18. Who does the land of Israel really belong to?
As I attempt to answer this question, I’m not going to allow emotions, nor am I going to allow the fact that I come from a Jewish background, influence my answer. To do so wouldn’t be right. I’m simply going to look to the Bible. Then, those of us who love the Word of God shouldn’t have a problem with the answer.
FIRST: It’s important to know that the land of Israel belongs to God.
Lev. 25:23 ‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are aliens and sojourners with Me.
The first fact we need to establish is: God owns the land and because of that, He can do whatever He wants to with it. If He wanted to keep it for Himself, He would have been totally justified. If He chooses to give it away, He can also do that.
SECOND: God did chose to give it away and He tells us who He gave it to.
Gen. 12:7 – And the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”
From this verse, we can clearly see that God is giving the land to the descendants of Abram (later to be named Abraham), see Gen. 17:7-8. The question then needs to be asked, “Which descendants of Abraham?” There were several options. Scripture gives the answer.
THIRD: The land was given to Abraham and passed down through Isaac.
Gen. 26:3 – (God talking to Isaac) – “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham.
One is not being unkind to Ishmael, or our Arab friends by this. We just want to
know what the Bible says. Abraham suggested Ishmael as the descendant to receive the land, but God said no.
Gen. 17:18-19 – And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!” But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
FOURTH: After Isaac we see that the land is passed down to Jacob, not Esau.
Gen. 28:3-4 – (Isaac talking to Jacob) – “And may God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you; that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”
Gen. 28:13-15 – (God talking to Jacob) – And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. “Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. “And behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
FIFTH: God’s promise of the land to Israel still holds true. It belongs to Israel because it was given to them by God. One day they will possess all of it and will dwell there in true peace.
Jer. 30:3 – ‘For, behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.’ The Lord says, ‘I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers, and they shall possess it.’ “
Jer. 30:10 – ‘And fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘And do not be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your offspring from the land of their captivity. And Jacob shall return, and shall be quiet and at ease, And no one shall make him afraid.
We ought to be thankful that God holds true to the promises He made to Israel. Remember, He also made some promises to the Church.