Boycotting Israel is a fascinating political and semi-religious extortion program conducted by that Country’s detractors. Why does such a small country, with a wonderful legacy of Nobel Prize winners and inventors, suffer such opposition? Because of an inherent hatred of Gentile nations and their twisted thinking. This is compounded by so many who support terrorists such Hamas, P.A. and Hezbollah.
A sad feature of this boycott program is the way certain Denominations think that God has abandoned Israel. In its place, they think, He has put the Church. Such faulty interpretation of Scripture and thereby the nature of God’s calling, injects unbelief in the Bible. In turn, we see this sickness effecting many other Biblical doctrines such as the Kingdom of God, Christ’s Second coming, Holiness, assurance of salvation and Creation.
No-one can read the Old Testament seriously and not be confronted by the God who is faithful to His word, even when people are unfaithful. In Deuteronomy 28-30 is the record of Israel’s future under curses and blessings. These need to be read so as to understand Israel’s history and the message of the prophets. They based their convictions on the God who keeps His word. (Surely this is what we as Christians also do. God is faithful and the New Testament endorses this truth. This is fortunate for us as we are as faithless as ancient Israel. However, Romans 11:29 is our joy.)
Ezekiel was the prophet of the Babylonian captivity. His ministry wasn’t easy. However, within the pages of his writings is a very unmistakable declaration. It occurs at least 40 times applied to Israel and 25 times to certain nations. That statement is ‘they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken…’
To Israel, some of the references are to past or present events. God seemed to be saying these have happened and why haven’t you realised it and believed. Then, Ezekiel takes his readers and hearers into the future. Chapters 33, 34, 36, 37, are specific to an unknown date but to a promised fulfilment in relation to the covenanted Nation. Why does God bother? The prophet seems to put forward two reasons. Ezekiel 36:21-23 ‘I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. I will sanctify my great name… and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when through you I display my holiness before their eyes.’
The second reason is Ezekiel 37. This is a wonderful chapter. It talks about something only God can do. Verses 25-28 ‘They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children’s children shall live there forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore. My dwelling place will be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is among them forevermore.’ (Emphasis added)
This is a bit much for those who have written off Israel. The more virulent opponents, such as Islam, endeavour to remove any trace of Israel’s occupation in the land. As in last week’s blog, the soil has kept guard over the Nation’s scattered fragments. In effect their Allah is in a pitched battle with the Judeo-Christian Yahweh to try and make the Lord God a failure and a liar. Our God’s track record in keeping His promises is our guarantee of the future promised to Israel.
What was said by the Lord Jesus Christ to the people of His day can be said to the World at large today. Such people have ears, but hear not the word of God when spoken. They have eyes to see but see not what God has done to fulfil His word in the yesteryears. They stand, however, condemned. Why? Because, in the words of Ezekiel, the Lord God has done, and will do things, so that you (and the World) will know that He is God.
Do you want to have your eyes opened? Do you want to have ears that hear? Read especially Isaiah and Ezekiel. As you do, ask the Lord to open your eyes to see His faithfulness; open your ears to hear His word.
(For those who want to follow some other references to this blog:
Ezekiel 6:7, 10, 13-14. 7:4, 9, 27. 28:25. 33:29. 36:11, 38. 39:22, 28.)