Genesis 15:18-19 says, And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates (and then goes on to list all the tribes that currently lived in the land).
Yeshua perfectly fulfilled every single command of the Torah. Because He did not fall short, or sin, He was able to pay our penalty for us. In doing so, He BECAME the law… it is trust in HIS redemptive work that saves us. He is the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31. (Yeshua did not come to start a new religion called Christianity. He was the Jewish Messiah who came to fulfill God’s singular plan of redemption for the entire world.)
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
I will plant them in their land,
And NO LONGER shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,”
Says the Lord your God.
Did you catch that? NO LONGER? This cannot mean the Babylonian exile, because they were exiled again after that.
Verses 11 and 12 tell us: I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, HOW MUCH MORE their fullness!
Verse 26 says ,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.” (Paul is quoting Isaiah 59:20)
And by the way, two different words are used for “curse” in Hebrew. The word arar means just what it says, to curse. The other word, qalal, means “to treat lightly, to ignore, to lightly esteem.” The NET Bible translation sticks pretty close to the original language: I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse…
Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
“He found him in a desert land
And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;
He encircled him, He instructed him,
He kept him as the apple of His eye.”
Now that we know WHO the “Apple of my eye” is, let’s look at Zechariah 2:8 - For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you [
“Speak comfort to
That her warfare is ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
He is literally talking about His close kinsmen here – the Jewish people. What follows is the separation of the sheep and the goats. In this case, you want to be a sheep!
Think about the prodigal son story of Luke 15(which the NET version beautifully calls the Story of the Compassionate Father). The church historically has acted very much like the older, arrogant brother. Yet the loving and compassionate Father is waiting, waiting for his wayward son longingly.
For part two, a look at modern Israel, please click here.