"Behold, the days are coming, says Jehovah, that I will establish the good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, I will cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up to David; and He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land." (Jer33:14-15)
God gave the covenant to Abraham over 4000 years ago. Moses led Israel out of Egypt, and Joshua led in the conquest of the land 3400 years ago. David established Jerusalem as Israel's capitol 3000 years ago. After exile to Babylon, and then return again, Jesus came to die on the cross. After Jesus ascended back to Heaven, Israel (Judea) was again dispersed by the Romans 2000 years ago. After millenia of dispersion for their sins, at the proclamation of the British and the UN, Israel again became a nation in 1948. Unlike during Roman occupation where the Caesars and Herods ruled, today Israel has its own government and military. It is a bonafide independent "nation", with borders.
And yet Britain, the same nation that led to its present-day establishment, today targets Israelis for "war crimes". Across the entire western world there is growing anti-semitism. Some display signs: Jews "back to the ovens!" And... has anybody counted the UN resolutions condemning Israel for this, that and the other thing. And today, those immediately adjacent wish to push Israel into the sea, and 'erase' her as a nation.
But what about that which claims to be God's entity? That which claims to not have denied Jesus Christ, not even calling Him "this man" as Judaism does? That which calls itself "christian", the "church" of Jesus Christ. Surely the -church- accepts Israel!? The church "loves the brethren"? (1Jn3:14)
One of the most telling ways to understand the existence of nations is in how maps are compiled. If a person can have access to maps from various periods in history, it gives a visual perspective of the rise and fall of nations and empires; the rise and fall of rulers; the migrations of ethnicities. And of course, if a 'student' comes along and researches maps that the learned 'experts' have compiled, the student assumes the map proclaims -truth- regarding that period of history, and the national boundaries as displayed by the map. After all: the 'experts' researched and compiled the maps. The experts -know-; the student doesn't; which is why the student is looking at the map.
Forget all the rhetoric by the Islamic Arab nations about pushing Israel into the sea, or the antisemitic slogans, "Jews, Back to the ovens!" What is that other slogan that those, like Iran's Ahmadinejad, have spoken over and over? "Wipe Israel OFF THE MAP!"
Illustrating their hearts' desire, Islam has already done that. Their maps have no label for "Israel". When Arabs teach their children in school, Israel DOES NOT EXIST.
But again, the question: What about that which calls itself the "church"? That which claims to be "christian"? What about the experts who publish printed Bibles and include -maps- next to the back covers? Those from the learned 'christian' seminaries, the scholars who are teaching the young to grow up into the ministry to teach others?
I have a collection of maps from all kinds of sources, that I have been working with, to make a single collection for my Online Bible configuration. This is a collection of nearly 140 graphic files: maps of ancient civilizations, the near east, Roman empire, and many different configurations of the land where Israel has resided, and resides today, during the various periods in their history. Some of the maps are good; others I could probably just as well do without; but they're there, so I keep them... just... because.
Out of those nearly 140 maps, guess how many have labelled Israel as "Israel". Give up? Would you imagine Maybe 30? Maybe 20? Think now! There's a lot of maps there. Some of the maps come from Online Bible, some from biblical sources on the internet, and others I scanned from Bibles, to fill the gaps of what those other sources were lacking. Bibles like Scofield, NASB, Thompson Chain, NKJV. How many label Israel as "Israel"? Only.... ready for this....?
Out of nearly 140 maps, coming from so-called "christian" sources, only -ONE- labels Israel as "Israel". And furthermore, guess what! That one map is from a NON-CHRISTIAN (secular) source. In other words -ALL- the so-called "christian" sources, some claiming to be Bible "societies", others in many circles are highly respected study Bibles: label Israel as something else. How are they labelled? A couple of examples should suffice...
JESUS' MINISTRY IN PALESTINE:
Jesus said, "I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Mt8:10) To be "in" is a -place-. Jesus was "in" a place called Israel.
"Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea" (Jn3:22) If people wish to claim that "Israel" was not the right label during the Roman occupation, certainly "Judea" was. That's where the label "Jew" came from. The -people- "Jews" in the -land- of "Judea". Not Palestine.
PALESTINE IN OT TIMES:
For this there isn't even a logical explanation, because the term "palestina" (a Roman Latin term) did not yet exist, the Roman empire not yet existing, with its predominant language, Latin.
