Watchman.jpg (26400 bytes)


Other Articles 
on Zionism



The Time to Favor
Zion Is Come


The Return of God's Favor

"Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come." (Psa. 102:14) There is a visible scale of observation in our time on which we may begin to measure the fulfillment of prophecy.

(1) The Ingathering of the Exiles. Isaiah 43:5, 6 is one of many prophecies that foretells the regathering of the Jewish people to the promised land. It reads: "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 end of the earth." The Jewish people have been gathered from the four corners of the earth. Nearly 3 millions are assembled in the land of their fathers, coming from 75 different countries. Still the work continues. For God said: "As the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries whither He had driven them; and I will bring them back into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks."—Jer. 16:15, 16.

The Zionist movement compares to the fishing method of gathering. The Zionist activities provided the land with a vital nucleus of people that enabled it to become the new state of Israel. The "many hunters" would be those persecuting forces that led the Jews to face the necessity of return to Palestine. The early persecutions of the Jews in Russia and Europe served to turn many faces toward the homeland. The early Nazi persecution forced a considerable number of educated and talented Jews to Palestine. These brought the necessary technology and human re-sources to prosper Israel. In that the fishing and hunting referred to by Jeremiah was with the view to bringing the children of Israel home, did the later Nazi persecution also fit this purpose? It was more than persecution. It was a diabolical attempt to destroy the "seed of Abraham" and to make void the promise of God. Even the Nazi attempt to drive eastward in Africa to take the Holy Land indicates that a superhuman attempt was being made to frustrate the Divine Plan. It is clear the Nazi's plan was to annihilate the whole race of Jews, not after they conquered the world, but while they were engaged in doing so. Even when they knew the war was lost, they kept the incinerators going until the last moment of defeat. The failure of the Christian churches to protest and their willingness to cooperate with the Nazi insanity has raised many eyebrows. How could Christian nations look the other way while the slaughter went on? The scripture still has not lost its meaning: "I will bless them that bless you and I will curse them that curse you." (Gen. 12:3) God is a God of judgment. (I Sam. 2:3) This is one truth the modern generation will not own. The time of reckoning is here.

(2) The Reclamation of the Land. Amos 9:14 describes the work of the regathered people in their land—"they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them: and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them."

In 1905 the Prime Minister of the Netherlands observed, "The Jews have come in vain. Only God can check the blight of the inrushing desert." A miracle has happened. Miles of malaria-infested "no-man's land" have been drained; deserts have been irrigated and the land is being transformed into an Eden of citrus-bearing trees. The barren hillsides and the dried-up desert wastes are taking on new life, returning to the fertility of old. The work goes steadily on.

The land reclamation is an observable feature as the beginning of the fulfillment of prophecy, a small beginning, but one that shall grow and "fill the whole earth."

We bypass the opportunity to mention the many and varied accom-plishments in Israel because of lack of space. But since the 1967 war an especially interesting beginning of fulfillment focuses on Isaiah 35:1, 2. The prophet here said that the "Arava will rejoice and blossom as the rose." The "Arava" is not "wilderness" in general, but that specific desert valley that lies between the Dead Sea and Eilat. Drilling in the Arava has brought in artesian wells flowing with sufficient quantities of good water to irrigate large fields. Through the season vegetables now grown in the Arava are flown regularly to Europe, and the quantity is expected to increase so much that vegetables shall be shipped by refrigerated ships, while the strawberries and roses will be Gown out as exports. Truly, the Arava is blossoming as the rose, as prophecy marks its beginning of fulfillment.

(3) "And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:6). Up until the victory of 1967 the Jerusalem that belonged to Israel was the new part of the city. True to this prophecy, the Lord did not intend to divide the city of Jerusalem, but his intention was that Jerusalem would again be in its own "place, even in Jerusalem." Here is an almost incredible fulfillment.

