The Holy Land:
Has God restored His people
after "Sending Them Away"?

 

Preface
In this article, we look at the various circumstances under which God found it necessary to discipline His people, where He either sent them away from their location, or allowed others to do so by lifting His protecting hand from them because of their behaviour.

We need to recognise that Christians claim that the God they (we) worship is the same God, "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". God is therefore UNCHANGEABLE. That is to say, the God of the Old Testament is indeed the God of the New Testament. No "Plan B", no change in His viewpoint or behaviour.

Therefore, we need also to recognise that God will continue to deal with his people in the same sort of way now as he has done previously, throughout all time.

Namely, He sends them into spiritual and/or physical exile for them to learn from their mistakes, as a punishment, or both, during which time he does not have them on the "protected species" list - while still His chosen people, he does not deal with them in a special way... you might say "God is not a respecter of persons".

The "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" who created the Israelite nation which was descended from Abraham (English), Avraham (Hebrew) and Ibrahim (Arabic), is the very same God who accepted Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) to sit at His Right hand in Heaven, upon completion of the atonement Jesus made for all mankind, by which salvation was now made available for all people "Both Jew and Greek", meaning whether or not one could claim lineage from "Father Abraham".

The "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" who assigned territory to the Israelite tribes was also the God of the Garden of Eden, who looked upon Satan's tempting of both Eve and then Adam with loathing, yet He still loved the two mortals He had created. He loved them enough to provide them and their future progeny an eventual way out of their dilemma after He had evicted them from the garden of perfection He had created for them.

The "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" who allowed all sorts of estrangements from their inheritance of His people later in history still conformed to the same standards, procedures, and methods throughout all the recorded periods of time in Biblical and secular history.

Why, then, should the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" do something in 1947/1948 that was significantly different from what He had done with them before?

First of all, one needs to ask what was significantly different.

The answer can be found, simply, by reading the recorded instances in scripture which describe the large number of "Sendings Away" of His people, and his subsequent "Restoring" of them later.

What is missing in the 1947/48 situation is simply this...

The "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" did not call, nor send, an annointed spiritual leader to ensure all of God's requirements were met by His chosen people at the time they were restored to their land.

One then has to ask if they were, in actual fact, restored to their land by the same unchangeable God who previously HAD restored them a number of times.

If God did not restore them, then man has pre-empted God's restoration of the Jews to the promised land.

If that happened, then one would be unlikely to see ANY evidence of peace in that land, because the nation would be returning in disobedience to God's dispersion back in the first century AD when he used the Roman Emperor Vespasian (who was previously known as General Titus), to evict them first of all from the city of Jerusalem - and later from the whole of the Palestine region.

By man's edict, many Jews who were not in any danger, restored to that land (which was already occupied by a mixture of Jews and Arabs, living reasonably peacefully amongst each other) using weapons of war, and ever since they have been ruled by unbelieving Jewish leaders far worse in attitude than the worst kings of the northern and southern kingdoms in the Biblical era.

The reason man gave for their restoration was that they were survivors of the Holocaust that Adolf Hitler created, in his attempts to solve what he saw as the "Jewish Problem". No mention was made by the United Nations of Josef Stalin and HIS genocidal solutions to his "Jewish Problem"

 

Let us, therefore, look in chronological order at every "sending away" event we can catalogue from Holy Scriptures.

 

  1. Perhaps a good place to start would be In Genesis where God removed them from the Eden, placing cherubim with flaming swords at the gate, to prevent their return.

    God then provided in advance for them, in the form of Jesus, a "mediator and advocate" - who would also take upon Himself the their sin, and all mankind's sin, at God's appointed time. However, we DO know that they did not accept it when the offering was made, even though as a nation they had been gathered back some years before, from one of their many "sendings away".

    Restoration to Eden has not taken place. Frankly, I do not believe it ever will, because I see the garden of Eden as a start point... if one reads the statement in the epistle to the Hebrews - "let us, therefore, go on unto (towards) perfection (maturity)", I believe that one can see Eden was the starting point for our "journey".

  2. Noah and the Ark. Noah was God's messenger. He accompanied those who God chose to save out of that wicked generation. When God told Noah to disembark after the flood subsided, he and his very small group did.

  3. Nimrod, Mesepotamia, the Tower of Babel. God dispersed the people who had one language, again for disciplinary reasons. They are still dispersed with different languages, and God has not chosen to restore them. Certainly man with his cleverness has learned several langauges, and we have computer programs which will translate from one into another. But God has not restored them to one tongue yet. Again, I believe He will not do so, preferring to wait until the establishment of the New Jerusalem and those who "go in and out" shall obviously all speak the same language - the language of heaven.

