Is the Modern Nation of Israel Important?


Text: Hebrews 6:13-20

 

I.         It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the nation of Israel holds importance in the eyes of many people in America

            A.        Jerry Falwell: “God has raised up America in these last days for the cause of world evangelism and for the protection of His people, the Jews. I don’t think America has any other right or reason for existence than those two purposes.” ... “To stand against Israel is to stand against God.”

            B.        Mr. Falwell’s statements reflect a persuasive attitude in America. Many people believe that God has a special plan for the nation of Israel that has to be fulfilled.

II.        The promises to Israel

            A.        God made a series of promises to Abraham - Genesis 12:1-3; 15:18

                        1.         There are three basic elements of the promise: land, a nation, and a blessing to all nations.

                        2.         People today believe that the modern state of Israel must be preserved and protected so that God can finally fulfill these ancient promises to Abraham.

            B.        Yet, the Bible teaches that God fulfilled these promises.

                        1.         It is these accomplishments which are evidence of God’s nature - Hebrews 6:13-18

                        2.         The land promise was fulfilled when God brought the Israelites out of bondage and gave them the land of Canaan in the days of Joshua.

                                    a.         Exodus 6:4-8 - God remembered his promise to Abraham

                                    b.         Deuteronomy 1:6-8 - He told the Israelites to enter and possess the land

                                    c.         They fulfill that promise - Joshua 11:23

                                    d.         It was accomplished in its entirety - Joshua 21:43-45

                        3.         The nation promise was filled previously while the Israelites dwelt in the land of Egypt

                                    a.         God told Jacob that would be accomplished in Egypt - Genesis 46:3

                                    b.         Their population increased greatly - Exodus 1:7

                                    c.         Their numbers became like the stars, just as God had promised - Deuteronomy 1:9-11

                        4.         The final promise of a blessing to all nations came much later.

                                    a.         It came to the Jews first through Christ - Acts 3:24-26

                                    b.         From there it spread to all believers of every nation - Galatians 3:8-9, 13-16, 26-29

            C.        God made other promises to Israel that he also fulfilled

                        1.         God promise to destroy Israel when it disobeyed - Leviticus 26:27-39

                        2.         They would be driven from the land - Deuteronomy 4:25-28

                        3.         They would cease to be a nation - Deuteronomy 8:19-20

                        4.         All these things happened as God stated

                                    a.         Israel sinned grievously against God, despite God’s longsuffering. The northern tribes were removed from the land - II Kings 17:7-18

                                    b.         When the remaining tribe also sinned, it too was removed - II Kings 23:26-27

                        5.         Yet, God in his mercy promised that the second captivity would only last 70 years. The whole nation would not be restored, but a remnant would return to the land. - Jeremiah 25:8-13; Isaiah 10:20-23

                                    a.         This too was fulfilled as Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah returned the people to Israel.

                                    b.         A broken jar, it would be repaired, but never whole like it once was - Jeremiah 19:7-13

            D.        God kept all his promises

III.       Modern Israel is a different country than the nation of Israel in the Bible. Oh, it shares the same name, but not much else. (Show chart)

IV.      Objections handled

            A.        “Israel never occupied the territory of the greater land promise in Genesis 15:18-21"

                        1.         God promised Israel land from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt

                        2.         When Moses outlined the promised land, it corresponded to the greater land promise - Numbers 34:5-12

                                    a.         Note the river of Egypt is not the Nile, but a wadi that served as Israel’s southern border. - Joshua 15:4

                                    b.         The entrance of Hamath is by Euphrates River - I Chronicles 18:3

                        3.         Remember Joshua said God gave them all the land promised to Abraham - Joshua 21:43-45

                        4.         Israel lost these lands over the years, but David restored the boarders and Solomon ruled over the land of the greater promise - I Kings 4:21

            B.        “The land was promised forever in an everlasting covenant as an everlasting possession in Genesis 13:14-17; 17:7-8; I Chronicles 16:16-18; Psalm 105:9-11"

                        1.         The claim is that since Israel has not been occupied continuously since its original possession, the land promise has not been fulfilled.

                        2.         The Hebrew words for “forever” and “everlasting” can mean an eternity or time without end, but its technical definition is “what is hidden; specially hidden time, long; the beginning or end of which is either uncertain or else not defined; eternity, perpetuity”

                                    a.         When the word is applies to the affairs of individual men, it signifies all the days of that man’s life.

                                    b.         When it is applied to a nation, it signifies the whole dynasty – all the time up to its destruction.

                        3.         We use these words in the same way.

                                    a.         “I’ll love you forever” means I will love you all the days of my life.

                        4.         Forever things can end (see Chart)

                        5.         The promise of the land to Israel was conditional on Israel obeying God - I Chronicles 28:8

                                    a.         Her disobedience would cause her to be abandoned forever - I Chronicles 28:9

V.        Here is a case where people have only taken a portion of the Scriptures – the portion that helps their position, but ignores the parts that contradict their beliefs.

            A.        Israel is only significant in that it is a country of people whose souls need salvation.

            B.        It is as important as each who are gathered here today.

Israel of the Bible

Modern-Day Israel

Governed by the laws of Moses

Exodus 19:5-7; Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Ezra 7:10; Nehemiah 8:1-18

Governed by a set of basic laws

Ruled by a king

I Samuel 8:4-22

Not a monarchy

Jeremiah 22:28-30

Possessed all the promised land

I Kings 4:21

Possesses a portion of the promised land

Temple in Jerusalem

I Kings 8:1-10

No Temple in Jerusalem

Levitical Priesthood

Numbers 3:6-10

No Priests

Tribal Identity

II Samuel 5:1-3

Tribes no longer known

Forever

 

Ceases

Genesis 17:11-14

Circumcision

Galatians 5:1-6; 6:15

Exodus 12:14

Passover

Colossians 2:16-17

Exodus 26:9; 40:15; Numbers 25:13

The Priesthood of Aaron

Hebrews 7:11-17

Leviticus 16:29, 31, 34; 23:31

Day of Atonement

Hebrews 9:23-28; 10:1-12, 18

Psalm 119:151-152, 160

Righteous Ordinances

Galatians 3:24-25; Hebrews 9:10

Genesis 13:14-17; 17:7-8; I Chronicles 16:16-18; Psalm 105:9-11

Land Possession

Deuteronomy 28:45-46; I Chronicles 28:9

Exodus 31:16-17

Sabbath

Colossians 2:16-17

Psalm 78:69; Ecclesiastes 1:4

Earth

II Peter 3:7, 10-12