Oct2SunOctober 2, 2016
As we conclude the Year of Jubilee, the year following seven Sabbaths of years, we embark upon another celebration of fifty years since the Six-Day War when Israel miraculously defeated three of its neighboring states: Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in a six-day war from June 5-10, 1967. What should have been a total wipe out of Israel actually demonstrated God’s power in Israel’s right to exist as a nation. It was called the Six-Day War because one, it lasted only six days, but two (most important), it referenced the six days of creation as recorded in the book of Genesis.
Many people, Christians included, differ in opinion as to who has the right to the land of Israel (aka Palestine, renamed by the Romans), the Jews or the Palestinians? Biblically, that land belongs to the Children of Israel. It is the land flowing with milk and honey that was promised to Abraham and his seed according to Genesis 12:1-7. Yet who are the Palestinians? That land which was promised to Abraham and his descendants already had occupants there. So apparently they, the occupants, were there illegally or were going to be evicted or dispossessed from the land because the True Owner, Jehovah El Shaddai, made a covenant promise to give it to Abraham and his seed.
The KJV mentions Palestine once in the Word of God in Joel 3:4. It comes from the Hebrew word “pelesheth” and means, rolling, that is, migratory; Pelesheth, a region of Syria. Another word that is derived from pelesheth is Philistines – an arch rival of the Children of Israel. Philistines (Hebrew word Pelishtiy, a Pelishtite) are inhabitants of or inhabitant of Pelesheth. The Philistines were a constant nuisance or thorn to the Children of Israel. Goliath was a Philistine. Nowhere in scripture is there a covenant promise from God to give that land to the Philistines, that land belongs to Israel and deserves to be called Israel because of the promise.
The very heart of the land of Israel is Jerusalem – the City of God (also known as Zion), and the heart of Jerusalem is the Temple – the place of worship. The temple has been cut off for now. One day God will re-establish Jerusalem as the City and Center of worship for all nations. For now it’s as Jesus said, “…the hour cometh, and now is…when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” We don’t have to travel to Jerusalem to worship and have a true relationship with the Father and Jesus. The Gospel is the connector; the Holy Ghost is the life giver.
That being said, we have another Jubilee to celebrate concerning the great victory of 1967. Israel’s history is rich not only biblically (most important), but in our day as well. The celebrated Feast and Holy Days can benefit us as well. While we are not commanded as Gentiles to observe them, we can definitely benefit in celebrating them. Rosh Hashanah (Oct 3-4) begins the new year and the ten days of Awe culminating with Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement (Oct 12), and the last of the three major Feasts, The Feast of Tabernacles (Oct 17-18).
Jesus did say, “salvation is of the Jews (Jn 4:22)”, indicating it began with them but is for the entire world. (To be continued…)