Partitioning of God's Land ::: Part 4 ::: (Nov. 8, 2002)

“Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall
be called Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And
I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee,
and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish My covenant
between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an
everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein
thou art a sojourner, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting
possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:4-8)

It should be evident that the land of Palestine was given unto the seed of Jacob, and not to the seed of Ishmael or of Esau. This has been shown to be the case. Look at it again.

“And Abraham said unto God, Oh, that Ishmael might live before thee!
And God said, Sarah, thy wife, shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou
shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him
for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for
Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold I have blessed him, and will make
him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he
beget, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant will I
established with Isaac; whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time
in the next year.” (Genesis 17: 18-21)

“And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Harnan…And
he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it
reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and
descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am
the Lord God of Abraham, thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land
whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed
shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west,
and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy
seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 28:10,12-14)

Thus far we have see the following:

1. The entire earth belongs to the Lord, the God of Israel.
2. He made a covenant with Abraham and extended it through Isaac
and Jacob to give to them and their seed after them all the land of
Canaan for an everlasting possession.
3. Thus only the seed of Jacob are authorized by God to live on this
land. It still belongs to the Lord but it is also their assigned place
on which to dwell.
4. No other people are authorized to live there or to lay claim to any
part of it.

• No part of the land that was at one time called Canaan belongs to
any other people than to those who are of the seed of Jacob.

The claim of Arab peoples that any part of the land of Canaan belongs to them as a right of heritage is not supportable by the sacred Scriptures. Surely many of them know this. But, because they hate the Jews, they deny their right to the land. Mark it down; they will not succeed in their efforts to oust the Jews out of the land God gave to them. God will not permit His people to be driven from their land again. The days when the Gentile nations could ride roughshod over Israel are nearly over. He is surely going to make plain what the truth is in this matter and that, although, at this writing, they do not know Him, He still considers the Jews His people. Those that dare to persecute His people and covet His land and His city touch, as it were, that which is as the apple of His eye.

Although the international community may gang up against Israel and endeavor to force their declarations down their throats, all nations that continue to oppose the will of God in the matter of the land of Israel and the people that He has appointed to dwell therein, will surely drink out of the bitter cup of God’s wrath.

• All who oppose Israel’s right to exist on the land that God has given
them by covenant, God will punish.

There is another side to this covenant we wish to look at next. There is a conditional aspect to their privilege of dwelling on that land that was given to them.

The Palestinian Covenant—A Conditional Covenant

We have shown that it is in the record book of God’s Word that the land of Israel was given to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be an everlasting possession. The seed of Jacob, not of Ishmael and not of Esau, was given the privilege of occupying that land.

• But even for the chosen seed to remain in the land, obedience to
their God was necessary.

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of
the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His
statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall
come upon thee, and overtake thee…The Lord shall cause thee to be
smitten before thine enemies; thou shalt go out one way against them,
and flee seven ways before them, and shalt be removed into all the
kingdoms of the earth. And they carcass shall be food unto all fowls
of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall drive
them away.” (Deuteronomy 28:15,25-26)

Israel proved to be a very rebellious people for much of their history. This explains why Israel was removed from off their land at various times in the history of that nation. Mike Evans, in his book Jerusalem Betrayed, states that the city of Jerusalem has been leveled to the ground five times and occupation has changed twenty six times. We will look at what was the predominant behavior, the prevailing attitude, of the people of Israel that led to their removal from off the land of Palestine.

Recall what the Lord said to Abraham:

“And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land whereon
you are a sojourner, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession;
and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8)

The Lord appeared unto Isaac and repeated His promise to give that land to his seed
(Genesis 26:1-5; 28: 13-4). He also appeared unto Jacob, when Jacob came out of Paddanaram, and extended that promise to him and to his seed.

“And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to you I will give it,
and to your seed after you will I give the land.” (Genesis 35:12)

Later in his life the Lord spoke to Jacob (now renamed Israel) in vision during the night hours and said unto him:

“I am God, the God of your father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for
I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into
Egypt; and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph shall put
his hand upon your eyes.” (Genesis 46:3-4)

Before Jacob’s son Joseph passed on, he told his brethren that God would keep the oath he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to their father Jacob and would bring them unto the land which He had given to them. Israel was in Egypt for 430 years. The Lord brought them out, having expanded them from seventy souls to several million. When the time came for their deliverance from the oppression of Egypt, the Lord God spoke to Moses and told him that He had established His covenant with the people of Israel and would bring them out of Egypt and give to them the land of Canaan for a heritage.

