Shalom and welcome to this edition of Through the Lens. I’m Rabbi Eric Walker. I am often asked if Israel is really that important to Christians. There is so much that can be said, but I felt led to share 10 specific prophesies that God has fulfilled in regards to Israel just since 1948. Two points are to be made in this. First, God is still fulfilling prophecies and will continue to until the New Heaven and New Earth descend. Secondly, the remaining prophecies of the Bible that have yet to be fulfilled are almost all related to Israel. Its relevance to god is made clear that in these end of end days our focus needs to be on Israel.
These 10 Bible prophecies were fulfilled after 1948, when Israel became an independent country for the second time in history. These prophecies find fulfillment in Israel’s stunning military victories and in its transition from a desert wasteland to a comparatively prosperous nation.
- Israel will ultimately prevail over its enemies.
In Isaiah 41:12-14, the prophet proclaimed that the tiny nation of Israel ultimately will prevail over its enemies, and that although its enemies will cease to exist one day, Israel will survive. This prophecy is interesting from an historical perspective. The country of Israel has been conquered and destroyed at different times by very powerful nations and empires, such as Assyria, Babylon and the Roman Empire. Those conquests led to the exile and worldwide dispersion of the people of Israel, and to the desolation of the land of Israel. Even so, Israel is again a sovereign nation today, and the empires of Assyria, Babylon and ancient Rome have vanished long ago.
Isaiah 41:12-14 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
- The ruins of Israel would be rebuilt
In Amos 9:11, 13, the prophet said that God would restore the land of David. King David ruled Israel from about 1010 BC to about 970 BC. During that time, Israel was a united and sovereign nation. Afterwards, the land was divided into two kingdoms and later conquered by a succession of world powers. For much of the past 2000 years, the people of Israel have been living in exile in countries around the world, and the land of Israel has been in a state of ruin. During the past two centuries, however, many Jews have returned from exile and have rebuilt and reconditioned much of the land of Israel. The soil is again productive, producing food exports for many countries. And the nation is again sovereign and united.
Amos 9:11, 13 “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be,” … “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.”
- Ezekiel prophesied prosperity for a restored Israel.
In Ezekiel 36:11, the prophet said that there would come a time when Israel would be more prosperous than it was in the past. In 1999, Israel had the highest per capita Gross Domestic Product of any nearby country, even though the surrounding countries have many oil resources.
Ezekiel 36:11 I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
- Trees would flourish again in a desolate Israel:
In Isaiah 41:18-20, the prophet’s talk of a future restoration of Israel coincides with an occurrence in modern Israel – the construction of a vast irrigation system to improve farming. But, during the 1900s, when many Jews returned to their ancient homeland, they built a network of irrigation systems. And during the past century, more than 200 million trees have been planted in Israel.
Isaiah 41:18-20 I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
- Isaiah said Israel’s fruit would fill the world:
Bible passage: In Isaiah 27:6, the prophet said Israel would one day blossom and fill the world with fruit. This prophecy has been at least partially fulfilled so far, literally and spiritually. Today, the land of Israel, which had been barren for centuries, is a leading producer of agricultural products, exporting food to many countries. This prophecy also has been fulfilled spiritually with the worldwide spread of Christianity, which began with Jesus in Israel.
Isaiah 27:6 In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.
- Jerusalem would become the world’s most important religious site:
In Micah 4:1, the prophet said that the Temple mount in Jerusalem would become the focal point of the world. Various Christian scholars regard this as a prophecy that is to be fulfilled in the future. But it is interesting to note that Jerusalem is, and has been for centuries, the world’s most important religious site. No other city in the world is a religious focal point to as many people.
Micah 4:1 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.
- Egypt would never again rule over nations:
In Ezekiel 29:15, the prophet says that Egypt would recover from a desolation (perhaps Babylon’s attack about 2600 years ago), but that it would never again rule over other nations. Today, Egypt is an independent nation again. In 1948, 1967 and 1973, Egypt tried to dominate Israel but was unsuccessful each time, despite the fact that Egypt is 10 times larger than Israel. Egypt today, in many respects, is an impressive nation. But since the time of Ezekiel, it no longer rules over other nations.
Ezekiel 29:15… I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations.
- Zechariah prophesied the Jews return to Jerusalem:
In Zechariah 8:7-8, the prophet said God would bring the Jews from exile back to their homeland (Israel) and that they would be able to live in the city of Jerusalem again. This prophecy has been fulfilled more than once. About 2600 years ago, Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and took many Jews as captives to Babylon. But many Jews later returned from Babylon. The Jews rebuilt Jerusalem but the city was destroyed about 1900 years ago by the Romans. The Romans killed more than 1 million Jews and forced many more into exile. And, the Romans banned Jews from living in Jerusalem. More than 1800 years passed before the Jews had control of Jerusalem again. They reclaimed control of their ancient capital during the Six Day War of 1967.
Zechariah 8:7-8 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”
- Israel’s deserts will become like the Garden of Eden:
In Isaiah 51:3, the prophet said that God will restore Israel and make it a paradise, like the garden of Eden. Much work remains, but parts of Israel are blooming again. Although it was described as a wasteland as recently as the late 1800s, Israel is now a food source for many countries. And at least 200 million of trees have been planted there during the past century.
Isaiah 51:3 The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
- Isaiah foretold of the worldwide return of Jews to Israel:
In Isaiah 43:5-6, the prophet said that the people of Israel would return to their homeland from the east, the west, the north and the south. Isaiah lived 2700 years ago. Beginning at that time, a succession of empires conquered the land of Israel and forced many into exile. This led to a worldwide scattering of Jews. But, during the past century, millions have returned to Israel.
Isaiah 43:5-6 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, `Give them up!’ and to the south, `Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth…” As believers in Yeshua/Jesus our prophetic eyes need to be glued on the epicenter of End Time Prophecy and that is Israel. As it has been said, “So goes Israel, so goes the world.”
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