Note: Joyce Lester is a student at the Koinonia Institute working on her Silver Medallion. This paper was part of her coursework in her I620 class.
The acronym “ISIL” (when used in place of “IS” or ISIS”) conveys an underlying message on Israel’s right to exist because the “L” stands for Levant, a land crescent along the Mediterranean, including Cyprus, ISRAEL, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.
Animosity against Jews (anti-semitism) goes hand and glove with opposing Jewish possession of the land of Israel (anti‐Zionism). From the beginning, Satan has attempted to destroy the Jewish people and to usurp their land (Remnant Report). Throughout the centuries, names of enemies may have changed, but their ancient hatred endures.
See! Your enemies rage; those who hate you issue threats. They plot against your people and conspire against your cherished ones. They say, “Let us go and erase them as a nation so the name of Israel will not be remembered anymore.”
— Psalm 83:2–4, ISV
Considering 2000 years of the Jewish Diaspora, millenniums of persecution, and Israel’s land being conquered by seven different nations (Ross), it’s an absolute miracle she exists.
As indicated by Leviticus 25:23, God owns the land and is therefore justified in giving it to whomever He (God) desires, “…The land is not to be sold with any finality, because the land belongs to me. You’re sojourners and travelers with me.” (Leviticus 25:23, ISV)” Also, in Genesis 17:8, God promised Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan as an everlasting gift, which he confirmed with an unconditional covenant:
“I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, and with your descendants who come after you, generation after generation, as an eternal covenant, to be your God and your descendants’ God after you. I’ll give to you and to your descendants the land to which you have traveled—all the land of Canaan—as an eternal possession. I will be their God.”
— Gen. 17:7–8 ISV
Moreover, in Genesis 15:18, He promised,“…I’m giving this land to your descendants, from the river of Egypt to the great Euphrates River…”
Once God announced His Redeemer would come from Abraham’s seed (Genesis 22:15–18), Satan’s war was centered on that seed! Scripture records continuous assaults against God’s “chosen people” (the Jews) via old and new enemies alike. For instance, faithful to his pattern of Jewish destruction, Satan had 400 years to lay down a minefield polluting Canaan with Nephilim (See: Num 13:33) (Missler, 1999). However, when the Israelites moved into enemy territory (Genesis 22:17), God promised they would “…take possession of the gates of their enemies” – i.e. the land of Canaan. (Hacker)
Canaan stretched from the Persian Gulf in the east to the Mediterranean in the west. This region is also known the Levant and is synonymous with a portion of Canaan or the Promised Land.
In AD 132, 62 years after the fall of Jerusalem, to humiliate the Jews and remove any Jewish association with their land, Rome renamed this region “Syria Palaestina” after Israel’s most bitter enemy, the Philistines.” (Archbold, 1996). Israel’s adversaries still use this term — Satan’s pattern of destruction and usurping continues.
Nonetheless, after 2,000 years of being out of the land, Israel became an independent state on May 14, 1948. God’s word states why:
“… I’m not about to act for your sake, you house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy reputation…”
— Ezekiel 36:22 ISV
“…I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.”
— Ezekiel 11:17 ISV
The very next day, May 15, 1948, Israel’s “War of Independence” started as six Arab/neighbor states began “to rage or tumult” (Ps. 83:2) with armies, weapons, and threats. The Hebrew word for rage or tumult is hāmâ and can mean to cry aloud, rage, roar, make noise, tumult, be clamorous, or in an uproar. (Harris, Archer, & Waltke, 1999) It was with this aggressiveness they launched a holy war to annihilate the newborn state of Israel. (Dolan, 1991) The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini stated, “I declare a holy war, my Moslem brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!” (Archbold, 1996).
Israel’s military equipment was old and unreliable, and her army vastly outnumbered. Only God could save this tiny state (Archbold, 1996). Humanly speaking, she looked like Gideon with his army of 300 going against the mighty Midianites (Judges 8–9). However, like with Gideon, God fought her battle and she survived -‐-‐ just as He’d promised she would thousands of years before the first shot was fired:
“Who has ever heard of such a thing? And who ever sees such things? Can a country be born in a single day, or can a nation be brought forth in a single moment? Yet no sooner was Zion in labor than she delivered her children. Am I to open the womb and not deliver?” asks the LORD. “And when I bring to delivery, am I to close the womb?” asks your God. “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be happy for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in gladness, all you who mourn over her,”
— Isaiah 66:8–10, ISV
God furthermore made promises to the mountains of Israel:
“I’ll lead my people, my nation of Israel, across you mountains, and they will take possession of you again, and you’ll be their inheritance once more. Never again will you leave them robbed of children.”
— Ezekiel 36:12 ISV
In 1967, during the miraculous six‐day war, this promise was fulfilled — “Israel took possession of the mountains of Israel, including the old city of Jerusalem.” (Archbold, 1996)
Presently, Israel’s “allies” and enemies, relentlessly ramble on about “bringing peace to the Middle‐East” through, “two‐state solutions,” etc. It’s astonishing that the mountains of Israel are referred to as the “West Bank” when, in fact, they are the heart of Israel — Judea and Samaria (see map below). Actually, Abraham was in the “West Bank” when God promised him the land.” (ibid)
“Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto you.”
— Genesis 13:17 KJV
Major Adrian Agassi, an Israeli military judge and army lawyer, argues Israel’s right to settle in the land by referring to the Bible, “When we [Israelis] say that this is a political conflict, then we lose the battle… [it should be remembered that the ancient land of Israel is] given to us by the Bible, not by some United Nations.” (Rapoport, 2009)
The terrorist organization, ISIS, is the latest player in the game threatening Israel’s existence. Not surprisingly, ISIS detests the “Zionist regime” (their term for Israel) (Maloof, 2014). In April 2013, ISIS advanced its operation from Iraq into Syria; and changed their name from the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) to “and al-Sham,” translated as “the Levant” or “Greater Syria.” This signified their mission was to conquer a wider area than present-day Syria (i.e., to include Israel) (Lamb, 2014). Why? “To reestablish the caliphate of the Levant.” (Lamb, 2014). Consistent with their name, and Satan’s pattern, they plan to seize the land for Islam. The following are two of their declarations:
“History will judge us after we free Palestine.” (ibid)
“All countries in this region are playing the sectarian card, just as they have long played the Palestinian card, but the difference with ISIS is that we are serious about Palestine and they are not. Tel Aviv will fall as fast as Mosul when the time is right.” (ibid)
In conclusion, regardless of what world leaders or Muslim terrorists think or opine, and in spite of being surrounded and outnumbered by her enemies, Israel continues to reside in Eretz Israel — proving God’s faithfulness. The day is coming when ALL of Canaan will be her land — “from the river of Egypt to the great Euphrates River; (Gen. 15:18) and she will “possess the gate of her enemy” (Gen 22:17)
God has promised.
Israel’s God is faithful and history is truly “His story.” The LORD’s gifts and callings have never been, nor will they ever be, revocable (Rom. 11:29). Canaan was promised, by a covenant, to the people of Israel as an everlasting possession (Gen 17:8). His land was not to be divided, and those doing so will be punished (Joel 3:2). “To attack God’s people and land is to attack God Himself.” (Archbold, 1996)
Therefore, we are to stand with Israel and her right to exist in the Promised Land. By doing so, we stand with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Her enemies, like ISIS, will continue Satan’s pattern, but they won’t succeed because, as Proverbs 19:21, says, “Many plans occupy the mind of a man, but the LORD’s purposes will prevail.”
Undeniably, God calls the shots!
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