Where Is The Israel Story Now - And Where Is It Going?
"But if you do not obey me,
and do not observe all these commandments,
and if you despise my statutes,
or if your soul abhors my judgments,
so that you do not perform all my commandments,
but break my covenant,
I also will do this to you...
I will even appoint TERROR over you..."
In this chapter in Leviticus, God spells out the terms of the covenant. He lays down promises which, if they remain faithful to him, will bless them greatly; he also tells what will happen if they do not remain faithful to him.
First, note the prophecy God is giving here. Leviticus was written by Moses long before any judgment fell on Israel. In Moses's day there was no Temple, it would only be built generations later by King Solomon. Therefore, looking back, this is an example of fulfilled prophecy, validating the Word of God written by his servant Moses, but fulfilled much later.
Centuries later, the Israelites surely were taken into captivity - twice - and Scripture reveals that there would be only two captivities. The first time they were taken captive to Babylon for 70 years, then they were restored to their land and the fallen Temple rebuilt. The second time they were taken captive by Rome, and they were dispersed throughout the entire world for more than 2,000 years. Only in our generation have they been brought back and restored to the land of their fathers. Israel was proclaimed a nation on May 14, 1948.
But in this restoration, they have come back in unbelief, as foretold by the prophet Ezekiel. Even the "believing" Jews in Israel put their faith in the writings of men, as recorded in their "Talmud," rather than in the Word of God. For the most part, the Jews in Israel are secular. The prophecy of their restoration is speaking to our days when it says, "I will even appoint TERROR over you..." and that's exactly what has been happening in our generation, right before our eyes.
But the coming events will bring the heart of Israel back to their God.
vs 40, 41, 42:
"But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers,
with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to me...
...if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled,
and they accept their GUILT,
then I will remember my covenant with Jacob,
and my covenant with Isaac,
and my covenant with Abraham I will remember;
I will remember the land."
During the horrific judgments that will come upon Israel and the whole world during the upcoming "Great Tribulation," Israel will be humbled - not by man, but by God himself. The judgments will be so great that they will finally realize that without God they are doomed.
The whole point of the Great Tribulation will be to bring Israel to her knees utterly broken, and in their great affliction they will "acknowledge their offense" and earnestly seek him. And when they do, their long-awaited Messiah will come to them. But first, they have to get to where they "acknowledge their offense."
"I will return again to my place
till they acknowledge their offense.
Then they will seek my face.
In their affliction they will earnestly seek me.”
When God says "I will return again to my place," that suggests that he was here but went back to his place, and that points to Jesus Christ who was among them, but who was rejected by them - and truly he has returned to his place where he sits as Majesty on high, waiting to return to Israel when Israel comes to repentance. When they are totally broken and humbled, Israel will cry out for him - and then he will come into their great trouble and reveal himself to them. And then they will receive the great shock:
"And one will say to him,
‘WHAT ARE THESE WOUNDS IN YOUR HANDS?’
Then he will answer, ‘Those with which
I was wounded in the house of my friends.’"
And they will go into deep and grievous mourning when they realize that the Messiah - is the One they rejected:
"...then they will look on me whom they pierced.
Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son,
and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem..."
The Messiah will finally pardon them, cleanse them, and he will fully restore them. He will set up his Kingdom on earth ruling and reigning from Jerusalem. There will be no more terror, no more judgment:
"They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore."
This is where the story reaches the victory, but there is much yet to happen before they get there.
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
May they prosper who love you."
God's Covenant With Israel