abraham’s trust in what God had said, was completely contrary to all hope. Abraham chose to believe God, even though everything that he could see implied exactly the opposite. Though Abraham was 100 years old, and well past the age when he was able to conceive a son, he maintained that what God had promised, He was able to perform.

It is for this reason, and this reason alone, the Lord accounted Abraham’s faith as righteousness, and a true basis for a relationship with God (Ephesians 2:8).

(Abraham) who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:18-22

Isaac, who came by the supernatural work of God’s Spirit through Abraham and Sarah, demonstrates how faith must work. By this example, we understand today that our own salvation rests on the work of God that He accomplished through the death and resurrection of the Messiah. Jesus fulfills this prophecy of Genesis 17:18-19, as the Son of God’s promise.

The prophecy given to Abraham, describes a future seed of his who would allow all of the families of the earth to be blessed. This blessing takes place in each of our lives today as a result of our coming to God based on what Jesus has accomplished for us.

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2 …

As Abraham establishes the true basis for salvation—by faith, He also excludes any attempts at being found righteous by God through our good works which we have done during our life here on earth.

And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!. ”Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.“ Genesis 17:18-19

Why would God not accept Ishmael or any other as the fulfillment of His promise? The problem was that Ishmael was a work of Abraham’s flesh, not the work of God.

Here we see how important it is to understand that the Lord will never accept any of our attempts at being righteous by our own works. What we do will never be acceptable as a basis for eternal life. If we are to make it to heaven and live forever, it will only be possible by God’s Grace, through our faith in Jesus Christ.

The line of descendants that God would use to bring the Messiah, would come from Abraham, through Isaac.

God waited until  it was humanly impossible before He did this work in Abraham’s life. The son that would come from Abraham and Sarah would be the first of many descendants, who would ultimately bring the Messiah to earth.

Abraham wanted God to convey the rights and privileges that He had promised him, to the sons’s of Ishmael, as well as Isaac. God rejected this request because Ishmael was the results of Abraham’s attempts at pleasing God by his own works. God required faith, apart from work, in order to please Him.

 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant,and with his descendants after him. —Genesis 17:18-19

The issue of who has the right to govern the land of Palestine has been settled by the record of ancient scripture. All Arabs and Jews descended from Abraham.

The Rights of the Firstborn

We might think that the right to the land was given to the first born son, Ishmael, we would be wrong.

In the Old Testament, the special privileges given to the firstborn could be forfeited by inappropriate action or carelessness. Esau counted his birthright as nothing when he sold it to his brother Jacob for a bowl of stew. He then lost all of the rights that he was entitled to, due to his callousness.

One of those rights was the double portion of his father’s inheritance while all of the other son’s received only a single portion (Deuteronomy 21:15-17). The firstborn also received the authority to rule over his younger brothers.

The sin of Reuben is described in Genesis 35:44:

And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn… Genesis 35:22-23

As Jacob is at the end of his life, he pronounces the fate of Reuben’s error: the loss of his rights as the firstborn.

“Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. Unstable as water, you shall not excel, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled it…” Genesis 49:3-4

There was a provision in the Old Testament for the rights of the firstborn to be transferred to a replacement who was not firstborn.

Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons: Shimri the first (for though he was not the firstborn, his father made him the first) 1 Chronicles 26:10

Shimri was not the firstborn son, yet his father exercised his right to appoint him first. The primary purpose of a father choosing one son over another as first was so that this son would have the right to rule over all the other brothers.

By Merari appointing his son Shimri as first, he established this principle in the Old Testament that a father may appoint a younger son as first over the remaining brothers.

When we arrive at the New Testament, we see that the rights of the firstborn carried with it the idea of one who has pre-eminence. The right to rule over all others is not by order of birth but by the father’s choice. Because Jesus was obedient to the point of death in offering His life for our sins, He was appointed as the firstborn, or first in rank, first in importance, over all other creation—by His Father. For this reason, Jesus has the right to rule over all of His brothers.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15

The Greek word used here in Colossians 1:15 for first born is prototokos, which means first in rank or importance. This does not mean that Jesus is a created being as the firstborn of an earthly father. Jesus has been appointed by the Father as the first in rank and importance over all of creation, as the ruler and king over all. This right was given to Him as a result of His obedience in laying down His life for all mankind.

