I find it almost amusing that, seemingly, so many nations feel they have the right to determine who rightfully owns the ancient City of Jerusalem. In fact, the very idea that any person or nation ‘assumes’ the authority to do so is laughable. Yet, it seems every day, more and more ‘world leaders’ do presume to speak about the status and fate of the city where God said many times, “I place My Name there,” always speaking of Jerusalem.
See 1 Kings 11:36; 2 Kings 21:4; 2 Kings 21:7; 2 Kings 23:7; 2 Chronicles 33:4; 2 Chronicles 33:7. God is very jealous for His name and is keeping a record of those who attempt to speak for Him as though He were a man. His Word speaks for Him, and fortunately we have been given that Word.
Without a doubt, Jerusalem is the most contested city in the history of the world. It has been sought after and fought over by multitudes of people through the centuries, by people who so easily become drunk with the thought of control over the Holy City. Hordes of Muslims sought control, as did hordes of so-called ‘Christians’. These all sought to place their names there and rule over Jerusalem, even though God has plainly stated that He ‘places His name there’.
The city that President Trump recently recognized as the capital of Israel became prominent when King David designated Jerusalem as the capital of Israel around 1003 BCE.
According to the prophet Samuel, Jerusalem was already a city; but it was called “The City of David” and was the capital of the Jewish nation after King David captured ‘the Fortress of Zion’ from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:7). It remained so until the Babylonian captivity some 400 years later, but it was never designated the capital of any other national entity. It became even more prominent as the capital of Israel when the first Jewish Temple was built there by King Solomon, son of David, after God refused to allow King David to build His House, the Temple.
As far as the ownership of the land that was promised to Abraham as an ‘eternal inheritance’, many peoples had lived in the area for hundreds of years since the Flood of Noah, but they were not there through any directive from God. Only God has the absolute authority to designate who may live on and control certain geographical areas.
After all, God has stated though the psalmist, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).
As recorded in Genesis 12, God directed Abram to leave the only home he had known and go to a land that He would show him. At that time God made several promises to Abram:
1) I will make thee a great nation; 2) I will bless you and make your name great; 3) You shall be a blessing; 4) I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you; and 5) in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3).
Abram was obedient and took his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, and all their substance and headed for the Land of Canaan, the land that God had promised to give him, which is known to this day as The Promised Land.
After reaching the land of Canaan, the Promised Land, Abram and Lot experienced a ‘family problem’ between Abram’s herdsmen and those of Lot due to the size and overlapping of their herds. As a result they separated, with Abram allowing his nephew Lot to choose which part of the land he would live in. Typical of a man with no honor, Lot chose what seemed to be the best land when he should have deferred to Abram.
As it was, Lot nearly lost his life in the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah; he did lose his wife. Soon afterward, both of his daughters became pregnant by him and produced two men, Ammon and Moab, who would later become enemies of the Jews, and of God. God was looking out for Abram and provided the very best for the man whom He would later call His “friend.”
Around this time, God defined the land boundaries that would determine the extent of the land promised to Abram.
In Genesis 13:14-15 we read, “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.”
Sometime later, God made a covenant with Abram: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites” (Genesis 15:18-21).
This passage of scripture attempts to further define the boundaries, using the names of tribes that were once inhabitants of the land of Canaan before Abram’s arrival. These ancient tribes disappeared or were decimated through war many hundreds, or several thousands of years ago; so it can be difficult to nail down the actual boundaries that God designated as Abram’s inheritance using these names. However, based on God’s own description of the boundaries of Israel’s inheritance:
The southern boundary seems to start at the northern tip of the Red Sea, then westward approximately along the River of Egypt, or the ‘wadi of Egypt’ (not the Nile River), to the shore of the Mediterranean, called “The Great Sea” south of Gaza, then northward along the “Great Sea” shoreline through Lebanon and Syria to the River Euphrates, eastward along the Euphrates for some distance, thence south through Syria past Damascus, including much of what is now called Jordan, east of the Sea of Kinnereth (or the Sea of Galilee) and the Jordan River, then continuing south to the Red Sea.
