When the LORD Turns Israel’s Captivity #2

Saturday, April 18, 2015

“That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee” (Deuteronomy 30:3 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, Moses prophesies Israel’s glorious future restoration!

God, some 4,000 years ago, deeded much of “the Middle East” to Abram and his descendants: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18). Concerning his son Isaac’s birth, God told Abraham (notice his new name): “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:8). So why does Israel today not have all of that land, from Egypt to the Euphrates (central Iraq)? Why does Israel currently have a sliver along the eastern Mediterranean Sea?

Firstly, 500 years after Abraham, God warned Israel through Moses: after four rounds of persistent wickedness (mainly idolatry) and four sequences of divine judgment, the fifth course of chastisement would be deportation out of the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 28:62-68; cf. Leviticus 26:27-46). Israel would live amongst the Gentiles, hear foreign languages, be surrounded by heathen customs (which they had already largely embraced anyway), and serve cruel heathen governments. Many centuries after Moses, idolatrous Israel came under Assyrian, Babylonian, Median-Persian, Greek, and Roman powers. Even today, Gentiles (especially the Palestinians and Arabs, and their sympathizers) still harass Israel.

Secondly, when Messiah Jesus came to Israel “to confirm [or fulfill] the promises made unto the fathers” (Romans 15:8), they wanted God’s physical blessings and deliverance from Rome—they did not want God to deal with their sin problem (Mosaic-Law breaking). National Israel refused King Jesus, demanding His crucifixion, thus delaying their earthly kingdom that would have fulfilled God’s covenant with Abraham.

Thirdly, with unbelieving Israel scattered amongst the nations, God has momentarily paused her program. Through Paul’s ministry and epistles, we learn of the dispensational change—God is forming the Church the Body of Christ today. When our program ends, and Israel’s program continues, God will rescue Israel from her satanic and Gentile captivity….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus weep when Lazarus died?