“And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you God: and
you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brings you out
from under the burden of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto
the land, concerning which I did swear to give it unto Abraham, to
Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the
Lord.” (Exodus 6:7-8)

The adoption of Israel as the nation of God took place at Sinai.

“And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the
mountain, saying, Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob, and tell the
children of Israel: You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and
how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto Myself. Now
therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant,
then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people; for all
the earth is mine. And you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and
an holy nation.” (Exodus 19:3-6)

This was a very high calling of God upon this people. As a priest is a mediator between God and man, so:

• Israel was chosen by God to be the vehicle through which the
knowledge and salvation of God would be communicated to
the ends of the earth.

This promise of God conveyed the design of the call of God, to which it was fully established by the covenant institution of the theocratic government, if it maintained obedience to its rightful Owner. The maintenance of the covenant was “the indispensable subjective covenant condition, upon which their attainment of this Divinely appointed destiny and glory depended.” (Keil & Delitzsch, The Pentetauch: Exodus 97.)

When Moses presented to the people, through their elders, the words of this covenant from the Lord (referred to as the Mosaic Covenant), they declared that they would do all that the Lord asked.

“And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord has
spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto
the Lord” (Exodus 19:8)

This covenant was in three parts: the commandments—which expressed the righteous will of God, the conditions of His covenant with man, what He requires of man; the statutes—the demands which God made upon His covenant people, the precepts and rules which man is to obey and which were to govern the social life of the people; and the ordinances—which were to govern the civil and religious life of the community, the institution and conduct of religious or ceremonial ritual, the institution of the ordinance of law, the administration of justice and litigation to ensure justice. {Note: The use of these terms is often interchangeable. This is seen in the various translations of the Hebrew. Often it is not easy to differentiate between the terms. Therefore, what we have offered to you is designed only to give you a general idea of the application of their use. What is clear is that the commandments, statutes, and ordinances of God, combined together, serve to “denote [God’s demand of] constant obedience to all the revelations and instructions of God” (Keil & Delitzsch, The Pentateuch: Genesis 270.)}
When the Mosaic Covenant was being instituted with God’s people, because the Lord knew the weakness of this sinful nation, they were not to come into direct communication with the Lord.

“And it came to pass on the third day, in the morning that there were
thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice
of the trumpet exceedingly loud, so that all the people that were in the
camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to
meet with God; and they stood at the lower part of the mount. And
Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke, because the Lord descended upon
it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and
the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet
sounded long, and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God
answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai,
on the top of the mount; and Moses went up. And the Lord said unto
Moses, Go down, charge the people lest they break through unto the
Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, who
come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth
upon them.” (Exodus 19:14-22)

This was not yet a nation of holy people. Therefore, their unholiness stood between them and the holy God. The Lord instructed Moses to go down the mountain, to set a boundary around the base of it, and to warn the people not to go beyond it, as this would immediately expose those who did to capital punishment. This was to serve to teach the people the importance of propriety of conduct in any approach to Him. All persons of mankind are to have a holy reverence for the Almighty. This tells us that God is only to be approached by the means He appoints. Know that:

• Irreverence for God can expose one to the most terrifying punishment.

Following this preparation, Moses spoke the words of the law that were given to him for the people of the nation of Israel that were assembled at the base of the mountain. At this time in their history, the people of the nation of Israel formally entered into a covenant relationship with the God of creation. This covenant imposed conditions on the nation and the individuals to obtain and enjoy the blessing of the Almighty. Because of the great evil that had been and was being committed by the pagan nations that were in Canaan, God purposed that this land would spew them out and that in their stead this land was to be occupied by His chosen nation. Yet Israel’s living in the land of Canaan was conditional upon obedience to the Almighty.

