All Eyes on Israel
Chapter 2 - Is Modern Israel the Israel of Promise?
Page 1 - Abraham in the Old Testament
(Go Back to Chapter 1 -
The Meaning of Israel)
In Chapter 2, starting with Abraham in the Old Testament, we will trace the history of Israel from its first mention to modern times. In Chapter 1, we uncovered the deeper meaning and spiritual significance of the name Israel; now we want to proceed to determine who that name applies to today.
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Gal 3:16)
Many people, who do not understand the origin and significance of the term "Israel," believe that it is being a literal descendent of Abraham the prophet that is important. Thus, they are watching the nation of Israel and the religious system of the Jews in expectation of what they believe is going to happen with them in fulfilment of their understanding of Bible prophecy. Wikipedia makes this distinction:
"The relationship between the ancient nations of Israel and Judah (sometimes collectively referred to as Israel or the Jewish people) and the church as the people of God is the key discriminator between Dispensationalism and other views."
"The key discriminator" - in other words, what you believe about the relationship between Israel and the Christian church determines much of your theology at least in terms of end-time events. So, in the minds of many people, the nation of Israel is the place to watch. The question is: are they looking in the right place, at the right nation or group of people? We have already, in
gone right back to Abraham in the Old Testament and traced the beginnings of Israel and the meaning of that name. We have seen that it is the personal choice to be a follower of Christ that qualifies a person to be counted among the seed of Abraham; as part of spiritual Israel. And before Jesus' first coming, they looked forward in faith to the coming Messiah. God's true people were more aware that He was to come than we usually understand:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad." (John 8:56)
In this chapter, we will focus not so much on the individuals involved as on nationality and the beginnings and history of the nation of Israel and follow them through history even to the Jews of today to see if they, as a nation, qualify as the true Israel in God's eyes. We want to know if the nation of Israel today corresponds to the original Israel.