Wednesday December 12th: 4 Tevet
In 1951, Israel Zangwill, wrote about the emergence of the state of Israel, which had occurred in 1948. He said:
“The land without a people waited for the people without a land.”
It’s very simple, profound and thought-provoking. In just a few words he said a lot.
There were people who had populated the land that would be called Israel for centuries prior to the formation of the state of Israel, and those people and their descendants would lay claim to that land. However, Scripture makes it clear that the land of Israel is a covenant land and therefore, is solely for the use of a covenant people. The land functions properly only when those covenant people are present. Their obedience causes the land to flourish and produce abundantly and, likewise, their disobedience causes the land to dry up.
When Israel did become a nation again, due to a great effort and a lot of hard work, land that had become a desert was transformed into a lush, green country that currently provides produce for itself and many other countries. That effort and hard work has been rewarded abundantly. Over the last 60-70 years, the land of Israel has become what was promised to the children of Israel – a land flowing with milk and honey.
However, might it be that the land still yearns for its people? More to the point: not all of the sons and daughters of the covenant are present in the land? There are still more to come. And according to Scripture, when that occurs, the land will burst forth with even more abondance:
“The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So, they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.” (Ezekiel 36:34-36)
It is true that to some degree this is already taking place, but the Ezekiel 36 makes it very clear that what was spoken of will occur when all of Israel’s sons and daughters have returned. Eventually, there are going to be many more people going to the land. Perhaps then it will once again be said that, “The land without a people waited for a people without a land.”
Now consider that statement in this light. Many believers in this country and around the world are beginning to feel alienated from the nation in which they were born and raised. Society and, in some cases, government turns increasingly antagonistic toward believers leaving many followers of the Messiah feeling like people without a country. If this trend continues and nations continue turning against Israel and against those who join themselves to the God of Israel, where will these people feel at home? Perhaps this is part of the process whereby all of God’s people – Jew and non-Jew – find themselves identifying with the land of Israel. Perhaps once again, the land is waiting for a people and those people are being prepared for that land.
While you’re considering that, ponder upon this as well. The Messiah isn’t coming to rule and reign from Washington or any other notable city among the nations: He will return and rule from Jerusalem in Israel. So, if we’re feeling uncomfortable, restless and concerned about all the things going on in your country, maybe it’s because the Creator is getting His people prepared for something, He prophesied of a long time ago.