“Defile not yourselves in any of these things; for in all these the nations
are defiled, which I cast out before you. And the land is defiled,
therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself
vomiteth out her inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and
Mine ordinances, and you shall not commit any of these abominations,
neither any stranger that sojourns among you. (For all these abominations
have the men of the land done, who were before you, and the land is
defiled); That the land not spew you out also, when you defile it, as it
spewed out the nations that were [in it] before you. For whosoever shall
commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall
be cut off from among the people.” (Leviticus 18:24-29)

Although the land that was given to Israel (referred to in Scripture as the land of promise, i.e., that portion of planet earth that is designated in Genesis 15: 18-21 as given to be the homeland of God’s chosen people.) was to be their everlasting possession:

• Their being permitted to remain upon their land was conditional upon
their submitting to the statutes and ordinances which God had
given unto them, and which they had agreed to obey.

In the above passage of Scripture, we see that God warned His covenant people that he was expressly driving out the people before them because they had defiled the land with their abominations; moreover, that they themselves, God’s chosen people, were not to defile the land by committing the abominations of the previous tenants. Should they engage in such evil practices, the land would spew them out just as it had the evil Canaanite nations before them. The land is personified as a creature that vomits out the food that it despises. We see in this that:

• While God appointed the nation of Israel to live upon this area of
land of planet earth, nevertheless, He called them to be a holy
people. They were to give strict obedience to Him.

“And the Lord spoke unto Moses saying, Speak unto all the congregation
of the children of Israel, and say unto them, You shall be holy; for I the
Lord your God, am holy.” (Leviticus 19:1-2)

God gave to His people, and to all the nations, laws for their conduct before Him. These laws specified, above all else, that they were to reverence Him and His name. Then they were to keep the Sabbath of rest, to honor their parents, and to conduct themselves, in regard to their neighbor, in a manner that was in keeping with all the other commandments of the law.

• Within the framework of their attitude toward Him, and the keeping of
the laws He had given to Israel, He would bless or punish His people. This included the privilege of their remaining on the land that was given exclusively to be their homeland.

The Lord brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to give them the land of Canaan, where they were to live and serve Him and His purposes in the earth. The fundamental principles of the covenant He established with them concluded with promises of blessing for obedience while Israel was in the land of their possession, and threats of punishment for disregarding Him and His laws. Punishment could include their being driven from the land of their inheritance and being scattered among the heathen nations wherever they would be driven.

“But if you will indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak, then I
will be an enemy unto your enemies, and an adversary unto your
adversaries.” (Exodus 23: 22)

God purposed that His chosen nation Israel would serve as a model to all other nations of His purposes for man, His desire to bless man, and His plan of redemption to deliver men from their bondage to evil. In His work with the nation of Israel, He would reveal His character and what He required of any people in order to fulfill His will for their lives. Israel’s failure to live up to its national calling would result in the people being banished from off the land—as it served His purposes to do so.

At the end of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, God made another covenant with Israel, with the second generation that had come out of Egypt, while they were in the land of Moab and just before their entry into the land of promise. This is referred to as the Palestinian Covenant. This covenant reaffirmed the Mosaic covenant and made clear the conditions for remaining on the land that had been given to them, what was necessary to obtain His continued blessing on His people, and what would happen to them if they refused obedience to Him.

Through this covenant given in Moab, God declared that it if His people, as a nation, would honor the commandments of the Lord, then He would give fruitfulness to their land, rain in its season, fullness of bread, a peaceful existence, long life, and a life free from fear of overthrow by their enemies. This was to be both personal and corporate; and was to be the inheritance of all those who feared Him, by keeping His commandments and statutes.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He
has chosen for His inheritance.” (Psalms 32:12)

“The angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear Him, and
delivers them.” (Psalms 34:7)

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to
be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

When living in obedience, in everything God’s people would set their hands to do, He would bless them. See from the above Scriptures that He promised to make even their enemies to live peaceably with them. His Presence would be with them, and He would continue to watch over them to do them only good. But if they refused obedience to Him and rebelled, He would hand them over to their enemies as a means of chastising them for the evil of their ways.

