Take Off Rose-Colored Glasses As You Watch The Israel Story
"How the faithful city has become a harlot!"
Most of you know of my love for Israel. I spent years there. But there is a danger I must warn of.
In this generation God has revealed to many that these are "the last days." He has showed us markers, fulfilled prophecies that signal to us that this is the last generation before his coming. Many have been delighted by the ancient prophecies being fulfilled right before our eyes, but that delight has caused some to look at Israel through rose-colored glasses.
Some of the love for Israel is based on an incorrect understanding of the true condition of the state of Israel today. Many overlook the fact that Israel is unregenerate at this point, denying the Messiah who gave his life for them. Most of their great men were totally secular, unaware even of the Word of God which has so much to say about it."
Why is that?
God has brought Israel back to the land of their fathers, and it is important to understand that first of all it is GOD who has brought them back! It is not that they are so great, it is that the God of Israel is so great.
One day I had the opportunity to hear Yitzak Rabin who was the prime minister at the time, speak at a convention I attended in Jerusalem. I was appalled at what I heard. He spoke a very long time on the praises of the Israeli armed forces, bragging how great Israel's army was; not once, not one time - did he make any reference to the God who rebirthed Israel. And this was a religious convention no less! I was appalled. I could hardly believe what I was hearing, because till that point I too was looking at Israel through rose-colored glasses. Rabin's lack of even the remotest mention of the God of Israel really gave me a wake-up call. It was very sobering, and it brought me to an honest assessment of the state of Israel today. Israel today is for the most part, unregenerate, secular, and ungodly. And one important note ...shortly after that day ...Rabin was assassinated.
"I am Yahweh, that is my name;
AND MY GLORY I WILL NOT GIVE TO ANOTHER..."
The passage in Ezekiel 37 that details the rebirth of Israel makes it clear that God deliberately brings them back to the land in a state of unbelief -- LEST Israel think their rebirth was their own doing - LEST Israel take the praise upon themselves for this tremendous miracle. In Ezekiel, the Lord speaks of Israel in the diaspora as being "dry bones." He goes on to say that HE will raise up those dry bones and bring them to the land of Israel, but that there will be "no breath in them" at this stage of the restoration, they have not yet received the Holy Spirit of God.
"So I prophesied as I was commanded;
and as I prophesied, there was a noise,
and suddenly a rattling;
and the bones came together, bone to bone.
Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them,
and the skin covered them over;
BUT THERE WAS NO BREATH IN THEM."
Believers, let us look with hearts of praise at the restoration of Israel as an act of God, one in which he purposefully brings them back in a state of unbelief so that there will never be a question of where the praise is due.
“Therefore say to the Israelites,‘
this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
'It is not for your sake, people of Israel,
that I am going to do these things,
but for the sake of my holy Name,
which you have profaned among the nations
where you have gone.'"
This is in no way a criticism against them; indeed, I probably more than most share that love for Israel and the Jewish people. However I also am very aware of their present state of unbelief and their great pride which the Lord is going to bring down before he reveals himself to them. Let us be very ready to focus on the God of Israel who is doing this great miracle as he said he would in so many passages of Scripture.
Look at Joseph, a "Type":
The story of Joseph in Egypt is a very great "type" of this process of restoration. Joseph's brothers, the sons of Jacob, rejected Joseph, threw him in a pit, left him for dead, then sold him as a slave in a caravan going to Egypt. Years later there was a famine in Israel and the sons of Jacob were forced to go down to Egypt to buy food. What they didn't know though, was that the man in charge of the food supply was none other than Joseph who had risen to prominence and was second in command only to Pharoah. Before Joseph revealed to them who he was, he put them through some rigorous times and brought them to repentance for having rejected him. The passage that shows how Joseph finally revealed himself to them is among the most emotional, heart-rending passages in the entire Bible. Read it in Genesis 45:1-8 to see the "type" of Yeshua (Jesus) revealing himself to his people Israel when he comes. Be sure to bring some tissues as you read it.
So what should be our focus in all of this? First, the focus has to shift from the glory of the Israel story to the glory of the God of the Israel story. We need to take off the rose-colored glasses. And then once we understand the real picture, let us "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6). And pray for the eyes of all Jewish people be opened to the story God himself is unfolding. Pray for their repentance. Pray, pray and pray some more, until this wonderful story comes to its entire fruition.
God's Covenant With Israel