Recently, I listened to few minutes of a conversation between two pro-Israel advocates as they discussed replacement theology, which is actually a misnomer.
At the beginning of the video, the host minister made a statement about the land of Israel. He commented that there are more than a thousand references regarding the land in the Bible and he made this statement to support his position regarding the modern state of Israel.
He actually offered a proof-text, by the volume, without going into any detail about what those scriptures reveal about the land. His loose and vague handling of scripture was used to promote the idea that the land promises given to Israel were “unconditional promises” which still applies to modern day Israel.
We must take the time to learn the Biblical narrative regarding Israel and the land of Israel, and not allow anyone to persuade us with their vague proof-texts which often lead to unscriptural ideas about Israel.
Oftentimes the picture is painted that the blessings of God on other nations depends on their support of the modern state of Israel. Yet, in your Bible, God did not judge nations based on their support of Israel or lack thereof. God judged each nation based on their own sin or righteousness. Of course when Israel was right with God, He defended them against those nations that rose up against them. On the other hand, when Israel was in rebellion against God, He allowed other nations to come against them. Israel’s blessings in the land and God’s blessings other nations, through Israel, was always dependent on their being right with God.
Furthermore, the concept that Israel was only blessed with regards to the land is a very faulty concept. Throughout the Old Testament, the wicked within Israel (not the remnant of righteous Jews) committed all sorts of grievances against God within the land. They committed idolatry by worshipping other gods, they sacrificed their children to idols, they committed all sorts’ sexual sins, and the list goes on. Time and time again, God’s anger and wrath was against Israel within the borders of the land of Israel.
In the book of Ezekiel, God had Ezekiel prophesy to the wicked leaders of Israel and say:“Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you IN THE BORDER OF ISRAEL; and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 11:1-2, 10).
God told them that He would judge them within the borders of Israel. In verses 11-12 we read the following: “This city shall not be your caldron (an iron pot of protection), neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I WILL JUDGE YOU IN THE BORDER OF ISRAEL: And ye shall know that I am the Lord: for ye have NOT WALKED IN MY STATUES neither EXECUTED MY JUDGMENTS, but have done AFTER THE MANNERS OF THE HEATHEN that are round about you.”
All throughout the Old Testament, there was much bloodshed and death in the land of Israel and many times God’s anger and judgment came on the people within the boundaries of Israel. In fact, Israel wasn’t yet even settled in the land, but in the process of possessing it, when God turned against them because of the sin of Achan.
God told Joshua, “Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings. That is why the Israelites are running from their enemies in defeat. For now Israel itself has been set apart FOR DESTRUCTION. I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction” (Joshua 7:11-12).
Notice that within Israel’s borders, God said “Israel has been set apart for destruction and he would not be with them any longer unless they repented.
From the very outset of God’s covenant with Israel, the promise of the land inheritance was always dependent on Israel’s obedience to God’s law. Many scriptures from the Bible could be provided to prove this. Therefore, the land inheritance was never an unconditional promise, but conditional. If it were unconditional, God would have never drove Israel and Judah out of the land into captivity.
Israel’s right to the Land was completely dependent on their obedience to God, otherwise they were not entitled to the land.