A description of these boundaries, with details, can be found at the Differentspirit.org website: https://www.differentspirit.org/articles/boundaries.php. Some references for these boundaries found at the website are: Exodus 23:31; Ezekiel 47:19; Genesis 15:18; Numbers 34:6; Ezekiel 47:20; Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 11:24; Ezekiel 47:17; Joshua 1:4; Numbers 34:6; Ezekiel 47:20.
These boundaries are nowhere near what Israel has received since becoming a nation again in 1948.
Ever since her founding, when God intervened to “bring the Jews back” to their ancestral homeland, the Jewish nation has been attacked by the Arab nations surrounding her in numerous attempts to destroy the Jews and “wipe Israel off the map.” Attacked by overwhelming numbers of enemy soldiers and air forces, Israel defeated them all and now has one of the most powerful militaries in the entire Middle East. In fact, most of the wars against the nation of Israel resulted in some land gains for the Jews, but still a far cry from the total land area promised to them by God.
It is certainly not surprising that the Arab nations immediately surrounding Israel believe they have a right to contest the existence of the Jewish state, and the status and future of Jerusalem. However, just their proximity to Israel does not make that stance legitimate.
What is so alarming, though, is that almost every nation in the 190-member UN seems to believe they have the right, possibly even an ‘obligation’, to weigh in on the land belonging to Israel as well as the ‘status of Jerusalem’ issue. Hardly a day passes without a declaration of exactly what they believe should happen with Jerusalem, being issued from some president, prime minister, ambassador or other representative from at least one UN nation.
This situation clearly shows that any respect or reverence for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the God that all Christians worldwide claim to worship—has declined since the Middle East and especially the Israel/Palestinian conflict became the political hotspot of the world. In fact, there are entire so-called Christian denominations that now believe Israel is the main cause of the conflict. This idiotic position is in direct contradiction to what God has stated numerous times in His word.
It amazes me that any group of people calling themselves Christians would take a position in direct opposition to what is clearly written in the Word of the God they claim to worship.
These deluded Christians seem to favor the Palestinian claims that they are entitled to a state within the territory that God declared was Israel’s eternal inheritance; they are especially adamant about claiming the eastern part of Jerusalem for their capital city, the land where the holiest site in Judaism is: the location of the Jewish Temple built by King Solomon.
By now, after all these years, it should be abundantly clear to anyone – with any wisdom and understanding – what the Palestinians want. They do not want a separate state. By their rejection of multiple offers from Israel, mostly with land concessions (The West Bank, Gaza), that would have resulted in the establishment of a Palestinian state, they clearly show what they truly want and will not be satisfied without: the annihilation of Israel and control of all the land they call ‘Palestine’, especially Jerusalem.
On numerous occasions, through His prophets, God reiterated His promises to Abraham concerning the land which he and his descendants would inherit. God had already determined the boundaries of that land inheritance long before He directed Abram to go to the Land of Canaan. God promised the land to Abram and his descendants for “an everlasting inheritance.”
The last time I checked, the definition of ‘everlasting’ still means “eternal,” and “that which lasts forever.”
I learned a long time ago that when you read something God directed His prophets to say, and then repeat on numerous occasions, it might be wise to pay attention and endeavor to be on the right side, which is always the side that God is on.
To place one’s self, and more importantly, one’s entire nation in contradiction to the Living God is a very unwise decision. Of course, if the decision-maker has no respect or reverence for God, it may seem the right thing to do. But, regardless of why such declarations or decisions are made, it has absolutely no impact on God and His declarations. GOD DOES NOT CHANGE!
God speaks very clearly concerning the land which He promised to Abraham and his descendants: “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:1-2).
Anyone who claims to be a follower of the God of Abraham, or Jesus Christ, whether an individual, a nation, or an entire religious denomination, should carefully read these words and determine whether they are placing themselves in opposition to Almighty God.
If anyone claiming to be a devout Jew or a devout Christian believes that God is a being who changes His mind on a whim or at the “command of men,” that person needs to reexamine his premises and determine whether he might be basing his beliefs on an incorrect premise. God has told us many times in His Word that he does not change, nor is He a man that He should lie.
His Word is forever settled, and God Does Not Change!