Sunday, January 15, 2017

Israel—a land in waiting

Jerusalem (Image: Pixabay)

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 49:14-26

“… your walls are continually before Me … For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me” - Isaiah 49:16b, 23b

On December 27th the United Nations Security Council passed its latest resolution against Israel—passed because the U.S., which has in the past supported Israel by vetoing such resolutions, chose to abstain from voting.

The result has been a war of words between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israelite President Benjamin Netanyahu, and others.

The resolution is one of twenty the U.N. has adopted against Israel this year while passing just four for the rest of the world (one each for North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Russia). It seems obvious that anti-Semitic sentiments are again surfacing, indeed flourishing internationally.

In the context of the above, I find the prophecies in today’s passage reassuring. The first part of Isaiah 49 promises salvation for the Gentiles through God’s Servant (yesterday’s reading). Continuing on, God assures “Zion” (Jerusalem) who laments, “‘The LORD has forsaken me, / And my Lord has forgotten me”— that NO. God remembers like a mother remembers her child and "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands" - Isaiah 49:15,16.

God’s promises to Israel in Isaiah 49 include:
  • “Your walls are continually before Me” - Isaiah 49:16. This promise brings to mind a particularly onerous part of the recent U.N. resolution that labels Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem including the Western Wall as illegal. This assures us that God is up-to-the-minute aware.
  • Victory over their enemies - Isaiah 49:17,18.
  • Adequate space to live - Isaiah 49:19.
  • Population growth - Isaiah 49:20.
  • International respect and obeisance - Isaiah 49:22,23.
  • God Himself as their defender - Isaiah 49:25.

What specific events loom in the immediate future for Israel are impossible to predict, though I don’t have a good feeling in light of prophecies such as all nations against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2) and other predictions of terrible trouble ahead for her (Zechariah 13:8,9; Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21,22). But I know in the end, victory for Israel is sure because God keeps His promises!

PRAYER: Dear Father of Gentiles and Jews, I pray for the land of Israel (in waiting to realize her ultimate destiny), her people, her leaders and for the peace of Jerusalem. Amen. 

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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