Derek Prince - God's Plan For The Land Of Israel
This is an excerpt from: Why Israel?
Now I want to come to possibly the most controversial topic in contemporary politics which is God's plan for the land of Israel, mistakenly called Palestine. Let me point out to you that is totally contrary to Biblical truth to call it Palestine. Palestine means the Land of the Philistines. And it was never used until the Romans had conquered and destroyed the first temple. Then they used the name Palestine to assert that the Jews no longer had any claim to it. I mean it was a deliberately chosen anti-Semitic word. Ruth's hair begins to turn up on end when I begin to talk about Palestine. She says, "Never call it Palestine". Well I say sometimes you have to say Palestine because people are so ignorant they don't know what you're talking about if you don't say anything else. God forgive their ignorance. But let's talk about God's plan for that land. Biblically it was called the Land of Canaan and in the New Testament you know what it's called? The Land of Israel.
In the first two chapters of Matthew it's twice called the Land of Israel. That's the biblical name for that land. Now let's see what God had to say about it. In Genesis 17:7-8 God appeared to Abraham and He made a covenant with him, totally sovereign. I mean Abraham had nothing to do with it. God just decided and this is what God said to Abraham in Genesis 17:7-8. "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God of you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God".
So there's no dispute as about to whom the land belongs if you believe the Bible whether Israel are in it or outside of it. It makes no difference. God has given it to them as an everlasting possession. And then there's a remarkable passage in Psalm 105, one of the most remarkable passages, I think, in the Bible. Psalm 105, we'll begin verse 7. It's interesting in my Bible because I get to the bottom of the page and then I have to turn over to find out what the next verse says and it's a remarkable turning point. This is a statement about God's plan for a land and in it are used more words describing God's total commitment than any other passage in the Bible I know of. Psalm 105 verse 7. He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth.
In other words what God decrees applies in every part of the earth. He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel for an everlasting covenant, In those four verses God uses more words to describe His total commitment to something than anywhere else in the Bible. You cannot find another passage in the Bible. Let me just list the words, covenant, word, command, oath, statute, and everlasting covenant. Now the interesting thing is, to what is God making such a total authoritative unreserved commitment and I have to turn the page in my Bible because I got to the bottom of the page. And my breath is taken away when I discover what it is. Saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance," So all those words, covenant, word, command, oath, statute, and everlasting covenant are all applied to God's giving all the land of Canaan to the descendants of Israel.
Well, anybody who goes against that is going against God. Then in Jeremiah chapter 30 we have the prediction, one out of countless passages predicting the return of the Jewish people to their inheritance in the last days. Jeremiah chapter 30 beginning at verse 3. 'For behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,' says the Lord. "And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it". I think anybody with a moderate knowledge of the Bible knows what is the land that God gave to Abraham and his descendants. The land of Canaan, the land of Israel and the land we call today the Holy Land. God says, "When the time comes I'll bring back the descendants of Israel and Judah from their captivity, to the land that I gave to their fathers". And then God gives a warning...
You see, I have a friend, I haven't known him for quite a while, but he's a British preacher and somebody asked him once, "Do you think the return of the Jews to that land is a work of God"? God bless him, he said, "If it were a work of God there would be peace". He didn't know his Bible. Now this is what God says about the return of the Jews to that land. For thus says the Lord: "We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale?' That's a description of tremendous terror, oppression, opposition. "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob's trouble. But he shall be saved out of it".
So the return of the Jewish people to the land is not immediately going to produce peace. On the contrary it's going to climax in a time of trouble such as they've never experienced before. But the promise is they shall be saved out of it. Not from it, but out of it. And then if you look to the last words of Jeremiah chapter 30, it's a kind of little summary, it says. In the latter days you will consider it. So this is a prediction concerning the restoration of the Jewish people to their own land in the latter days. And the prediction says, "There will not immediately be peace". On the contrary the conflict will heat up and it is heating up and it will heat up.