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"...I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” - Jeremiah 30:3.
THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL GIVEN CANAAN BY GOD
It is an important truth that God, the Creator, owns the Universe He created – (Genesis 1:1; 14:19,22). He owns this earth and all that is in it. (Exodus 19:5). Therefore The Land of Canaan or Palestine, known today as 'the Middle East', belongs to God, not to the present tenants, Jew and Arab – (Leviticus 25:23).
When God 'called' Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, he promised him and his "seed” (or descendants) all the land of Canaan - from the River Euphrates to the River Nile, (Genesis 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:17-21).
In bringing the children of Israel out of their 200-year slavery in Egypt, God promised, then, after their 40 years' wanderings in the wilderness of Sin because of sin, actually gave them the land. (Deuteronomy 1:7-8, 21; Joshua 21:43-45).
The Jewish people possessed Canaan continuously from that time (about BC 1490) until the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities (BC 722 and 597). 70 years later some 000's of the children of Judah and Benjamin returned to Jerusalem and Judah under Ezra and Nehemiah. They multiplied and regained much of the old territory but became a vassal state under Persia, then Greece and finally Rome. In the days of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, Herod the Great, appointed by Rome, was King of Judaea.
POSSESSION CONDITIONAL UPON OBEDIENCE
In promising Canaan, God solemnly told the children of Israel (the Jews) that Canaan belonged to Him, and they were but covenanted tenants in the land – a tenancy that would last only for as long as they remained obedient to God.
If however, they chose to depart from God, their tenancy would be terminated and God would drive them from the land just as He had previously driven the Canaanites from the land. (Leviticus 18:24-30; 25:23; Exodus 23:20-33; Deuteronomy 28).
WHILST OBEDIENT – BLESSING
God assured Israel that while ever it obeyed God's laws it would receive many great blessings in the land. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14.)
DISOBEDIENCE - CURSING AND REMOVAL
But God also warned Israel that if it turned from Him and disobeyed His laws then great cursing would come upon them in the land. If they failed to repent after receiving this punishment then the ultimate disaster would befall them – they would be removed from the land. (Deut. 28:15-68). Sadly the children of Israel proved to be, then as now, a "stiff-necked” or rebellious people.
Despite many warnings from both their Law and from the mouth of the many prophets that God sent them, they refused to hear and obey. Eventually God's long-suffering patience ran out and He must "avenge the quarrel of my covenant” with the nation. (Leviticus 26:25). First, in BC 722 God sent the Assyrian army to overthrow Samaria, the capital of the apostate northern kingdom of Israel, comprising ten tribes of Israel, and take the people captive to Assyria.
Then, in BC 597 God sent the Babylonian army to overthrow Jerusalem, the capital of the also apostate southern kingdom of Judah, comprising the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and to take the people captive to Babylon.
JEWRY'S RETURN TO CANAAN LONG PROMISED
Though God banished His people from their land, He still loved them greatly and suffered with their sufferings. (Hosea 11:8). Because the people of the Kingdom of Israel in the North had become so corrupt with idolatry and evil doing, no special promise was given them that they should return. Its people remained in dispersion until the Modern Era when they have been returning from all nations.
With the people of the Kingdom of Judah in the South, however, God gave a promise that they would return after 70 years – a promise that God faithfully kept. (Jeremiah 25:11; Daniel 9:2, Nehemiah 1:9; 7:6. Thus was about BC 527. Sadly, in the period from then unto the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles (AD 26-69), Jewry lapsed again into a false, formal worship.
They rejected and crucified our Lord, their Saviour and Messiah, and persecuted his disciples. So God again overthrew Jerusalem and its Temple and in AD 70, by the Roman army, dispersed the people. But the promise of the prophets predicting Jewry's restoration still held good. ( Isaiah 54; Jeremiah 32:37-44; 33:6-11).
ISRAEL – A MODERN MIRACLE
Since 1897, the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, many 000's of dispersed Jewish people have returned and are still returning to the State of Israel, proclaimed by Ben Gurion in 1948. THIS IS A MODERN MIRACLE!.
"The time to favour Zion, the set time has come.... When the LORD shall build up Zion, HE SHALL APPEAR IN HIS GLORY” –(Psalm 102:13-28).
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