Once again violence has taken place in the Middle East, this time between Israel and Hamas. On October 7th, over 1,000 Hamas militants invaded Israel and killed over 1,300 Israelis. Hamas’ avowed mission is to destroy Israel and “raise the banner of Allah over each inch of Palestine.”
What do the Scriptures say about such an effort? Will Hamas succeed? How will Israel and its few allies hold back such an onslaught?
The prophet Isaish wrote, “Behold, I [God] will gather them [Jewish people] out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. … I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; … I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.—Jeremiah 32:37,40,41 New American Standard Bible NASB
Israel was driven away from the promised land (modern-day Palestine) because of their disobedience to God and their rejection of the Messiah, Jesus. Jesus prophesied this in Matthew 23:37-38 NASB: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, … How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” He added in Luke 21:24 NASB: “Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
Israel’s punishment was to be only temporary as the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11:25-27 NASB: “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery … that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.” While Israel lost their relationship with God under the Law Covenant due to disobedience, they were not cast off forever. God promised to re-gather them from all the lands to which He had scattered them and make with them a new, an everlasting covenant.
“’Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD. ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more’”—Jeremiah 31:31-34 NASB
The apostle Paul quoted this prophecy in Hebrews chapter 8 adding that Jesus is the one who makes this covenant possible. “We have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, … But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first [Law] covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them [Jewish people], He says, “BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH.” (Hebrews 8:1,6-8 NASB) Because of their imperfection, the Jewish people could not keep the first covenant, established at Mt. Sinai. They needed a better high priest and a better sacrifice—a ransom for Adam—to be cleansed from sin so they can come back into harmony with God. Jesus provided that better sacrifice with his death on the cross and as a result, became that better high priest. As that high priest, Jesus is the guarantor and mediator of a better covenant, the New Covenant under which Israel and eventually, all mankind will be cleansed from sin and re-gathered to God.
Since 1878, God has been re-gathering the Jewish people back to their promised land in preparation for the establishment of this New covenant. When this covenant is established with Israel, Paul writes, “What will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15 NASB) The New Covenant will result in the resurrection of all mankind from the grave, both Jew and Gentile.
Now we see the Jewish people being re-gathered to their promised homeland. While the heathen, particularly Hamas and others rage against it, it is a sign that God’s plan for man’s salvation is progressing toward the promised result of blessing all the families of the earth. (Psalm 2:1-9; Genesis 22:16-18) God’s plan to re-gather Israel to their homeland and bring them back into harmony with himself, will not be thwarted by Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran or any earthly nation or organization. Neither will it be thwarted by spiritual wickedness in high places—Satan and the fallen angels.—Ephesians 6:11-12
By re-gathering Israel back to the promised land and establishing a New Covenant with them, “’I [God] will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, … Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you [Jewish people] in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.’”—Ezekiel 36:23-28 NASB
God has promised in this re-gathering of Israel that they will never be uprooted again. “‘I will bring My exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. … I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the LORD your God.” (Amos 9:14-15 New Living Translation NLT) “They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with My own hands in order to bring Myself glory.” (Isaiah 60:21 NLT) “They will live in the land I gave My servant Jacob, the land where their ancestors lived. They and their children and their grandchildren after them will live there forever, generation after generation.”—Ezekiel 37:25 NLT
How we long for these wonderful promises to be fulfilled for they will mark the end of man’s nighttime of sorrow and death and the beginning of a bright, new day in the experience of all mankind, both Jew and Gentile.
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