Reuben lost this right as the firstborn because of sexual sin. Esau also lost his rights as the firstborn because he counted this blessing as nothing. In Hebrews Chapter 12, Paul reminds us that the rights of the firstborn are not to be taken lightly. They may not seem important at the beginning; but, when the finality of all things in this life is understood, these privileges will be of the utmost importance. Reuben did not consider the importance of his birthright; Esau counted his rights as firstborn as nothing. Both men lost—forever, the blessings that could have been theirs.

looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. Hebrews 12:15-17

When Reuben forfeited his right as the firstborn, the double portion of the land went to Joseph, through his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.

Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.” Genesis 48:21-22

All authority was given by Jacob/Israel to the tribe of Judah. Judah has the right of rulership because his father chose him.

In the New Testament, the Bible speaks of those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ as also being chosen by Him to rule.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will… Ephesians 1:3-5

 And (You, Jesus) have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:10

The coming Messiah will have the right of rulership over all the kingdoms of the world because Jacob changed the birthright of Reuben to Judah.

This right of the firstborn also carries an important application to all those who follow Jesus. In the kingdom age, when Jesus will rule as the Messiah for one thousand years, certain rights and privileges will be given to those who overcame the domination of sin in their earthly life.

Whether a person is a Jew, and Arab, or a Gentile, all of us are saved in the same way. There is only one God and He has chosen one method; by which, He will save us: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The right to rule the land of Palestine was given to the Jews, by God. This was His choice and based solely upon the fact that Abraham believed what God said concerning salvation. This faith caused Him  to see Abraham as a righteous man. Isaac was chosen because he came into the world as a result of God’s promise to Abraham to give him a son, from where, all the people of the earth would be blessed. Ishmael and the other descendants of Shem, the Arab people, have not been rejected by God. They are greatly loved and God has included them—as well as, all people—in His wonderful plan of salvation that He has offered to the whole world.

Both Jews and the Arabs are descended from Abraham. Both have the capacity to inherit all the blessings that God conveyed to Abraham. In every family that has sons, in most cases the firstborn is chosen to inherit the land. The Bible demonstrates that this is not always true. The Lord’s choices are not based on our position in life, but upon His knowledge of who a person is in their heart. Sometimes, God chooses a younger son, rather than the firstborn. In this case, God chose Isaac not Ishmael, nor the other sons of Shem. He chose Isaac because of Abraham’s faith.

For this reason, it is the right of the Jews to govern the land of Palestine, not the Arabs. This does not mean that both Arab and Jew cannot enjoy the land together and live in peace.

A Battle For the Last Days

Unfortunately, the Bible is very clear that this conflict will continue until an appointed time when the threat of a greater war will jeopardize the security of Israel and her continued existence. God will not allow any nation or people to ever again, drive the Jews from their land. The prophet Ezekiel reveals that in the last days, the Lord will gather all the Jews who have been disbursed from their land, and bring them back to Israel. Once this takes place, the Jews will dwell there “forever,” they cannot be removed again, by any enemy.

Then say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; Ezekiel 37:21

Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Ezekiel 37:25

Today is the time of history that is specified by Ezekiel’s prophecy. Israel is back in their own land once again, after being disbursed throughout the entire world for 2,000 years. They cannot be moved, nor can any people or nation remove them from the land. If the Arab nations, Russia, or any other foreign enemy make such an attempt, they will find themselves fighting against God. One they are back in the land, after having been scattered for such a great time, they will build the third temple, on the Temple Mount and begin the daily sacrifices once again.

Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”  Ezekiel 37:25-28

Ezekiel also warns that in the last days, an attempt will be made to destroy Israel and this plan will fail as God supernaturally destroys the enemy. God, watches over and protects Israel.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. Psalm 121:4

All of the boasting of those who claim that they will “drive the Jews into the sea,” is an empty threat. The Lord has brought Israel back into their own land in these last days, so that He might show His great power. As we near the end of the “Time of the Gentiles,” when God has been drawing all people to Himself by His offer of Salvation in Jesus Christ, He will turn from the Gentile nations, back to Israel and seek their national salvation.

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:25

The End Result of the Present Conflict

The next event that is on the horizon, is a war between the Arab nations and Israel that will necessitate a supernatural intervention by God. As Russia has now entered Syria, we begin to see the role that this nation will play in the final events of the last days.

Ezekiel describes Gog and Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. These are names that were formerly associated with the area that is now occupied by Russia. Ezekiel states that “thoughts will arise in their mind, and you will make an evil plan,” to come against Israel (Ezekiel 38:9-11).

Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: Ezekiel 38:10 You will say, “I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— Ezekiel 38:11 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Ezekiel 38:10-11

One of the mysteries in the prophecies of the last days, is the role that the United States will have in all of these events. It is possible that we see a hint of the U.S. involvement in these final days, by the words of Ezekiel 38:13.

Then “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, “Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’ (Ezekiel 38:13).

Tarshish is the ancient land that is known today as Spain, from where Columbus set sail and discovered America. The “Young Lions” of Tarshish are believed to be the people of the United States of America. Here, Ezekiel states that these young lions will not dispatch an army, they will be so weakened in their leadership that they will only voice an objection to the attack by Russia on Israel.

Today, we know that President Barack Obama has demonstrated his unwillingness to take the necessary action that is required in the Middle East to stop the spread of terrorism. When President Bashar al-Assad of Syria threatened to use chemical weapons against his own people, President Obama said that if he crossed this line, the U.S. would take military action

“We cannot have a situation in which chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people,” Mr. Obama said in response to questions at an impromptu news conference at the White House. “We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” he added. “That would change my equation.” —President  Barack ObamaNew York times, Mark Lander, August 20, 2012

In March and April of 2015, more than 20 barrel bombs that contained chlorine gas were dropped in six towns in northwest Syria.[5]

Chlorine Bombs in Syria

President Obama did nothing, except voice his objection to these attacks.

At the United Nations General Assembly in September, 2015, President Obama again voiced his opposition to Russian’s recent increase in their military involvement in the middle east. When Russia announced that they would commence bombing over Syria, again, Obama simply complained, but took no action.

The President of the United States is well known as a weak leader and one who will not take swift military action when a crisis manifests itself, as former U.S. presidents have in the past. This fact falls into perfect conformity with the prophecy of Ezekiel 38:13

It is likely that present Obama is the one that is addressed by Ezekiel’s prophecy who will ask what Russia is doing by attacking Israel, but not take any military action.

“Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?”

When Russia moves on Israel, they will be stunned by forces that are beyond their ability to comprehend. God will defend Israel and He will not allow any foreign enemy to take her captive again.

Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Thus says the Lord GOD: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them? “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. Ezekiel 38:14-18

Ezekiel describes the carnage that will result when God defends Israel from the invading Russian armies.

And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Ezekiel 38:22 Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” ’ Ezekiel 38:22-23

Consider that all of the players in this final battle are already in place. We have an American president who is incapable of making a decision to send military personnel and equipment into the middle east. President Obama is nearing the last year of his presidency. He would like his legacy to be that of a peacemaker, not a warmonger, as he views former presidents before him.

The president of the United States will not defend Israel if she is attacked by a foreign enemy.

The book of Daniel speaks of the necessity for a seven year peace plan for Israel and the surrounding nations. Daniel’s prophecy was given to him by God, concerning Israel in the last days. The Lord purposed that “seventy-weeks,” are determined for Israel and the Jews: 70 x 7 = 490 years (a prophetic week is seven years; see Genesis 29:27). In the first seven weeks, or 49 years, the Jews who were held captive in Babylon for 70 years, were released to return to Israel and rebuild the Temple. The second set of sixty-two weeks, were fulfilled at the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem and the Messiah and He was “cut off,” (killed). The final week, the seventieth week, will be fulfilled as the seven year Tribulation. During this time a peace treaty will be made concerning Israel and many nations. This treaty will be orchestrated by the antichrist who will enter the new Temple after three and one half years, and command the world to  worship him as God.

Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:27

It is likely that the reason for this treaty, will be necessitated by president Obama’s unwillingness to stand up against Israel and do what is necessary to stop an attack on Israel. At the present time, no such threat exists. We should understand that the real goal of Russia is not Syria, but Israel. The events that are taking place today in Syria, by Russia, will lead to a future attack on Israel, according to the worlds of Ezekiel’s prophecy.

In the middle of a seven year peace plan, which will convey peace to Israel and allow the building of the third Temple on the Temple Mount, a new world leader will stop the daily sacrifices which have begun again and proclaim that He is the God of this world and all those who dwell upon this planet must worship him.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for the Day of the Lord will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

As the Jews in  Israel at that time, hear this news, they will flee Jerusalem for the wilderness. This leader will dispatch his troops to destroy the fleeing Jews. Once again, the armies of the antichrist will be swallowed up by a large fissure in the earth. When Israel is saved at this time, they will remember that Jesus said this would happen, in Matthew, chapter 24.

So the serpent (the enemy-the devil) spewed water out of his mouth like a flood (antichrist’s armies) after the woman (Israel), that he might cause her to be carried away (destroyed) by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Revelation 12:15-16

When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19

Jesus warned the Jews that when they see the antichrist commit the “abomination of desolation,” by the installation of a statue of himself in the new temple, and commands the world to worship him as 2 Thessalonians 2, describes, they should flee Jerusalem.

(Jesus speaking) So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Mark 13:14

At this time, all those in Israel who God has prepared for this moment, will receive Jesus as their Messiah and be saved.

It is interesting that the violence that has been occurring in Israel in the past two weeks, began as a result of a disagreement concerning the Temple Mount. For many years there has been a movement to rebuild the third temple on the Temple Mount. Knowing that the beginning of the seven year peace plan will permit this Temple to be built, it is extremely interesting that Israel finds herself at a place where this may soon become a reality.

We are on the precipice of many important prophecies of the Bible that concern Israel. It is certain that the fourth blood moon of September 2015, was our “heads up” that something profound is about to happen to Israel. The events that we are seeing now in the Middle East, have a great possibility of leading the world into the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel. If this is the case, then the Church, those who love Jesus and await His return, will be taken from the earth—just prior to, or shortly after—this attack on Israel by Russia.

See: “Dead or Alive,” and “The Prophecies of the Messiah,” by Robert Clifton Robinson, for many specific details regarding the events that are described in this article.

The Prophecies of the Messiah Cover

See Also:

The Seven Year Peace Plan And Rebuilding The Third Temple In Israel
Strategic September: Israel, Iran and The Coming Tribulation
309: Daniel 9:25, The Most Important Prophecy in the Bible


NOTES:

[1] Iron Dome intercepts missiles aimed at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem post. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General (2012-11-21). “Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council [as delivered”]. Tel Aviv. Retrieved 2012-11-22. “”Overall, in that same time period, more than 1,456 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel. 142 have fallen inside Gaza itself. Approximately 409 were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. (…) Since Israel’s targeted assassination from the air, on 14 November, of Ahmed Jaabari, chief of Hamas’ military wing, and with Israel’s offensive in Gaza in its eighth day, the Israel Defense Forces publicly reported that it has conducted strikes at more than 1,450 targets in Gaza.
[2] Commentary Magazine, May 7, 2009, “Contentions Jews Driven Into the Sea at Last,” Jonathan S. Tobin, http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2009/05/07/jews-driven-into-the-sea-at-last/
[3] Photo is public Domain
[4] S. M. Kramer, The Sumerians, Their History, Culture, and Character, University of Chicago Press, 1963, pages 28 and 298
[5] New York Times, “Syria Is Using Chemical Weapons Again, Rescue Workers Say” By ANNE BARNARD and SOMINI SENGUPTAMAY 6, 2015

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