INTRODUCTION

A story is told about a European emperor who asked a Christian missionary to summarize the Bible in one word.

"Your Majesty, you want me to summarize the 66 books of the Bible in one word?" the missionary asked.

"Yes," the emperor answered.

"Then, give me three days to fast and pray." Three days later the missionary came back to the Emperor. "Your Majesty, the Bible could be summarized in one word: Israel." "Elaborate," the emperor requested.

"In the book of Genesis we read about the beginning of Israel. In Exodus we read about the redemption of Israel. In Leviticus we read about the ordinances God gave to Israel. In the prophets, we read prophecies concerning Israel. When we come to the New Testament we read about the Jewish Messiah, the Savior of mankind. Coming to the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, we read about the one hundred and forty four thousand sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. Your Majesty, from Genesis to Revelation, Israel is the focal point," the Christian missionary said.

The emperor, being a man with a great knowledge of the Bible, said, "You are perfectly right; you have passed the test."

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The nation of Israel is very dear to the heart of God. It is the first and only nation chosen by God to witness for Him and to announce the coming of the Messiah. "Ye are my witnesses," saith the Lord, "and my servant whom I have chosen" (Isaiah 43:10).

When the Lord called Moses, He said to him, "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, `thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first born"' (Exodus 4:22). Again, we read what Moses said to Pharaoh, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, `Let my people go"' (Exodus 5:1). Israel is God's first born son, His people.

Again we read what God said concerning Israel to the prophet Zechariah, "...for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye" (Zechariah 2:8).

We also read what God said to Israel in the book of Isaiah:

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him (Isaiah 43:1-7).

Israel's existence demonstrates the faithfulness of God, the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible and the sovereignty of God.

God has a great plan for the nation of Israel. However, in the fourth century John Chrysostom, who was the bishop of the church of Antioch (344 AD - 407 AD), blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus, and separated Christianity from its Jewish roots. His writings created hate toward the Jewish people and affected the teaching of many Christian denominations.

This book is written to enlighten its readers concerning the plan of God for Israel. It shows its miraculous formation, its foretold dispersion, its providential preservation, and its final restoration. It gives a glimpse of God's miracle nation.

September 7,1997 Labib Mikhail Springfield, Virginia U.S.A.


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