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There’s No Place Like Home
Israel - Middle East
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Wendy Wippel

Most of us know that God specifically gave the land of Israel to the Jews in Genesis 15:7. And that, nearly from the minute the words were spoken, (largely due to multiple mortal enemies in consistently easy reach), they’ve had kind of a hard time keeping it. Which, as you may have also noticed, seems to be fine with the rest of the world. Fortunately, it's not up to the world. 

God made a covenant with only one nation, the nation of Israel.

"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.”

8 And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”

9 So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." Genesis 15:7-21

God made a covenant with Israel alone. He called only the nation of Israel His People.  Which set the stage for the rest of the world to hate God’s chosen people.

And they do:

From Mahatma GandhiPalestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.

From Isaac Asimov: I can’t help but feel that the Jews didn’t really have the right to appropriate a territory only because 2000 years ago, people they consider their ancestors, were living there. 

From the Church of Scotland: it is a misuse of the Bible to use it as a topographic guide to settle contemporary conflicts over land.

Translation: Just because they lived there thousands of years ago doesn’t give them any right to the land today.

You could write thousands of pages on why the current Jewish homeland should remain theirs. And probably thousands of people have.

But here’s one that is largely neglected.

The “No Home for Israel in Israel faction” (otherwise known as the pro-Palestinian Faction) loves to assert out that the Jews did not live in the land of Palestine that long, thereby implying that other people groups have stronger claims.   

It is assumed in these arguments, by the way, that the Biblical claim that God Himself deeded the land of Palestine to this ethnic group is nothing more than useful legend.

Again, here’s the one that's routinely ignored: The Jews -- from the time that God put them in the land of Palestine until now—have never left voluntarily. And they have never evacuated the land completely.

The truth is that the Jews have maintained a presence in the land of Palestine, since arriving there from their servitude in Egypt.

Despite the fact that nearly every other country in the world, from that time forward, have endeavored to eradicate this tiny, but influential slice of humanity.

The current state of Israel was founded in 1948. But it was not empty of Jews even then—there were de-facto leaders there, like Golda Maier and David Ben -Gurion—a vanguard who had come in to stake claim, in a way, who, when an opportunity arose (the British  military in charge of policing Palestine), once the decision was made to pull out, left way before their orders demanded, and Ben- Gurion and Maier established the fledgling government (in slightly less than 24 hours that followed, in which no government at all existed).

But before that?

Before WW2, Israel was ruled for 400 years by Turks, with the majority of the population in Jerusalem being Jews.

They were still in the land.

But before that?

That was the age of the Crusaders (about 900-1100) and the Jews in Israel fought the Crusaders in Jerusalem, and at Haifa held the Crusaders at bay for a whole month.

They were still in the land.

But before that?

Before that they were ruled by the Caliphates, meaning Muslim dynasties, from about 600- till the fall of Baghdad in 1258. Caliphate (632–661) – Beginning of the Islamic Empire.

The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) – Successor of the Rashidun Caliphate. The Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba in Islamic Spain (929–1031).

The Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258) – Successor of the Umayyad Caliphate, Fall of Baghdad (1258).

They were still in the land.

But before that?

Before that was the Talmudic Age, the age in which the Palestinian Talmud and Mishna were written. Jews lived peacefully, for the most part, among the Romans and the Romans recognized local leadership among the Jews.

(Apparently that ended with Jesus.)

And they were definitely still in the land.

It’s not really about land, is it.

In the words of Benjamin Netanyahu: “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more ‎violence. If the Jews put ‎down their weapons ‎today, there would be no ‎more Israel."

True Dat.

Till we all meet in the land God’s chosen people inherited. Come Lord Jesus!

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Near East 911



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