Scripture shows us that God has an ongoing plan for Israel and is committed to the Jewish people by everlasting covenant. His never–ending care for Israel is a sign of His faithfulness and holiness.
When God called Abraham He told him that He would show him a new land, which would be his, and swore by His own name that this would be so. Psalm 105 expresses the matter clearly.
When the people of Israel entered the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership they were told to destroy the heathens who had previously lived there, and be separated unto God. Because they failed to do this and began to follow the false gods of other peoples, Israel went into captivity in Assyria and Judah went into captivity in Babylon in 586BC. In fulfilment of prophecy of Jeremiah (25:11) the southern tribes of Benjamin and Judah, along with some priests and Levites, returned after 70 years in exile. The events are recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Failing to recognise Jesus as Messiah, they were dispersed again following the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the failure of the Second Revolt in 132–35. This time they were scattered throughout the whole world and the exile (Diaspora) lasted for almost 2,000 years. God had promised that this dispersion would finally end before the return of the Messiah. The burden of the Major Prophets concerns the return and it is referred to in other scriptures ranging from Leviticus to Malachi. There are at least 141 prophecies concerning this final, irreversible restoration of the land of Israel and the chosen people to Israel, His land, with Jerusalem, God’s city, as its eternal capital.
Compare, for instance, Jeremiah 33:11, which predicts the restoration of both the land and the people, with Isaiah 43:5–6 … ‘from the ends of the earth’. Ezekiel 36:24–28 predicts that when the people of Israel are restored to their land they will also be restored spiritually, ‘I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities…I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you …you will be my people and I will be your God.’ Also see Deuteronomy 30:1–6, where Moses predicts this dispersion and restoration, and Zechariah 10:8. Isaiah 62:1–5 shows how the people are married to the land; Israel the people and Israel the land belong together.
The exile of the Jews actually profaned God’s name (Ezekiel 36:20), so for the sake of His own name God causes their return (Ezekiel 36:22). God is concerned for His reputation, which is restored when the people return.
Modern ‘replacement’ theology declares that God broke His relationship with Israel after the Jews refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah and that the Church became the ‘spiritual Israel’ to the exclusion of the natural people. Such views are not only unbiblical and ignore history, but also atheistic in the sense that those holding them do not believe that God’s Word is unchanging and that He is capable of fulfilling it!
It saves the Church a lot of empathy, sympathy, energy, time and money to believe that 'Israel' under the New Covenant is not referring to either the people of Israel or to the Land of Israel, but rather to the Church. This is wrong! Derek Prince, the great Christian statesman-like teacher of the 20th century, would say that in the Bible, "Israel is Israel and the Church is the Church". Because not all believe like Derek Prince, however, then empathy, sympathy, energy, time and money that could be given to aid the cause of Zion goes instead in all sorts of other directions…
Aliyah is the Biblical term for 'going up to Jerusalem'. It especially referred to the mandatory 'going up' to the Temple for the three pilgrim feasts of the Lord' – Passover and Tabernacles. In these modern times aliyah refers to the return of the Jewish people from their dispersion to settle in their own land, Israel. For nearly 20 years Ebenezer – Operation Exodus has been helping Jewish people, mainly from the former Soviet Union, to make aliyah – to 'return' to the land of their forefathers. The British withdrawal from their mandatory responsibility in what was cal…
Started in 1991 with just three people, it now has representatives in 50 countries worldwide. Operation Exodus is an instrument of the Lord to encourage and help the Jewish people to return to the Land of Israel from the land of the north and all the nations and to proclaim God’s Kingdom purposes for their return.