    However, there was no prophet raised to exhort the people to obedience, and there isn't one in this age either.

  4. Ur of the Chaldees, Haran, and Abraham. Here we have another type of Noachin situation. God calls Abraham, known at that time as Abram. The promise of a nation descended from his progeny is made some years later.

    Abraham himself is the man of God chosen by the Lord to spiritually rule in this situation.

  5. Joseph of the many-coloured coat fame. God allows him to be sold into slavery by his brothers who really epitomised mankind through the ages. Joseph does not lose his faith, though, and God deals his perfidious brothers blow after blow, starting with their father's distress at the loss of his son, but eventually with the famine that drove several hundred of them to Egypt.

    Joseph is God's man here. He restores the family's integrity by sending greetings to his father who believed he was dead, and then by inviting them all to Egypt to share in his good fortune, and so that they don't suffer in the famine.

    However, I believe God actually used this as a "sending away", because they have now left their land of promise, which will be inhabited by unbelieving people with disgusting practices in their absence. And of course Joseph dies, and so does the benevolent Pharoah who allowed Joseph to invite them...

  6. Moses, a later hard-hearted Pharoah, and the Exodus. Here we see God decides the time is right, many years later, to try again to rehabilitate these recalcitrant people of His. Unbelievably, not even with the thousands of them who Moses takes to freedom out of slavery do we see a willing people of God.

    This culminates with God's giving of the "Decalogue" - the commandments written on stone, traced by the finger of God, while he communed with Moses in the cleft in the rock near the top of Mount Sinai.

    However, while Moses is away up the mountain with God, disobedience breaks out again, and we have the so-called "god" made out of the golden ear-rings and other ornaments worn by the women.

    God gets exasperated at this point and decides that those involved in this will be left to die out as they wander almost aimlesly in the wilderness, still under Moses' leadership. God is waiting for the end of that 40 years before He calls a new leader from amongst them to restore Israel to the land he promised them back in Abraham's day.

  7. Joshua, son of Nun, Jericho, and other battles he led them in. Now they are back in the land God gave them. But they aren't satisfied!

    Eventually they demand that they have a king "like the other nations". No, they aren't satisfied with the excellent rule of the judges, administering the day to day living rules of behaviour we can find in the books attributed to Moses.

    They even go and lose the tabernacle at one point.

    King Saul. God grants them kings, and the first one they pick is a dud.

    Samuel the prophet is desolated, and God comforts him by pointing out it isn't he that the people have rejected, it is God they have rejected. Saul's reign is quite disastrous.

    King David. We then have a period of spiritual growth even though David suffered from human failings - but amazingly he admits where he went wrong and God forgives his very genuine despair and remorse.

    King Solomon. David's son who actually builds the temple, although I have heard it said that the temple was never God's idea, it was allowed by God, because David felt uncomfortable that he should occupy a house of any grandeur while God's earthly residence was just a box in a tent. Whether that is a fair representation isn't for discussion here, though.

  8. Solomon's death. This was the next key point refernced for "sending away". His two oldest sons, Jereboam and Rehoboam could not get along with each other, and as a result, the Kingdom was suddenly divided into two - the Kingdom of Judah being left in the south under Rehoboam with the tribe of Judah predominating, plus most of the tribe of Benjamin. Because of the temple Solomon built, the tribe of Levi also stayed, but the Levites were not counted because they had no land assigned to their tribe, being assigned to temple duties 24/7.

    The split in approximately 922 BC occurred because the eldest son Jereboam made the deliberate decision to move his capital north into Samaria taking the other ten tribes with him. He immediately set up altars to idols at opposite ends of the kingdom, what the Bible calls "High Places", and one can remember Elijah doing battle with the priests of Baal at the "High Place" on Mount Hermon.

    Interestingly, the idol on the altar in both the Samarian "High Places", constructed according to the instructions of King Jereboam, was a Golden Calf, reminiscent of the apostates demands on Aaron before the 40 years period in the wilderness of Zin.

    The Northern Kingdom had a string of prophets who tried to bring them back into line with God, but to no avail, and God allowed Assyria to invade, capture, and take almost all of the entire 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom away into captivity in 721 BC during King Hoshea's reign.

    One should remember Jesus saying to the woman at the well "Ye worship what you do not know" - this was a testimony to the Samaritans being what was left of the Northern Kingdom who had fallen into apostacy centuries before.

