A Question I Was Asked:



What About Israel's Conquest of the 'Promised Land'?





The Actual Question:

'How does Israel's conquest of the promised land impact the nations of the middle east today?'



UK Apologetics Reply:

Well, all Bible students are aware that Israel's conquest of the Promised Land (which we may read about in the Book of Joshua), was according to a promise given by the Lord to Abraham right back in Genesis. The land would rightfully belong to the children of Isaac. It all starts off in Genesis 12:1-5 and continues from there. All the claims and arguments from Bible sceptics that these statements were back-projected from a later generation of Jewish nationalists have now failed and there is every reason to take full confidence in the integrity of Holy Scripture. Therefore we are on strong ground when pointing out that Israel dwell in the 'Holy Land' according to divine will. But we also need to remember that Abraham was also the father of the Arabs, yet the promise of land did not go to them, but to the children of Isaac. Whether modern, God-denying and politically-correct people like this or not (and they mostly don't like it), this is the biblical position.

However, this biblical fact does not excuse anything which modern Israel might decide to do in our day and - truth is - Israel today (like all peoples, but Israel have a greater responsibility) have been unfaithful to God. I must say that I would like to see US-based dispensationalists face up to some of these things rather than continually being prepared to 'rubber-stamp' anything which modern Israel does. A huge part of modern Israel have given their allegiance to the false god of Secularism, whilst the religious part of Israeli life is dominated by modern Judaism; much of it seems to have become a sham of empty ritualism and useless worship although I would never discount true sincerity where it may exist, even in the midst of often startling ignorance. Jewish orthodoxy has tragically failed to have any real comprehension of the Hebrew Scriptures which were entrusted to them. That was true in the first century AD and it is true even now.
Back in the twentieth century, the 'NPP' movement ('New Perspective on Paul'), tried very hard to resurrect the good name of judaistic religious orthodoxy throughout the ages but I think that they failed; according to the 'NPP' people, Protestantism greatly misunderstood the New Testament writers of both the Gospels and the epistles (especially Paul) and the Jewish religious authorities of the time of Jesus and Paul were good guys really. I think the claims of these people unravelled as more and more of us were able to travel to Israel for ourselves and find that, in many cases, orthodox Jews continue to be very similar to what Jesus and Paul experienced (like a certain priest who never visits his mother in his own town yet refuses to press the bell for a lift on the sabbath because it would be "sinful").
Modern attitudes (the liberal refusal to judge, and 'political correctness') plus the horror of all of us concerning the events of the holocaust, mean that most of us Western writers prefer to abstain from offering criticism, but I think that sometimes we really need to speak up - this, most assuredly - is in no way anti-semitic .

The (unjustified) anger of the Arabs toward Israel can be found even right back in Genesis and it has only grown, fed as it often has been by Arab nationalism and anti-Jewish fanaticism. These people like to present us with a picture that many thousands of Arabs were thrown out of the Holy Land when it became a Jewish State in 1948 but it was actually an Arab who told me that this is sheer propaganda and that it never happened. I also believe that most Israelis have no problem in living with Arabs but that the latter - all too often - are fed a continuous diet of hatred and envy by their extremists, this making real peace hard to achieve.

So, yes, Israel's conquest of the promised land has had a major impact on the middle east both in the past and present, but I would just like to see some commentators on this situation come out of their usual entrenched positions and look at both sides of the question.
Having said that, Christians must hold fast to the fact that this land of Israel is inhabited by the children of Isaac by divine right.
Robin A. Brace. November 22nd 2009.

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