Blogtext: "Oh Land, Land, Land hear the word of the Lord."

As most people in the world know the international focus is on the tiny bit of Earth between Syria in the North and Egypt in the South, the Mediterranean in the west and the Transjordanian land to the East. Depending on what your political leanings are you know it as Palestine or Israel. The conflicts within this area of land involve a large part of the nations of the world, and the decisive events of the future will also all happen in this region.

It is not just any piece of land, and it belongs to none of the people who claim it for themselves. I repeat: it belongs to neither the jews or the palestinians.

In the flow of debate about it you will find that claims to the land are made on the basis of one or the other arbitrarily selected starting points in history. 'Israel should go back to the pre 1967 borders', 'Israel should go back to what it was in 1948', or 'back to before the  seemingly misguided events defined in the Balfour declaration ratified by the Nations United in 1917 or the wording of 1926', etc etc. (1)

Pushing the issues further back in time you come to the facts that until the Ottoman empire saw the light of day in the middle East there were hardly any arabs or muslims in the entire area, nor were there many jews since they had been assimilated and spread across the empire of Rome from the year 70 Ad forward. Whereas the islamic nations in modern times claim to have Jerusalem as a holy city their claims are unfounded to say the least, and they only became a factor in the events of the land after the islamic emergence in about 670 AD and onwards.(2)

Why not start at the beginning?

It is obviously not up to us to decide on a starting point where-ever it pleases us. A matter is determined by its beginnings, just as a problem to be solved starts with a set of premises that must be the foundation of the handling of the problem. To ignore any elements means that the equation can never be solved, simply because the missing information makes what is left misleading. Nobody makes an apple pie without the apples. It simply is not apple pie. The biblical history is sufficiently accurate about virtually everything that has been studied to be relied on for finding out what those beginnings are. Let me summarize and recap:

The actual land in case was in the earliest known times populated by a loose alliance of various tribes all more or less interdependent but also all with their own characteristics and names and to some extent known history. The land was called Canaan and was dominated religiously by the worship of Canaanite deities. It is again to be noted that there has never been any atheistic culture on the earth until our present age when many are rallying to be the first of that designation. Their gods may have been savage and bloodthirsty, but gods they were.

Of the Canaanite tribes we know a lot from the bible. They are often collectively given one name for all of them, such as the name 'Amorites', seemingly one of the larger units. What we also know about them is that their moral timbre was of a considerably low standard. In fact, they had accumulated enough 'bad grades' in the eyes of God to be in his  black book. And it was on account of their seeming lack of will to do anything about that that God, the creator of the whole world, the rightful owner of it all, and the decider as to how we should live as His guests, decided to give His possession to the man Abram and his offspring.
("Out of Ur in the Chaldees).. God called Abram and said: go to the land that I will show you. There you shall become a great people, I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless them that bless you and curse them who curse you. In you all the families of the world shall be blessed." Gen 12:1-3
Was the land empty? No not at all. The history of Israel as a nation has its start in the eventual eviction of the canaanite peoples that lived there at the time of their exodus from Chaldea. At this point some will say: how wicked of God!
That is unfair! God did not respect the people's right to their land! God ignored international law! By the standards of today's debate at any rate.

Is that true? That depends on your view of God.

Listen to words from the begining:  "Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety...The land must not be sold permanently, because the Land is Mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers."

Consider that the original task that God had given mankind was to 'till the soil', to multiply, to fill the earth, to live off the land and what it produced, mankind is never the owner but the caretaker of someone else's belonging. The red line of stewardship runs right through the scriptures. God asked then:"Have you not eaten that which was forbidden?"  It is the owner who decides the freedoms of the tenant.

Listen again: "We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as well as all our ancestors. Our days on earth  are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our god, all this abundance that we have provided for the building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you... Lord, the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in all your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you."

The peoples spread across the earth after the end of the flood. The canaanite tribes settled in the land of Israel. It was never the land of the philistines, the origin of the word palestine. The gradual effects of the purging flood died out from the decendants of Shem Ham and Japhet and the sins of the people from before the flood judgements soon increased among the descendants of Noah. History repeats itself. Sin is never eradicated until the dawn of that spiritual rebirth of which the Covenant of God speaks after the end of the time of the former covenant. Sin is not cured by law, but by grace.