For "OT TIMES" this label is perhaps more accurate, because that region was "Canaanite" originally. (Ge10:19) And then God covenanted it to Abraham and his seed. (Gen12) But did not fulfill the promise until Israel came out of Egypt, because "the iniquity of the Amorites [was] not yet complete" (Gen15:16) But even so, the maps that portray Israel after David's full conquest of the region, where the nation is firmly established under Solomon (1Ki4:24-25), have them living "in Canaan"
When God set the "boundaries" of the nations (Ac17:26), He also established Israel...
So... why do the "christian" scholars refuse to acknowledge this? Perhaps, in denying the "pupil of [God's] eye" (Zec2:8), these "christians" are proving that they are not really Biblical Christians after all?
In despising Israel, by not correctly labelling the maps they compile, are they proclaiming that they are not really of the "faith of Abraham" (Ro4:16)? By the same token, with this understanding, should a person who purchases a "study" Bible, with explanatory notes, be wary of those notes? If they are denying God by denying Israel through their maps, what else of God do they deny in those notes?
And to take this reasoning one step further: If they are compiling a Bible, which purports to be their own unique 'translation' into English, and they deny God, through Israel, through their maps... HOW FAITHFUL is the text of that translation? Do they acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming through the "seed" of the woman (Gen3:15) and Abraham's "seed" (Gen22:18) Or do they generalize with words like "offspring" and "descendants"? And many other such things....
Israelis live in their own country: Israel. That is the name of their nation. Their capitol is Jerusalem, as established by David, and confirmed by Solomon's reign.
But indeed, Israel is "occupied territory". It is continually occupied by Israel's enemies who wish to eliminate them. And it is also prophesied that Jerusalem will also be "tread...underfoot for 42 months" (Re11:2) That will be a temporary 'occupation' until Messiah returns to "fight against those nations, like the day He fought in the day of battle" and His feet "stand in that day on the Mount of Olives" (Zec14:3,4)
The land of Israel, during their past 2000 years of Diaspora, has never had a 'nation' with borders calling it 'home' residing on the land. It has been a land of bedoins, desert plants and barrenness. Various nations have tried to claim it as their 'territory', and have fought over it. But nobody during all those years sought to organize a 'nation' there. Not... that is... until Israel -returned-. They returned by world-mandate. The world, through Britain and the UN, said that that region should be Israel. Now that it -is- Israel again, the world that made it so does not wish it were so.
You see... it is the age-old conflict, which began in the Garden of Eden between the serpent and Eve. The "serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads the whole world astray" (Re12:9) If "salvation is of the Jews (Israel)"(Jn4:22), those who follow satan don't want Israel to exist, because Israel is a symbol of God's grace and salvation; and when the serpent has been vanquished and bound in the pit, Messiah will be ruling in victory, justice and righteousness. Satan will no longer have access to deceive humanity (except for that last little bit Re20:7-10).
-THAT- is the reason. God's victory over satan, and righteous rule, is through Israel; from the -land- (nation) of Israel.
Of course, as any student of subterfuge knows, deceit is not perpetrated with out-n-out lies. No! Tell -mostly- the truth, and slip in lies between the cracks. Then, as the lies are believed more and more, increase the lies and diminish the truth.
How is the enemy going to lead astray those clinging to christianity? Give -mostly- the truth. Yes, publish Bibles. Compile translations that are -mostly- correct, and over the years proliferate the variations and availability of versions, little by little adding more lies, and decreasing the truth. What you end up with starts with the RSV for the God-is-dead crowd, let a few decades and the multiplicity of versions come and go...and eventually for the Last Days people will accept the Message, which has next-to-no resemblance to Truth; and not much of anybody will even make a 'squawk' about it. And if we want to discredit Israel's existence, also include "helpful" maps. See? Israel is there... you can point to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, etc. But label the whole thing "Palestine"; not "Israel".
And eventually we have what exists today: churches that are divesting from Israel, that proclaim that "Israel is done for"; even in some cases, apparently, agreeing with the antisemitism of "return to the ovens".
After all: Palestine is "occupied territory". Israel doesn't belong there. Push them into the sea. Annihilate them! They are not fit to live!
And so, it is like the opening verse, as if Israel is living as Abraham did, as "sojourners"; "foreigners" (as the world treats them) in their own country. They are still "waiting" for their national redemption.
God is going to destroy the occupiers.
"By the breath of God they perish, and by the breath of His nostrils they are destroyed." (Job4:9)