Updated: Jun 14, 2021
A sleuth of bears, Iran, Hamas, and others, are attacking Israel. The destruction of the Jews would leave the honeycomb of Canaan ripe for the plunder of those hungry states.
Last week, Hamas and Jihad celebrated the inauguration of the Biden administration by launching more than 1750 missiles toward Israel. Even with the Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF) modern and tight defence, seven Israelis have been killed, and more than 520 have been injured. But Jerusalem was quick to return the favour. They are demolishing Hamas with extreme prejudice, striking over 650 terror targets and killing more than 100 Hamas and Jihad terrorists thus far.
Of course, this is nothing new. The ancient threats of annihilation have walked hand-in-hand with Israel for as long as she’s existed. Slavery, destruction, and exile have proven to be their earthly companions. But this peculiar people have miraculously persevered, and not only persevered, but thrived, forcing us to admit, “perhaps there is something extraordinary, even supernatural, about this Jews and their nation.”
The mainstream media has concluded this crisis is unimportant. The old and famous struggle for the Middle East, now approaching its eternal conclusion, is of no concern for them. This is no surprise; Israel’s survival has never been paramount for anyone but the Lord. It should be.
We must ask the question, “Is it possible, perhaps by overwhelming force or some other antagonist, that Israel, her land and her people, could be destroyed?” If so, then you, I, and the hope of the whole world as well, are damned.
1. Abraham and Grace
But in fact, we confidently answer our previous question with a resolute “no.” There is zero possibility of Israel’s land or her people being destroyed. The land will eternally rest as Israel’s geography and the Jewish lineage will endure forever. How do we know this?
The answer lies in the relationship between God and Abraham. Why did God choose Abraham to be the father of the Hebrew nation (Genesis 12)? What was it about this unassuming idol-maker (Joshua 24:2), steeped in idolatry, that twinkled in God’s eye? Was Abraham smarter, wiser, or more vigorous than his neighbours in the Mesopotamian melting pot? He certainly wasn’t younger. Was there anything extraordinary about this, by all accounts, ordinary man? Not at all. God chose him because He wanted to.
There was nothing remarkable or righteous about Abraham and his family. The Lord anointed this old man to be the father of His nation simply because He desired it. “It is by grace you are saved…” (Ephesians 2:8). It is not our place, nor is it comprehensible, to understand why. We do not need to. “Because I, the Lord, decreed so.” (Exodus 6:2) satisfies our curiosity.
Now, why was Abraham promised a physical descendent even in his and his wife’s advanced age? Did he engage in barter, an exchange, to acquire that elusive heir the couple longed for all their lives? Again, not at all. “Who can give to God that he should repay them? For from him and through him and to him are all things.” (Romans 11:35-36). On the contrary, God’s promise to Abraham that he would have a son depended on grace (Genesis 15:4-6).
Therefore, we recognize that everything God promised and fulfilled to Abraham was not a consequence of Abraham’s actions or stature. Instead, the blessings accrued to Abraham—his fathering of Israel, of many nations, living in the land of Canaan, etc.—depended not on the will of man, but of God alone.
2. The Promise Repeated
As a reinforcement of the promises spoken to their wandering father, various detailed guarantees are prophesied to Abraham’s physical children, the Jews, and applicable to the Jews only.
“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)
At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.” (Zephaniah 3:20)
Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob…All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:2-5).
And here is a map detailing the geography of land guaranteed to Abraham’s descendants in Genesis 15:18.**
3.Will Israel Be Destroyed?
But what if these promises have been revoked? Or what if, though there are no stipulations attached in the Scripture, God decides to alter the promise because of the Jewish failure? What if, as a result of the Jews’ present unbelief, manifested clearest through their rejection and crucifixion of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, God has reshaped and remade—replaced—the people and promises first guaranteed to Abraham? Perhaps the Lord has now “modernized” Israel to include the church, maybe the land of Israel is figurative and spiritualized, or perhaps the Gentiles and Israel have fused and become one race by belief in Christ. Then what?
Then all of us are lost! It’s imperative to understand that unless the promises of the Old Testament for the Jews are eternally binding, notwithstanding their failures (of which, like us, are numerous), this “so great a salvation” we cherish and preach is a scam and a fraud, heaping cruel persecution onto now-hopeless believers for nothing.
Why? What does it mean if this “Replacement Theology” that has infested so many churches is true? What happens if the Lord declares that the promises for the Israelites of antiquity, apparently forgotten because of their unbelief, are now for the new church?
Then our salvation is by works, and we are no longer saved! Tremble while realizing it means if we are saved today, there is no guarantee we will be saved tomorrow—God could change His mind. Hell yet might well be our fearful fate forever. Salvation would no longer be appointed by grace, but rather, contingent on our ability to uphold a frightful law, a law which immediately condemns you and me as failures.
But to whom did God make his covenant with regarding his people, the Jews, that they would endure forever and be his chosen people from where the Messiah would come? Who did God swear by while telling Abraham that his physical descendants would dwell in a land never yet given to them?
Himself! God swore, not by Abraham, not by the obedience of the Jews, but by Himself, the infallible, all-powerful, and timeless, God Above All (Genesis 15:12-20). And if God swore by Himself, how can the fickle obedience of man change His covenant? It cannot. Our proof? Was Issac not born to Abraham? Are the Jews not still a nation, outlasting Egyptian slavery, the Babylonian exile, Roman tyranny, and the German Gestapo? And finally, wasn’t Christ, the Son of God who affirmed every verse in the Old Testament, raised from the dead, thereby validating all of His claims as true?
That is why our salvation is secure. It does not rest on our own actions, but on Christ, just as the promises to the Jews do not rest on their actions, but on God’s. Thus, if the Jews are no longer privy to their promises as a consequence of their unbelief, promises previously reinforced in spite of their unbelief, then our promise for salvation, a salvation that is guaranteed by belief in Christ, must be revoked, too. For who among us can say, “I have never doubted. I have never disobeyed.”? And yet, detailed by the testimony of countless multitudes, all believers are saved.
Israel will never be destroyed, and thus Christians will never be lost. Hamas will not conquer, but even if they do, the Jews will eventually return home. Replacement theology, the idea that the Church has become one with Israel, will fall. Israel and the church are distinct entities, and they must remain that way in accordance with the Scripture. For if the Jews are no longer unique, we have no confidence that God’s promise to all of us, eternal salvation by faith, is guaranteed; Christ becomes a liar.
* No doubt more missiles have been launched since the publishing of this article. Figures from: https://www.idf.il/en/minisites/operation-guardian-of-the-walls/guardian-of-the-walls-infographics/
** Photo found here
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