People think the Bible is about religion, but we beg to differ. It is about reality. God is real, His Kingdom is real and what He does has to do with reality. For example, Israel is living proof that the God of the Bible is alive and well and keeps His promises:
# Abraham was the original ancestor of the nation of Israel.
- God called Abraham to move from Haran and go to Canaan, about 1921 BC (nearly 2,000 years before Christ). 1
- God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants. ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ 2
- The history of Abraham’s descendants had many ups and downs. There were two exiles where they were removed from their promised land (first by the Babylonians from 605-586 BC and then by the Romans in 70-136 AD). From then on they were banned from Jerusalem, except for the Passover Feast.
- Then the miracle happened. In 1948 on May 18, ‘for the first time since September 8, A.D. 70, the Holy Land by official Gentile action belonged to the Jews.’ 3 The Jewish state is living proof that God kept His promise to Abraham.
# God would bless all people on earth through Abraham.
‘…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ 4 The promise has to do with Jesus. He was a descendant of Abraham and through Jesus all nations on earth have the potential to be blessed. The followers of Jesus are part of the multitudes who have been blessed through Jesus.
# God promised blessings to Israel’s friends and curses to its enemies.
- God promised that those who curse Abraham’s descendants will be cursed and those who bless them will be blessed. ‘…I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.’ 5
- Abraham’s descendants, almost like Jesus, are hated without reason. People invent false reasons on which to base their hostility. It all boils down to hatred of God. But God warned people that it is a dangerous exercise to curse Israel, as many do.
# Are the Jews as numerous as the stars in the sky?
- Did God’s promise to Abraham come true that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky? 6 It doesn’t seem so because Israel is a small nation.
- Yet Galatians 3:7 says, ‘Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.’ So not only the Jews but also gentile children of God through Jesus, are Abraham’s descendants.
- Jesus told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to illustrate this. The rich man is in hell after his death (he probably did not prepare for eternity but concentrated only on material wealth). The poor man is in heaven at Abraham’s side. 7
- So Abraham welcomes every person who dies as a believer in Christ, in heaven, as another of his children. There must be multitudes of Abraham’s ‘descendants’ already in heaven with him – as numerous as the stars in the sky.
# Remarkable hatred against God
- The following scene describes the hostility against God, ‘When the thousand years are over [while Satan will be in the Abyss], Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth…. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.’ 8
- Look at the remarkable fact. For a thousand years the devil will be inactive. The moment he is released, he begins to deceive people to prepare to attack God’s city, Jerusalem. Isn’t it a remarkable proof that he is alive and hates God and His people?
- Incidentally, that is also the devil’s last act of rebellion on this earth, ‘And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into to the lake of burning sulphur.’ 9 Then the devil will inherit his final destination where he will be tormented day and night for ever.
The hatred of the devil and those he influences against God’s people, is an outstanding evidence in real life that there is a God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is alive and well. Israel is living proof of the living God and we can trust Him to fulfil His promises.
- Genesis 12:1-3
- Genesis 15:18
- Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, Dr H L Willmington, Tyndale House Publishers, inc., 1981, p 977
- Genesis 12:3b
- Genesis 12:3a
- Genesis 15:5
- Luke 16:22-23
- Revelation 20:7-9
- Revelation 20:10