ISRAEL - GOD'S MIRACLE NATION star97.jpg

CHAPTER SIX

Israel's First Restoration

Israel is God's miracle nation because of its first restoration.

God promised to restore Israel to its land:
Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, "He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock" (Jeremiah 31:10).

Therefore say, "Thus saith the Lord GOD; although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come." Therefore say Thus saith the Lord GOD; "I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel" (Ezekiel 11:16,17).

God calls the land of Israel, "My land" (Ezekiel 38:16), and He gave it to Israel by a blood covenant that cannot be changed.

The land of Israel has been assigned by God to the children of Israel. God never cancelled what He assigned.

There are two restorations described in the Bible: The first occurred after the 70 years of exile, during the time of Cyrus, king of Persia, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah. In this restoration, only 42,360 Israelites returned to their homeland (Ezra 2:64).

That first restoration was to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, so that the prophecies concerning His birth in Bethlehem Ephratah, and His crucifixion at Calvary in Jerusalem, would be fulfilled. The prophet Micah wrote:

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratha, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2).
The sovereign God moved Caesar Augustus to issue a decree for the entire Roman world so that the prophecy concerning the birthplace of Jesus Christ be fulfilled. During that period Rome governed the land of Israel.

Luke wrote:

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria). And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7 NIV).
The child who was born of the Virgin Mary was Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Jerusalem, Israel, was the place where Jesus Christ crucifixion took place:

Daniel prophesied concerning the death of Christ in Jerusalem, which he called the "Holy City." chap6.gif Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (Daniel 9:24-26).

Then we read in the Gospel of Luke:

Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. And they will scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He will rise again" (Luke 18:31-33 NKJ).
Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies written about him.
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