Interpreting Bible Prophecy – think Israel
In order to interpret world events in the light of Bible prophecy we need some reliable guide lines, therefore they need to be Bible-based.
Consider these verses:
Deuteronomy 32:8 “When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”
(vs. 9) “For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”
After the confusion of tongues at Babel (Gen.11) The Lord permitted the dispersion of the nations according to their languages but boundaries were set on where they could settle. So the descendants of Noah, Ham, Shem and Japheth (Gen.10) settled broadly in the pattern shown on some old maps.
The purpose of this is remarkable! It was done “according to the number of the children of Israel.” God ensured there was sufficient space allocated for Israel. Why? because the Lord’s portion is his people Jacob (that is Israel). What a privileged position the Jews are in, they are God’s inheritance.
So, any movements of national boundaries for whatever reason, whether by treaty or conquest wherever they occur are overruled by the hand of God to ensure Israel His inheritance, is preserved.
Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
So the Lord has provided a string of prophecies to alert Israel as to His plan and purpose with them.
These same prophecies are also preserved for us to read today and understand what the Lord has in mind for the Jewish people. The purpose is not for us to predict when events will happen. The fulfilling of Bible prophecy is there to strengthen faith in the authority of the Bible. The Jews are witnesses to the existence of God. The inspired prophet Isaiah has this to say of the Jews,
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isaiah 43:10).
The Jews themselves are witnesses to the existence of God. When we consider the tragic history of they Jews it is amazing that they have suffered at the hands of invaders across the centuries. Attempts at ethnic cleansing by many bespots have all failed. Antisemitism is still rampant today with some rulers declaring they will wipe Israel from the map. Yet the Jew remains! They truly are a witness to the existence
Today God is working out his purpose among the nations. The first Century Apostles record for us the importance of Bible prophecy.
Peter in his second inspired epistle was recalling the time when he with James and John were eyewitness to the transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ. (2Peter 1:16-18) Then in the very next verses he states:
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Peter 1:19-21)
So Peter’s witness to events on the mountain are placed alongside inspiration of prophecy! He warns us to listen to the words of the prophets, we ignore them at our peril. So prophecy is not an optional extra. Rather it is the foundation for understanding the work of Jesus and a basis for faith in the accuracy of the Bible record!
It was only the first day of President Trump’s presidency, yet political commentators were observing that President Trump’s desire for warmer relations with Russia may encourage Mr Putin to extend his military adventures in the Middle! For the last 167 years, Christadelphians have expected a Russian move (see, Dr John Thomas letter 1849)!
We must pay attention to the words of the inspired Bible prophets, because the rapid changing political situation suggests that the return of Jesus must be near.
When we see changes in the political world today – think Israel. Then ask the question what impact might these changes have on Israel, the land and it’s people.
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