The context of Zechariah's prophecy indicates the role Jerusalem shall play as the nations "burden" themselves with the Holy City. The Lord says, "I will make Jerusalem a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it." (Zech. 12:3) That Jerusalem should come into the hands of the Israeli has been an embarrassment even to those sympathetic with the cause of Israel. The nations are burdened with this problem. Instead of accepting this matter as the Lord's doing the nations are intent upon getting involved. Yet Jerusalem's destiny is certain. Though the nations gather against it, they only stand to be wounded in the process. They cannot remove Jerusalem from its rightful owners nor the owners from their rightful possession. Powerful kings and popes have long coveted the Holy City, sending Crusades one after another to take the city. They always failed. These world leaders were prepared to make enormous sacrifices to get this city. If they could have fulfilled their purpose they would have made its streets of gold and its gates of pearl. If they could have possessed this city, how it would have strengthened their claims to be the Kingdom of God. However, with all the power and wealth these world leaders were mocked in all their claims to be the Kingdom of God. Why? Because who does not know that when God's kingdom is established, "Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:2, 3) The kingdom of God will be Israelitish. Jerusalem will be its seat of government.

(4) Return of People to God. The turning of the hearts of the Jewish people to their God is somewhat lacking. Oh, yes, there are many who believe in God, but who have not the faith of Abraham who believed God. Religious Zionism was not the main incentive for the great regathering. Political Zionism, practical Zionism and persecution provided the main motivations for the present exodus. But this is in itself a (fulfillment of prophecy. Political and practical Zionism will yet develop religious roots. Ezekiel 20:32-37, specially directed toward the assimilationist Jew, reads: "that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all; in that ye say: we will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand . . . and with fury poured out, . . . will I . . . gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, . . . and there will I plead with you face to face.... And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant." The Lord says he would "plead" with the people during the regathering—it is a "face to face" encounter, indicating the Lord's face is upon them. The purpose is to reach the heart of his people. The work of cleansing shall however be accomplished after the regathering into the land.

In Ezekiel 36:24-28 God says: "I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; . . . A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep Mine ordinances, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God." Such being the case, we need not look askance at those returning to the Holy Land in an unclean state of heart. It is after the regathering that the Lord has promised to "sprinkle clean water upon" them.

The Torah and the Land

Man has a capacity for law. Where man is there is law. His progress and advancement are in direct relation to his capacity to understand and abide by law. No one has given to the world a greater legacy than did Moses when he gave Israel and the world the Law of God. Nothing has contributed more to human dignity and honor than the Law of Moses— both for Israel and, to the extent it was copied, the civilized world. Particularly in this civilized world of the present time there is a great, an almost uncontrolled passion, for remedying all the problems of men on all levels. Yet strangely men find it increasingly difficult to remedy world problems while living under the noblest of laws.

When law ceases to be a high standard, and when men need not stand on tiptoe to reach it, it ceases to serve man's greatest need. Man's course tends downward. Nobility comes by guided discipline and conscious endeavor and not by abandonment. Much of the present study and research on man is based on observing him as he is — whereas the real need is to know what man must be. What man must be is not observable, however. The scientific method has nothing to conclude when it has nothing to observe. Moses gave Israel and the world something that science could never give. He gave them God's law, the standard, and since that day till now it has been a light in the world.

Moses reminded Israel of how God "afflicted thee, and suffered you to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of God doth man live." (Deut. 8:3) Man may choose to live by the word of men—such is their privilege. However, they cannot escape from the consequences of their choice.

When Israel received the law of God from Moses it was immediately apparent to them that it was worthy of their highest commitment. They said: "All the words which the Lord hath spoken will we do." (Exod. 23:4) Now, centuries later, it is quite discernible that the promise was not in line with the performance. Yet, despite repeated failure at keeping the law, the decision was a good one, lifting this people and nation above others in many ways and underscoring their failures. In their successes and failures the great value of the law was in its ability to teach the needs of men as well as the consequences of yielding to the inner weaknesses.

In addition to the moral aspect of the Torah, there were the ordinances of worship. The Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Passover, the new moons, etc., synchronize with the agricultural cycles of the land of Israel. Consequently, the centuries of daily prayers uttered by the Jews in Diaspora are only made meaningful by one place on earth—Eretz Israel with its uniquely interwoven harvests and lunar cycles. The Torah molded the Israelites to the land. The Torah made the land of Canaan Eretz Israel. The Torah gave Israel deep abiding roots in the land that date back over 35 centuries. The Torah was and is Israel's heritage in Eretz Israel. That is why, after the current regathering, Ezekiel (36:24-28) reveals that God will "cause you (Israel) to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My ordinances and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers: and ye shall be My people and I will be your God." This is the hand of Divine Providence, before which all other claims to the land must bow.