    One can ponder the present state of Israel, in both the name they took (that of the apostate Northern Kingdom) and the fact that they resented what they called "Samaria" being occupied by the Palestinians which is one of the areas they have occupied since the 6-day war. Understandably, they were not believing Jews who made those secular decisions in 1947/1948.

  9. Judah continues on. However they too were taken into captivity, as they never responded to prophets sent, either.

    "How often I wanted to gather you up, etc.... add this quote from "The Jerusalem Passion"........................"

    We are now left with just the two tribes in captivity in Babylon, being taken there in 567 BC. The other ten tribes have vanished off the face of the earth, and I suspect they will be discovered amongst the remnant of the other nations at the time of Christ's Second Coming.

    As you can see, this is now the ninth time God has had to do something drastic with his people. However, He doesn't ever forget his people. Often we overlook the fact that His timescale is not ours. God still has plans for the southern kingdom "remnant"... indeed that word is used in a number of places in scripture, and could be used in others.

    We should also recognise that those who say the Jews have never been conquered (and there seem to be many of them) just don't know their history.

  10. The Edict of Cyrus the Great. King Cyrus issued an edict, prompted by God, that the temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt, it having been totally destroyed when the Southern Kingdom was taken into captivity. That was in 538 BC.

    However, importantly note that that was NOT a cue for repatriation of the Israelites back to what had been their land, land which was now occupied and ruled by other people. Far from it.

    I certainly believe that God arranged for the Babylonian administration to approved the release of Ezra the priest in 458 BC, with SOME settlers, to rebuild the temple.

    This was followed in 445 BC (13 years later) by the administrator Nehemiah to find out why it had all gone quiet. The usual situation, dissention among the Israelites.

    It is very important to realise that here they were not being restored to sovereign rule. It was not a "State" of Israel. It was a colony of Babylonian slaves who were being repatriated to Babylonian land, won in battle from the Israelites!

    In actual fact, Jews as a nation have never "owned" any land since the Lower kingdom was enslaved in 567 BC until the political decision made by the brand-new United Nations in November 1947. Many people either forget or overlook this very important fact. We can explore this more later, perhaps.

    Subsequent "masters" or "owners" of the Holy Land included Egypt's Ptolemy in 301 BC, the Selucids in 200 BC, and this all led up to the Maccabi revolt in 167 BC, John Hyrcanus leadership in 63 BC. They were invaded by the Parthians in 40 BC, Herod the Great being appointed to the throne by the Romans and starting yet another temple rebuild in in 20 BC. Herod Agrippa ruled as vassal king under the Romas from AD 41 to AD 44.

    Under the Roman overlords on several occasions, Procurators were appointed to oversee the enforcement of Roman laws from AD 6 onwards, which finally led to the quelling of a series of revolts by General Vespasian whose appointment as Roman Emperor Titus may have been partly as a result of his succesful quelling of the "Jewish Problem" of the time.

    No, they were not free, and were not a nation. They were still the property of other nations.

  11. The Great Diaspora - the dispersion of all Jews among the other nations, finally came about because the Romans lost patience with the ongoing terrorist activities of the Zealots (remember Barabas who the people clamoured Pilate to set free?).

    The main Jewish-Roman war ran from 66 AD to 73 AD, culminating in the fall of the stronghold of Massada, high up in the Judean side of the Jordan valley. Jerusalem had been destroyed 3 years before in AD 70. During this time, Herod Agrippa II was vassal king in various parts of Palestine, ending in 100 AD.

    There were Jewish uprisings round the Mediterranean coastline, and again in Palestine 116 - 117 AD, with more grumblings until Bar Cocheba's lengthy revolt 132 - 135 AD. Jews were finally expelled from the whole of Palestine at the end of that revolt.

    Thus started the Diaspora. Has it yet ended?

    I'm sure that God permitted it to happen, because He is unchangeable. If He chose not to permit it, it would not have happened, I see it as an "open and shut" case, frankly.

    When did God call a new spiritual leader, like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Ezra, or Nehemiah?

    Has God called anyone like Hosea, Jeremiah, or John the Baptist since?

    If so, who is it?

    If not, how could God have recalled His people who He sent away as a disciplinary measure, because of their disobedience without also calling a spiritual leader from among them? We have seen the pattern established by God throughout man's history. God is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. The reoccupation of Palestine in the 20th century by a Jewish nation does not appear to conform to God's way of doing things in the past.

 

There are links here to two other pages which I have written, dealing with the topic of who should or should not inhabit the Holy Land.

The State of Israel... Created by God in 1948?
Or by man - through a United Nations resolution?

Israel... God's Chosen people still?

 

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Created on 28th April 2002