Hebrew Highlights 137 – Holy Land
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron coming to you from Jerusalem.
I live in a place called the Holy Land. Now there are many religions that have a holy city, or a holy hill, or some other recognizable holy spot. Only the Judeo-Christian heritage has an entire holy land. My question today is if this concept is Biblical, and if so, where did it come from?
Let’s begin our search by reading PSA 78:52-55, “But He led forth His own people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; And He led them safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea engulfed their enemies. So He brought them to His holy land, to this hill country which His right hand had gained. He also drove out the nations before them, And He apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement, and made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.”
Psalm 78 is an account of Israel’s history in a nutshell, from the Exodus up until the time of King David. The writer reminds us that God brought His people from Egypt, where they were enslaved, to the safe haven of the hills of Canaan. The first phrase we should not here is “He brought them to His holy land.” This tells us that the land does not really belong to the people, but God. Over the centuries, many despots and dictators have used a similar phrase to seize private lands around the world and supposedly reclaim them for God.
In this case, the difference is that it is true. God actually said it. The other important expression is “He apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement.” In other words, this is not some ethereal dreamland, but an actual piece of property whose boundaries are well defined. Of course, the extent of the land varies in numerous promises and prophecies in the Bible, and one could argue that the borders are vague. However, the land divided up between the tribes is very systematically defined over many chapters in God’s word, giving us clear borders. By the way, it includes not only what is usually called the West Bank, which rises from the valley of the Jordan river, but actually encompasses a large portion of the East Bank, which is part of the country of Jordan today.
Now I’ll be the first to say that I do not pretend to understand either the past history, or the future prophetic occurrences, which will define Israel’s borders when Messiah returns. I am pretty sure that the many people who teach on the subject and write books claiming to know God’s mind are simply guessing.
What I do know is this. God has not given up on the Holy Land. The Lion of Judah is walking the land in these days, and reclaiming His territory. Not for military or political purposes, but to bring about the salvation of His chosen people Israel.
ZEC 2:10-12, "Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," declares the Lord. "And many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. "And the Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
In spite of Israel’s rejecting God over and over throughout the generations, hope springs eternal. In case your Bible atlas isn’t open at the moment, I’ll just mention that Judah is half of the West Bank. Again we see that this land is “His portion”. By default God will claim it, and God will guard it, and God will keep it himself.
God has already again chosen Jerusalem. It is again His capital, and will again be the place from which He rules and reigns. However, if we try to pin Him down to specific dates and sequences of prophetic fulfillment, we will join those who are only guessing.
I for one don’t know why God didn’t choose New Jersey, or Normandy, or Katmandu. This particular piece of land is rocky and hilly, and requires a tremendous amount of work to make habitable. Although it supports the only true democracy in the Middle East, and any religion can be practiced openly, it is far from being what we would normally define as “Holy.”
Yet everyone who visits here senses a special aura of God’s mercy. Without getting spooky, I can tell you that it is true. You will only believe me if you visit yourself.
Perhaps it is because this is the place where in the body of His Son Yeshua, God’s feet trod the very ground we walk on today. Perhaps it is because this will be the address to which He returns.
PSA 102:12-14 says, “But Thou, O Lord, dost abide forever; And Thy name to all generations. Thou wilt arise and have compassion on Zion; For it is time to be gracious to her, For the appointed time has come. Surely Thy servants find pleasure in her stones, and feel pity for her dust.”
Having lived in God’s Holy Land for nearly 30 years, I can attest to the fact that we have a lot of stones and dust on the paths we walk. I can also tell you that the compassion of our Heavenly Father is in the air we breathe.
Shalom Shalom from Jerusalem