God's Chosen People: Re-Gathered
- Part 62
- Series: What's Next for Planet Earth? The Promises and Prophecies of Christ in Matthew 24
- Date: Sep 27, 2009 | Passage: Ezekiel 36:1-37:1
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God uses 12 promises in His Word to identify Israel as the nation that will signal the end of days. God has declared that the Jews, are the nation of Israel, and are His Chosen People of Promise:
I believe that the prophesied "last days" are upon us and that our generation will likely see the remainder of what God's Word has foretold would happen to the nation of Israel.
These multiplied dozens of specific Bible passages will come to pass literally because that is how all the prophecies have unfolded that have already come true. In brief, God has foretold the most dangerous for humanity since the Flood, lies dead ahead. In Noah’s day 99.999% of all humans died; and in the days ahead 50+% will be destroyed. God describes the entire end of days scenario as the "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7). God foretold plan for His chosen people Israel spells danger and woe for the entire planet.
What Does God
Look with me at this incredible summary of all specific promises God has given describing His plans for His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews.
Now, feel the impact of God's Words to a man standing out in the sands of the Middle East, in a Land called Canaan. God spoke in Genesis 15 and said, I am giving this Land to your children forever as a testimony to all the World, that I AM GOD!
This may be one of the most important studies we have ever undertaken, so feel free to trace these points and verses in your Bibles as we go along!
1. JEWS: God promised Abraham: descendants who would the chosen people of God; and property for them with clearly defined boundaries in Genesis 12:1; 13:15; 15:7, 18-21. Genesis 15:7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” He renewed that promise to Abraham's son Isaac (Genesis 26:3-5), to his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:13), and to their descendants after them forever (Leviticus 25:46; Joshua 14:9; etc.).
2. PASSOVER: God promised Moses that He would Divinely bring His chosen people of destiny to the Promised Land. Exodus 6:7-8 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.
3. ISRAEL: God stakes His future reputation on people He identified as His chosen people of destiny, the Jews, the descendents of Abraham, and He named them Israel. Deuteronomy 7:6-7 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
4. CAPTIVITY: God promised to judge His chosen people of destiny if they forgot Him in the Promised Land. 2 Chronicles 7:20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
5. DIASPORA: God promised to scatter His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny from the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 28:64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.
6. ANTI-SEMETISM: God promised a curse upon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land. Deuteronomy 28:37 You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you.
7. CHASTENED: God promised to chasten His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny. My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations (Hosea 9:17).
8. PRESERVATION: God promised to preserve His chosen people of destiny from annihilation. Jeremiah 30:11 "I am with you and will save you," declares the LORD. "Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished."
So the survival of Israel scattered all around the world for 2,600 years leads us to the next point in the roadmap God left for us in His Word:
9. REGATHERED: God promised to re-gather His chosen people of destiny back to the Promised Land.
The Bible records God’s promises to keep His chosen people distinct (Exodus 33:16; Leviticus 20:26); and bring them back into their land in the last days (Jeremiah 30:10, 31:8-12; Ezekiel 36:24, 35-38) before their Messiah's return. Those prophecies and promises, watched for so long, were fulfilled when Israel was reborn as a nation back in their Promised Land.
Almost 1900 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews in A.D. 70 by the Roman armies of Titus—Israel was reborn in 1948. Becoming a nation again 25 centuries after utter destruction has never happened to any other group of people in the history of mankind. What has happened in the past 100 years to Israel could never have happened by chance, and is astonishing to everyone who will pay attention.
God declared Israel, His Nation, would Survive: Dr. Henry Morris observes: It is almost impossible that a nation could survive as a distinct nationality, regain its homeland and be recognized as a viable nation once more after being completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (as Israel was by the Romans, in A.D. 70). Its people were either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other; its land occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years. Israel's survival is amazing, but even more so is the fact its survival was predicted many centuries earlier. When Israel, including Judah, first went into captivity, in 588 B.C., the period known as "the times of the Gentiles" began. Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome were successive world empires and their domain included the land of Israel.
