Q. Not sure how to ask this question. I suppose I’ve always believed Israel was God’s land and somehow is and one day be again His chosen. I’ve recently discovered I’ve been blissfully unaware of other ways of interpretation such as allegory especially related to prophecy.
My problem is that I still believe Israel is entitled to their land as it relates to the promise to Abraham and that it will figure into the end time scenario but yet discussing it with those of other views I’m having a hard time justifying it. Anything one brings up in the O.T is somehow proved to have already been fulfilled even though it looks to be future. Israel IS still in God’s plan as far as a land and a Remnant in the last days, right?
I feel I need to be clear on this because I think that the way one believes about Israel dictates how one needs to view the current politics surrounding the land. I’ve always just read the Bible as any other book, plain sense when makes sense etc and Israel is so integral to the Word that I just can’t see anything other than Modern day Israel is there because it is prophesied in the Word. Am I wrong?
A. If you read Genesis 15 you’ll see that when God promised the land to Abraham and his descendants He placed no conditions at all on the gift. In Genesis 13:15 He had said that He was going to give it to them forever. To be sure it was clear that there was nothing required of Abraham God put him to sleep during the covenant ceremony. This was done to confirm the fact that it was an unconditional gift. Later, when God gave His people the Law, He said in effect that to dwell there and enjoy its blessings, they would have to be obedient.
So, the land is theirs forever, but because of their disobedience they’ve been taken out of it twice. The first time was for 70 years during the Babylonian captivity, after which they returned. The second time was after the death of the Messiah, and again they’ve returned as foretold in Ezekiel 36, Isaiah 11:10-11, and Amos 9:14-15. Amos said that after that they would never be taken out of the land again.
What we call the Millennium is called the Kingdom Age by Israel, because that’s when all of God’s promises to Israel come true. That’s why we find a lot more about it in the Old Testament than in the new. These passages have nothing to do with the Church or with abandoning the New Covenant, but are clearly intended for Israel.
The rules of Bible interpretation say that the only time we should interpret it allegorically is when the passage we’re reading clearly tells us to, such as in the parables of Jesus. Taking clear and specific promises to Israel and trying to apply them to the Church is a violation of these rules. Your view is the correct one.