Israel is the Key
In Genesis chapter 28, the Lord tells Jacob ( later to be named Israel ) this;
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
(Genesis 28:13-14 ESV)
And again, God made this promise to Israel’s descendants through Moses;
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
(Deuteronomy 7:6-8 ESV)
God chose the people of Israel to be the ones who He would use to reveal Himself to, and to bless the world. He chose them to be special, not because they were special, but because they were small and weak. God would reveal Himself through the prophets, and through the nation. When Israel would follow God, this nation who were the “fewest of all peoples”, would become strong. Under the leadership of Godly rulers, they would prosper, so much that in the time of Solomon, they became the greatest nation in the world. To the converse, when they would get away from God and try to do things on their own, they would fall, eventually to be conquered and taken away by the Babylonians. But God is faithful, and kept His promise He made to Isaiah and returned the people to their land, where they would still be in the time of Jesus. And even though they would reject His Son, put Him to death, and try to do things on their own again, God remained faithful to His chosen people. The people would try to rule themselves and revolted against the Roman empire in AD 70 and again in AD 135, both times having short term success. After the second Jewish revolt they were warned not to return to Jerusalem upon the pain of death. They were then dispersed throughout the Roman Empire so they could not organize another revolt. But God stayed faithful, He had promised in Ezekiel;
then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land.
(Ezekiel 37:21 ESV)
And in the next chapter, Ezekiel gives us this prophesy from God
After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them.
(Ezekiel 38:8 ESV)
Here God says that he will bring back His people to a land “which had been a continual waste.” After the Romans destroyed the temple at the end of the first revolt in AD 70, there began a great drought that would last from the first century until the twentieth. By the early 1900’s the area was a virtual wasteland, sparsely inhabited, this was the desert in which Lawrence of Arabia made his famous exploits in the First World War.
After the Second World War and the holocaust, the Jews finally returned to their land and were recognized as a nation in 1946. Once again, they were a small nation surrounded and attacked by larger enemies but prevailed. Also, in 1946, the rain came back to the area, and has continued to increase.
And God is still going to reveal Himself through Israel. After Jesus had told His disciples what would happen in the end times just before His return, the disciples asked Him when all this would take place, He told them;
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
(Matthew 24:32-34 ESV)
Israel is the fig tree, this is not just an assumption on my part. Many times in the bible Israel is referred to as a fig tree. In Joel, God speaks of Israel as a people, a nation, and geographically as a fig tree;
For a nation has come up against my land, powerful and beyond number; its teeth are lions' teeth,
and it has the fangs of a lioness. It has laid waste my vine and splintered my fig tree; it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down; their branches are made white.
(Joel 1:6-7 ESV)
In Jeremiah, God compares the people, good and bad, to figs;
And the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”
Then the word of the LORD came to me: “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
“But thus says the LORD: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt.
(Jeremiah 24:3-8 ESV)
And Jesus spoke of Israel in this parable;
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
(Luke 13:6-9 ESV)
The fig tree is clearly Israel, it has been replanted, fertilized and watered (literally) and is growing, putting out new leaves. Jesus said a generation shall not pass before events described in Revelation take place. It’s coming soon. Keep your eyes on Israel, they are the key. Ezekiel 38-39 describe an attack on Israel that has yet to take place. I explain in this attack in detail in the message “An Attack on Israel”, but Russia, along with Iran and other countries will gather to attack Israel. When they do, God is going to destroy them. And He tells us why;
All the people of the land will bury them, and it will bring them renown on the day that I show my glory, declares the Lord GOD.
(Ezekiel 39:13 ESV)
“And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them.
(Ezekiel 39:21 ESV)
God is coming back, He wants everyone to accept and believe in Him, and He going to show us His glory and power through this attack on Israel.
We’ve already seen parts of this prophesy happen, Ez.38:8 mentioned above has already happened. Also, Russia and Iran, two historic enemies, are now for the first time in history allies. I believe this prophesy could be happening soon. Keep your eyes on Israel, they are the key.