Not long ago Cheryl had to run an errand and asked me to watch the clock and turn off the oven when dinner finished cooking. I remembered for the first half hour, but then got distracted by a blog I was writing. Thankfully, I only burned our dinner. There are other warning signals we cannot afford to ignore like chest pains signaling an imminent heart attack or a smoke detector warning us of fire.
God has likewise given us a warning signal for the end of the world. Keep your eye on Israel and the Bible will show you what God plans to do next. This was true of Christ’s first advent. Those who knew Daniel 9:24-27 could count down the number of days until Jesus rode into Jerusalem presenting Himself as their Messiah. God has not given us the same exactitude by which we can predict His second coming. False prophet, Harold Camping made this mistake when he said the world would end on May 21, 2011, thereby ignoring Jesus’ warning, “Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, but My Father only.” (Matt. 24:36) However, in the same passage, Jesus did tell a parable to help us discern the season of His return. He said, referring to the fig tree (a symbol for Israel), “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that (I am) near, right at the door.” (Matt. 24:32-33)
Israel has always been the clock by which God marks prophetic time. To see that, the next few posts will focus on the miraculous events fulfilled in Israel’s past and present. In this post, I look at 6 prophecies made by Moses at Israel’s very inception as a nation. Please read the full account in Deuteronomy 4:23-31. Prophecy #1: The Jews will break the covenant (4:23-24). When did this first occur? While God was giving Moses the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai! The Jews, with Aaron’s assistance, fashioned and worshiped a golden calf. Judgment fell and the people repented, but not for long. The entire history of Israel until the Babylonian captivity is one of idolatry and immorality.
Prophecy #2: The Jews will be driven from the Land (4:26). This occurred when God sent Assyria to invade Israel in the north (722 B.C.) and Babylon to attack Jerusalem in the south (586 B.C.), due to their rebellion against God. On both occasions the Jews were taken into captivity. Prophecy #3: The Jews will be scattered among the nations (4:27). This was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when Rome’s army marched into Jerusalem, killed a million Jews, burned the Temple to the ground, and sold its survivors as slaves to the nations. That’s where they lived for the next 1800 years – as exiles among the nations. Deuteronomy 29:23 adds a footnote. It says the land will be “brimstone and salt, a burning waste…like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.” The British found this to be true after they drove the Turks out of Palestine in 1917. They found that the Turks had put a tax on trees. How many were left? 15,000 in all of Israel! Their enemies chopped them down to eliminate any hiding places for the Jews.
Prophecy #4: The Jews will be few in number (4:27b). Compare the number of modern Arabs with Jews, and the fulfillment becomes clear. Both groups are the descendants of Abraham – Arabs through Ishmael, Jews through Isaac. So you’d think the numbers would be equivalent. Not so! There are 300 million Arabs in the world today and 15 million Jews. Prophecy #5: The Jews will serve other gods (4:28). Their idolatry continued until the Babylonian captivity after which they never made another idol out of wood or stone. Yet the Bible doesn’t limit idolatry to the worship of graven images. It includes materialism which may be why as many Jews live in New York City as Israel. 80 percent of Jews describe themselves as agnostics who do not believe in the God of the Bible.
Prophecy #6: The Jews will survive persecution (4:29). In one of her more reflective moments, Queen Victoria asked her Jewish prime minister. “Can you give me one verse from the Bible to prove it’s true?” He replied, “Your majesty, I can give you one word – the Jews!” He was right! The survival of the Jews is one of the strongest proofs of the existence of God. What other race has been driven from their land and scattered among the nations not only to survive persecution, but to return to their ancient homeland? Every Jew on earth today is a living testimony to the truth of the Bible and the faithfulness of God.
Watch the new video below – “Israel’s Modern History.” Next time I will correct a growing heresy in my post – “Has the Church Replaced Israel?”