Noah’s prophecy concerning the LORD God of Shem is tied to a physical seed, the Jews, and a physical land, the land of Palestine. Many sincere believers today want to disassociate the Jews from this land saying that the land promised by God is spiritual in nature. Taking the Word of God in its literal sense, the Bible refers to a literal land, the land called Palestine. The simple words in the original promise, “to a land that I will show you,” cannot be minimized (Gen. 12:1). God called Abram to go to a land. This land is forever tied to our spiritual heritage in Jesus Christ and to the coming King and His kingdom. In fact, the land is at the very heart of the promise.
God assured Abraham that it was a material land. He promised him “all the land which you see” (Gen. 13:15). Later, after Lot had chosen the beautiful parts of the land, God told Abraham to walk through the parts that remained and said that it would all belong to him (Gen. 13:17). It is always best to let God choose. The almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth, does not give and then take away. His gift is forever. Not only did God promise Abram that He would give him a land, but He said that He would give it to him and “his descendants forever.” This promise is based solely upon the decree of God with no hidden attachments or addendums. It was not based upon human merit or failure. God gave solely on the basis of who He is, not on the basis of who Abraham was.
Unconditional covenants from God are always marked out with the words “I will.” “I will” means that what God says, He will do. The land was occupied for a time by the Canaanites, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and others, but God passed the promise of land down to Isaac’s son, Jacob (Gen. 35:12). It did not stop there. The promise was passed on to Moses (Ex. 6:2–8). After the death of Moses, God renewed the promise with Joshua (Josh. 1:2). God said to Abram, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it” (Gen. 15:7). It is as though He was saying, “Listen carefully, Abram. I’m not going back on this.”
Abram responded, “O Lord God, how [literally, on what basis] may I know [yada, may I have the intimate knowledge] that I will possess it?” To what does the tiny pronoun “it” refer? The answer is critical. “It” refers to the land. Abram never had to worry about two things: the perpetuation of his seed or his reception of the land. God alone walked between the sacrifices (Gen. 15:17). How could Abram (and everyone who reads these words) absolutely know that the Jews would inherit the land? Because God alone made it secure. How conclusive is that? On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants, I have given this land.”
The boundaries of the land are from the river of Egypt (Nile River) to the great Euphrates River (Gen. 15:18). This includes the Red Sea and all of the surrounding country. The western boundary of the land of Israel in the kingdom will be the Nile River. Someone said that the Red Sea is to become a Jewish lake. The eastern boundary will be the Euphrates River. The eastern Sudan region includes Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Palestine. That is a chunk of land. The Jews will not inhabit this land in its entirety until the kingdom reign of Jesus Christ. When the Son of David returns, He will hold in His hands the title deed to this earth in the form of the seven sealed scroll (Rev. 5:1). A part of the earth is portioned out for the land of Israel and their capital city of Jerusalem.
Israel is now in open rebellion against the living God. Has God broken His promise to Abraham? Not at all. Someday, and I believe soon, God’s people will occupy this land in its entirety. However, and this is a “big” however, God’s promised blessings on an obedient Jewish nation is tied to a conditional promise. He said that if they walked in His statutes and kept His commands, He would give rain for their crops and their land, and trees would produce in abundance. They would have plenty of food and would live in peace with their enemies. God said that He would set His tabernacle in their midst and that He would be their God and they would be His people (Lev. 26:1–13). As we often say, “I think I hear a ‘but’ coming.” And we do!
If the Jews turned their backs on God again, He would judge accordingly. God put in play five cycles of discipline, each worse than the previous one (Lev. 26:14–33). First: loss of health, pain, inability to raise crops, lost battles, lost freedom (Lev. 26:15–17). Second: If they still failed to serve the living God, He would bring on them seven times the punishment of the first cycle plus there would be no rain, therefore no crops (Lev. 26:18–20). Third: seven times the punishment of the first two cycles, plus the invasion of wild beasts taking the lives of children and livestock (Lev. 26:21–22). Fourth: seven times the punishment of the previous cycles, plus being delivered into enemy hands and famine (Lev. 26:23–26).Fifth: seven times the punishment of the above, as well as cannibalism, high places and altars destroyed, cities laid waste, land becoming desolate, and people scattered throughout the world (Lev. 26:27–33). Once again, the Jews broke God’s covenant with them, so God put them through the five cycles of discipline. In 70 A.D., they entered the fifth cycle of discipline when the Roman emperor Titus laid siege to the city of Jerusalem, starved them out, and burned their temple. Thousands of Jews died. God then scattered them throughout the nations where most of them remain today. But not for long! Blessings!