Jesus describes the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 with these words in Luke 19:41-44: Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”); and as a part of this event, the people of Israel were scattered "among all people, from the one end of the earth unto the other" (Deuteronomy 28:64).
God declared Israel, His nation, would be Regathered: Even more impossible than the fact that a people could retain its identity without a homeland for two thousand years is the fact that they should then return and establish their ancient nation once again. Yet this is exactly what the Bible had predicted.
Isaiah 11:11-12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time [note, the second time -- the first was when He brought them back from the Babylonian captivity as recorded in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Haggai] to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, . . . and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth
Jeremiah 30:10 "So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel," declares the LORD. "I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid."
Jeremiah 31:8-12 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. 9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd. 11 For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
Ezekiel 36:24, 35-38 ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ 37 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "Once again I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep, 38 as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
Ezekiel 37:21 "Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land"
The "wandering Jews" were without a national home for "many days" (Hosea 3:4-5); and it seemed impossible that such prophecies as these could ever be fulfilled. Even many good Bible-believing Christians thought for centuries that God was through with Israel and that all the Old Testament promises to Israel should be spiritualized and applied to the church. But now, with the return of the Jews and the re-establishment of their nation, it is evident in a unique way that God's Word means exactly what it says.
In Ezekiel 36-37 the God who rules gives 4 clear, hard to miss promises. He tells all who read His Word that Israel will: 1). One day be reborn as a modern country; 2.). That Jews will pour back into the Holy Land after centuries of exile; 3). That Jews will rebuild the "ancient ruins" and make the deserts bloom; and finally 4). That Israel will develop a vast and powerful military (Ezekiel 38:12-13).
These prophecies have all come true in our lifetime. They began to be fulfilled in the early 1900s, accelerated in 1948 and 1967, and continue to come true to this day.
Did the British politicians and early Zionists that fought for the establishment of the nation of Israel do all that because they wanted to or because God ruled over them? Both are true, of course. That is how God works. God was watching over His Word to fulfill it!
To trust the God who rules, we are asked to see what He has done. Note with me the predictions found in Ezekiel 36-37 that have already come true. These are the famous prophetic chapters that foretell the future of Israel as a nation, that were written almost 600 years before Christ’s birth!
The return of the Jews to the Holy Land
After centuries in exile.
Ezekiel 36:10-11 “I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 “I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 37:12, 21 “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;
Did the countless thousands of Jews all over the world (100 nations and counting) get up one morning and each decide to obey God’s Word that said they would return? No they just had a longing to be safe, to be free, to have a land of their own—and in all that they obeyed the God who rules over the nations by watching over His Word to fulfill it!
The rebuilding of the
Ancient ruins in Israel.
Ezekiel 36:36 “Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.”
Did God make the early settlers name their cities after the Biblical sites they were building upon? No, they wanted to tie themselves to the past, their heritage and God’s Word! God was watching over His Word to fulfill it!
The re-blossoming of desolate, desert lands to
Produce abundant food, fruit and foliage
Ezekiel 36:8-9, 30, 33-35 “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.9 “For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 30 “And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 33 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.34 “The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.35 “So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’
Did those agricultural engineers, irrigation pioneers, and desert scientists devote their lives to Israel in its wasteland condition just to make Ezekiel come true? No. God was watching over His Word to fulfill it! Israel supplies billions of dollars of fresh fruit and flowers to Europe and the Arab world from land that was once absolutely desolate.
The creation of an
"Exceedingly great army"
Ezekiel 37:10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Did the atomic scientists, the military weapons engineers, and the businessmen that listened to them all want to fulfill Ezekiel? No, they were trying to protect themselves, defend themselves and make a living.
But in the process became the third or fourth most powerful military in the world when the atomic weaponry is factored in. God was watching over His Word to fulfill it!
So God is watching over His Word, and He will bring to pass all He has foretold. But is there something in this for my life? It is good to ask each time you study God's Word this application question:
 Drawn from Henry Morris, Creation Trilogy, Appedices, electronic edition, n.p.