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice
of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which
I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high
above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come on
thee, and overtake the, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord
thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the
Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes
which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon
thee, and overtake thee…The Lord shall send upon thee cursing,
vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand to do, until thou
be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly, because of the wickedness of
thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken Me…The Lord shall cause thee to
be smitten before thine enemies; thou shalt go out one way against them,
and flee seven ways before them, and shalt be removed into all the
kingdoms of the earth…And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people,
from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there shalt thou
serve other gods, which neither thou nor they fathers have known, even
wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither
shalt the sole of thy feet have rest; but the Lord shall give thee there a
trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.”
(Deuteronomy 28:15,20,25,64-65)

What is called for in the twenty-sixth chapter of Leviticus is a series of chastisements of His covenant people for continued disobedience. The future judgments that were threatened for disobedience would not be in regard to single breaches of the law, but for general contempt for the commandments He gave to them. This paints a very bleak future for Israel, if they should continue in their rebellion to reject the God who had so highly favored their nation. Continued rejection of His ownership over them, in the general life of the nation, would undermine the very foundation or basis of blessing, and would bring to pass all the curses pronounced against the nation. God would visit His disobedient people with all the chastisements that were declared in His covenants with them. This most certainly included that He would drive them out and scattered them among the heathen of the world.

In the coming of His wrath upon them, both they and all nations of the earth would come to understand that it was solely due to the evil they committed that this took place, “for presumptuous and obstinate rebellion…against God and His commandments.” (Keil & Delitzsch, The Pentateuch ) The Lord’s last and most devastating judgment of the series of chastenings of their nation for continued disobedience, after rounds of chastening and restoration of favor, would culminate in the long-term expulsion from off the land that was given to them.

Understand that what has happened to Israel, beginning with the destruction of the northern kingdom, later of the cities of Judah, and then the destruction of the Temple and the sacking and burning of Jerusalem, was not a strange happening, nor a gloomy fate that awaited the people of Israel, but the outpouring of Divine justice upon a greatly blessed yet very disobedient and unthankful nation. As regards nearly all of them, they were a most rebellious people—whose fathers had entered into covenant with Almighty God, claiming Him as their God and their willingness to obey Him, and yet behaved little differently from the heathen nations of the world. God had chosen the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be His people. The Lord had said to Moses:

“And I have also established My covenant with them, to give them
the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were
strangers. And I have also heard the groanings of the children of Israel,
whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered My
covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and
I will bring you out from under the burdens of the burdens of the
Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem
you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments; And I will take
you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a [for] God: and ye shall
know that I am the Lord your God, Who bringeth you out from under
the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land,
concerning which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to
Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord.”
(Exodus 6:4-8)

“And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath
spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto
the Lord.” (Exodus 19:8)

God accepted the people of Israel at their word! They accepted Him as their God and committed to obey Him. However, they repeatedly transgressed the commandments God had given to them, did not render full obedience to the Lord, and went and served other gods.

• God’s judgments against Israel were impartial judgments, and were
administered fairly.

God poured out His fury upon His people, who were not His people, just as He had declared He would do, and in proportion to what they deserved. The punishments suited the crimes that were committed against Him. Learn from this that:

• The greater the blessing, the greater is the accountability.

God brought them out of hard bondage out of the land of Egypt, tolerated all their complaints in the wilderness, was long suffering towards them; and because of His purposes for the nation, He brought them into the land He had promised to give them as their inheritance. He gave them the instructions they needed (the law), in order that they might be a holy people unto Him and continue to enjoy His blessings. Contained within the Palestinian Covenant were the warnings of what would be the consequences of disobedience and of rejecting the Lord being God over them.

Know beyond doubt that God gave to the nation of Israel the land of Canaan for inheritance, that it is still their land, but also that He warned them that if they apostatized they would lose the privilege of living in that land, and that they would eventually be scattered among the nations. He had warned them that if they chose to live in independence of Him, yet expected His blessings, but were unwilling to obey His commands, He would be a terror to them.

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works. The
Lord is near unto all those who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him
in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also
hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserves all those who love
Him, but all the wicked will He destroy.” (Psalms 145: 17-20)

“All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off, but the horns of the
righteous shall be exalted.” (Psalm 75:10)

What was God to do with the chosen nation that He had so greatly blessed, but that continued to rebel against His rule, and even after a series of chastenings and restorations to favor, continued to live wickedly before Him and to reject His rule over them? He would do according as He had declared He would do. He summoned for the destroyer to come into their land and to utterly destroy it, slaughter multitudes of the people, and drive or remove the remnant of them into exile—where for centuries their enemies would seek them out and pursue after them to destroy them. A warning from this to all nations comes in the form of a question.

What do you think the Lord will do with those nations that also continue to defy His laws, profane His name, and fling defiance at Him?

He will utterly destroy them all!

“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish; yea
those nations shall be utterly laid waste.” (Isaiah 60:12)

……to be continued

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