So the family of Abraham settled among the Canaanites for a time. They bought land for their burials and lived off the land that was unchallenged. At peace with the Canaanites, but never assimilated in among them. Occasional wars between the tribes and surrounding nations from north east and south occurred and of course had impact on the fledgeling people. But the day came when they were sent away. Not the last time either.  They were told that they should spend at least 4 generations in a far off land, in Egypt. And the reason? "As yet the Amorites (canaanites) have not filled their measure of sin."  (Gen 15:16)

In short: mankind's right to live in any land is determined by how they live in it.  God speaks in the law to Israel and says in absolute clear language: "If you behave in my land as those nations lived before you, the very ones I drove out from before you, you shall likewise be driven out."

We could list page up and page down from the Law and the prophets to show the truth of this.

"Therefore ye shall keep my ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were comitted before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein."(Lev 18:28) You shall therefore keep all my statutes and commandments and do them, that the land to which I bring you to dwell in spew you not out!" (Lev 20:22)

The right of any nation to occupy any part of the earth is closely related to how they live according to the statutes of the one and only rightful owner.

The Canaanites were given grace and time enough to repent and return from their evil ways. They were given 400 years to do so. That is an awsome time given for repentance. "What can be known of Gods being and eternal character is revealed in creation. Therefore they were without excuse." They did not have the law. But the laws of righteousness are nontheless sufficiently known that they are held morally responsible. And what was true for the Amorites is true for Israel. God is not a respecter of persons, he chastises more those upon whom he showers his favor. The captivity for 70 years was 'payment' for the sins of Israel. Daniel knows it, Jeremiah knows it. The jews know it.

So now: to whom does any land on earth belong? Not to USA, UK, EU or Arabs or Jews or Swedes or Finns. The land is and was and ever will be God's own belonging. And those who live must take care to live along the protective guidelines of Gods moral prescription in order to stay alive in the land.

Israel, Israel..Dispersed, despised, derogated, defamed and all but devastated in the whole world, has paid roundly for her sins. God has stricken and he has healed. God has kept His promise to Abraham and to Melech David. He gathers  Israel as a shepherd herds his sheep back to the pasture called the land of Israel. Not because Israel is in itself better than the other nations in moral timbre or in sinless perfection. God brings them together in the land that he promised and the whole world is watching and most of it is practicing hatred against that."Why does HaShem love Israel? Is it because they are greater than other nations? No he loves them, because he loves them and has promised their father's something." (Deut 7:1-8)

The hatred of the jews is mostly found among those who also hate the God of the Bible. And those who claim to believe in God but eliminate the restoration of Israel from the purpose and plan of God, do not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and the one God and Father of the Messiah.

It is in order to bring the chosen people to the chosen land for the Chosen One to be seen by them that they are called together from all the nations among which they have been dispersed. It is to heal them that God has brought them to the clinic of the land. Not because they are already whole and healed.

What rights do they have to be there? Only one right: It is God's choice for them to live in the land where they have their roots and their hearts. Does this now mean that we should uncritically accept all that the nation does in it's self defense against those who would kill both them and all who support them? No.

God does not look through his fingers at anybody's unrighteousness.  And certainly neither party in the conflict is whithout sin.  "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." All..

Even if the churches in the world deny Israel their right to the land, even if all the UN member states deny their right, even if 1.6 billion arabs would rather see them exterminated, none of that has the slighest bearing on their right. It is determined by God the Almighty, and will be brought to its prophesied end.

Now if you don't believe a word of the Bible, you will obviously neither give the slightest reflection to what I have said. So be it. But if you do not understand the elements of the problem, neither will your input make the slightest contribution to a solution.

The only solution to the sinner's problems is in repentance and contrition and a plea for mercy. Before God takes all the world to the judgment throne. Jew, christian, moslem and atheist alike.

History is not frequently understood in the terms of Leviticus 18. And yet there is the archeological evidence of culture after culture; of that which has been, and  come and gone. These ruins are nothing less than the remains after the very land has spewed them all out. USA may well be the next ruined empire, it might be Europe, in the end all nations will. But out of all nations, tongues and tribes a remnant will be there before the throne of God when He has made a new heaven and a new earth.

The people of Israel are crucial in that scenario. So is the land. The land promised by God to father Abraham. The Father of all who live by faith in the promises of God.

Teddy Donobauer, Doncaster


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