Many people today may not be aware that we are actually viewing promises being fulfilled for the Jewish people. Why should the Christian care about the Jews? Because they are still God’s chosen people and He still has promises to fulfill for them. This should be an encouragement to us because it is a gentle reminder that God keeps and fulfills all promises made, no matter how many years ago they were promised! So what is the promise we are seeing come to pass for the Jewish people today? Here are some background verses that helps set the stage for today.
For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil. Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5: 12-15, (New International Version or NIV).
God does not tolerate rebellion for long. Of course in human years it was a long time God gave the Jewish nation time to repent but they didn’t heed the warnings from prophets like Amos. That makes me wonder if we should listen up and repent as a nation because this is another gentle reminder of God’s discipline for back-sliders! There’s more to know here.
Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”—skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat. The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done. “Will not the land tremble for this, and all who live in it mourn? The whole land will rise like the Nile; it will be stirred up and then sink like the river of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your religious festivals into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day. “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. Amos 8:4-12, (NIV).
Does this sound a bit familiar? Most countries in the world conduct business now on the weekend as well as the weekday. There are stores, restaurants, and businesses open twenty-four hours seven days a week nearly everywhere in comparison to fifty years ago when businesses were mostly closed on Sunday at least. Maybe this is another gentle reminder that God is watching and doesn’t approve of His day being plundered. Still we have a little more to read.
“Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. Yet I will not totally destroy the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord. “For I will give the command, and I will shake the people of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ Amos 9:8-10, (NIV).
God kept his word for many generations. Think about how hard life must have been for the Jewish people when they were scattered all across the world after having a life of ease for the most part. They had to learn new languages, new ways, and to eat new foods, they had to be servants and slaves rather than owners of servants and slaves. When God sifts a people they feel it! God scattered them among the nations because of their unbelief and stubbornness and pride. Who does this remind you of today? And that brings us to the point I made earlier that we are witnessing a promise made and being fulfilled.
“In that day I will restore David’s fallen shelter—I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins—and will rebuild it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, ” declares the Lord, who will do these things. “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God. Amos 9:11-15, (NIV).
At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame. At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” Zephaniah 3:19-20, (NIV).
Since 1948 the Israeli people have a home country once again. Imagine how wonderful that must be for them! And the desert is blooming! They are being restored in massive ways and are becoming a world power. They have no oil unlike their neighboring countries, but they have found ways to thrive which is beautiful to watch! It is exciting to see how God has blessed the Jewish people since 1948. Did you know that if you have a heart cath in a hospital today that the photo of your heart will be electronically sent to a lab in Israel to have it read and interpreted? The medical advances that are coming out of Israel are truly astounding. They are making robot legs for a paraplegic to walk again! How cool is that! And they have the market cornered in solar power. Their drip irrigation systems are true works of art and are making the desert bloom with usable food sources. It is all God and His blessings being poured out upon these people, the Jewish nation. God has kept the promise to restore His people and we are witnesses seeing this play out today on the world stage. I love that!
We can see why so many Christian leaders are against our national policy when it goes against the best for the Jewish people. God will deal with any who oppressed the Jews. That is a promise and a threat! So what can we glean from this for our lives today. I think we should remain steadfast and faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to be obedient and since we see many turning their backs upon God, we stand firmly planted and don’t follow the culture. Remember what we read in the first scripture passage?
Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil. Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Amos 5:13-14, (NIV).
We need to be wise because the times are evil. We need to seek good and not the evil things of this world. We need to teach our children how to discern evil from good so that they remain steadfast in the Lord and not get sucked down with the culture. We need to encourage one another to remain faithful. If we do, then God promises that we will live as well. We can pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and that the Jewish people’s ears are opened to hear the good news. We can be reminded that God still loves them just as God loves us because we have accepted Jesus. And we can take comfort in the fact that our God keeps His promises and is faithful. I just love to see God in action, don’t you?
Until next time…Katherine