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I Will Gather You to the Land

We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and all our soul, and all our might (Deuteronomy 6:5). But the one thing that God is determined to do with all His heart is to bring His people back to the land of Israel.

 

“I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul” (Jeremiah 32:41).[i]

 

You cannot separate the land of Israel from the end-time fulfillment of prophecies. The prophecies are about the land. God’s promise was that the land belonged to Abraham and his descendants forever (Genesis 13:14–15). Later, when God disciplined the Israelites by exiling them to other countries, He promised to return them to the land He had given them.

 

“Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’” (Ezekiel 11:17)

 

Christians say, “Israel blew it. They did not accept the promises. Therefore, the promises belong to Christians.” How can you make this passage in Ezekiel apply to the Church or Christianity? When did God take Christian Gentiles out of their land and scatter them among the nations? Gentiles were the nations. No matter how hard you work at it, you cannot stuff these prophecies into the suitcase of Christianity. They simply will not fit. They only fit Israel.

 

As Christians, we claim the promises in the Word. But we have these promises only by being grafted into the people to whom the promises belong (Romans 9:4, 11:17–18). Do you love the promise that God will replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh and put His Spirit within us? This too was spoken to Israel about returning to the land.

 

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.”’” (Ezekiel 36:22–28)

 

God told Israel, “It is not dependent on anything you do. I will fulfill my promise because I said I will.” Therefore, we lay aside our interpretations and declare, “Lord, let every Word over Israel be fulfilled, not for their sake, and certainly not for our sake, but for Your name’s sake.”

 

For Further Study
 

Read the following prophecies about Israel’s return to the land. These Scriptures show how much Israel’s return is in the plan of God.

 

Deuteronomy 4:30–31
Deuteronomy 7:13
Deuteronomy 30:1–5
2 Samuel 7:10–16
1 Chronicles 17:9
2 Chronicles 33:8
Isaiah 11:12
Isaiah 14:1–2
Isaiah 27:12–13
Isaiah 43:5–6
Isaiah 49:22
Jeremiah 3:18
Jeremiah 7:7
Jeremiah 16:14–15
Jeremiah 23:7–8
Jeremiah 24:6–7
Jeremiah 29:14
Jeremiah 30:2–3
Jeremiah 32:37–41
Ezekiel 20:40–42
Ezekiel 37:21–22
Zechariah 8:7–8

 

[i] All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).