ISRAEL IN THE PURPOSE OF GOD:
In this prophecy God says that Israel would live in a foreign land before returning to Canaan. This prophecy concerns the time that Joseph was in Egypt, holding the position equivalent to prime minister.
“afflict them” The Jews have been afflicted whenever they have lived in foreign lands.
Have you ever thought about the Jews? They are an ancient people, who have lost their country and their nationhood 2,000 years ago, and yet have survived.
Numerous attempts have been made to exterminate them, from the Catholic Church at the time of the Crusades (1,000 AD) to the latest attempt – by Adolf Hitler.
But the Jew has stood at the graves of all his enemies. This is all because of the ancient promise to Abraham. Genesis 12:3 Notice the blessing for those who bless, and the curse on those who curse Abraham and his descendants.
The Holocaust produced an international conscience and, as a result, the United Nations voted to provide a homeland for the Jews (November 1947). The State of Israel began May 1948.
The return to the land
- They will return to the “land of their fathers” (v3)
- Return from being “in captivity”
- They will be “saved” as a people
- God will make a “full end of other nations”
- They will be corrected and punished
- Finally, God will be their God (v22)
- “In the latter days you will consider it” (v23)
- They will be regathered World War 1
- They will be made a nation World War 2
- They will have a king – Christ World War 3
God’s intention with Israel is still relevant in New Testament times (Acts 3:25, 26). The birth of Jesus Christ was related to the promises to Abraham (Luke 1:54,55).
Jesus said to his disciples “you will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28). This shows that the nation of Israel has a future destiny. Despite the wickedness of some Israelites, the promises remain secure and will include non-Jews who accept the truth of God (Luke 13:28, 29).
ISRAEL – CONSTITUTED THE KINGDOM OF GOD
How did their national destiny begin?
- Israel lived in Egypt as tribal groups, segregated from the people of Egypt.
- A new Pharoah began to oppress Israel, using them as slave labour.
- Moses became the leader who led over 2 million people out of Egypt to freedom.
- After some weeks, they arrived at Mt Sinai on the Sinai Peninsula. (Exodus 19)
Israel was constituted a nation at Sinai – Here, God gave His people a constitution, a law, worship, and a destiny, ordering their daily life. At Sinai, they truly became a nation.
“I brought you unto myself” – God had a special relationship and purpose with Israel. He was now going to organise them.
“if you will obey my voice” & “peculiar treasure” – special treasure. They would have pre-eminence in God’s purpose to bring all people back to God’s way.
“all the earth is mine” – how often we forget that God is creator and sustainer of life. God is the landowner, and He will require an account from us.
“kingdom of priests” priest – mediator between God and man. They were to minister to the rest of the world about God.
“holy nation” “holy” means separate. They were separated from the world to God.
The law taught social responsibility
Providing for the poor & unemployed
Special care for widows and fatherless
Holidays – one day a week
Annual holidays – 3 separate weeks a year! (3 feasts)
The poor had loans interest free
Financial aid and debt release
Ownership retained within families – borrowing against land limited – 50 year release
Seventh year – land fallowed
Fallowing the ground
Infectious diseases – eg leprosy
Any bodily discharge, eg diarrhoea, haemorrhage; washing of clothes and body and isolation of patient.
Leviticus ch 13, 14
|Repentance and forgiveness
Sacrificial offerings for sins – mental health
Hatred and the revengeful spirit was legislated against
Sexual purity required
Restitution for property damage and theft
The purpose of the Law:
- To give them an ordered life Deuteronomy 6:1-3; Romans 7:12
- To discipline the nation, and limit sin Galatians 3:19
- To prepare them for Christ Galatians 3:24
Next Lesson: The Promise to King David – God promised David a Royal Son to rule for ever.