Why does the land of Israel matter? - Meine Hausaufgaben Teil 3 - 19. Sep 2016
Does it really? Haven‘t we as a church replaced the Jews? Hasn‘t their land therefore become just like ours: one nation among many?
How sure are we about that?
Actually, Paul emphasizes in his letter to the Romans that we are grafted into the family of the Jews and did not replace them (Romans 11:17-27) and repeatedly mentions specifically God‘s plan for Israel.
But anyways, does all this talk about Jewish stuff even matter if the Old Testament is already obsolete and has degenerated into merely our story of origin?
But wait - how sure are you about that?
To be precise, only the Mosaic covenant is obsolete (that‘s the one God made with Moses on Mt. Sinai), because Jesus Himself said that He fulfilled all of the law (Matthew 5:17). But the Old Testament is more than this specific covenant of laws. And there are many of its promises that still stand today. For example the promises to Abraham and David were everlasting covenants and promised them an everlasting possession: the land of Israel to Abraham (Genesis 17:7-8) and the throne of Israel to David (2 Samuel 7:16). This everlasting has the same meaning as in the everlasting love God loves us with (Jeremiah 31:3) . God will make sure He is faithful to all His promises, then and now. Everlasting really means forever!
Jesus Himself affirms this view of a literal, promised land with a literal kingdom (Acts 1:7): He will return to Jerusalem in Israel and from there rule over the earth (Isaiah 24:23 and Micah 4:7). If Israel mattered to God in the beginning part of His plan and also at the end, we can be sure that it also matters to Him in all the time in between.
Israel might not have been part of our theology, but it for sure was always part of God‘s theology. When He chose to become a man, God became part of a family which was part of a nation: Israel. And when God chose that He would dwell with us as a man forever, as a king of a kingdom, He chose a city to rule from: Jerusalem. Both the past and the future part of His plan are centered around the nation of Israel.
This small nation in the Middle East matters. It matters to God, and therefore, it should matter to us. And if it is an integral part of His storyline for mankind, we should invest in understanding why.