The Jews and Canaan

"Thy land, O Immanuel" (Isaiah 8:8).

We fear that some of our friends who are endeavouring to interpret prophecy by current events, and in their enthusiasm for the Jews, are very likely to lose sight of the Lord's right in the earth, and this specially as regards Canaan and the Jews, and also His holy and just government of these people. The results of "the Balfour Declaration" may be remarkable in the way, that industrious Jews have taken full advantage of it and have taken up the land to cultivate it, with a success beyond their hopes, but if in this there is any fulfilment of prophecy. It can only be that of the early part of Isaiah 18 where we read: "For so the Lord said to me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in My dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches. They shall be left together to the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them."

It is all to come to nothing and will involve those Jews who are in the land in sufferings far more terrible than their compatriots will endure elsewhere. The matter is being treated as though their having the land as their national home was only common justice to them, the fact is they have no more right to it than the Patagonians; they have forfeited every right that they seemed to have.

Their tenure of it depended entirely upon their obedience to Jehovah, their God; nothing could be clearer than that in all His words to them through Moses, His representative. They were put into it by His power to hold it for Him, as Adam was put into Eden to keep and to dress it. But they did not hold it for Him, they sold it away, as Adam sold Eden, which neither he nor they had any right to do. They sold it to God's enemies and theirs, until it became demon-ridden, and every false god exercised dominion in it; and they sold themselves also and became so corrupted that the land was more defiled than ever it had been in its long history.

That they would sell the land is clearly indicated in the remarkable Jubilee chapter, Leviticus 25, as well as in chapter 27 of that same Book, and having sold it and forfeited every claim to it, they were expelled from it according to the sure word of God.

To carry out His own intentions and in pity for them He intervened on their behalf and they were allowed to return from their exile, but never as a sovereign people, they went back under a foreign yoke, which yoke has never been lifted from them or the land, the times of Gentile supremacy had begun. When Emmanuel came into it, though it was His land, He had no place to lay His head in it. And who was to blame for that? The people who had sold the land and themselves into bondage, and did not recognise the Kinsman-Redeemer when He dwelt among them. "He came to His own (things) and His own (people) received Him not." They crucified Him, and cried, "His blood be upon us and upon our children" and, consequently they are scattered to the ends of the earth. They are living in that period in which as a people "Lo-ruhamah" and "Lo-ammi" is written upon them, which being interpreted is, "I will have no mercy on the house of Israel," and "Ye are not My people, and I will not be your God" (Hos. 1).

But God has said, "The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine" (Lev. 25). It is His and He has the right to redeem it and the year of Jubilee shall surely come; until then it will be trodden under foot of the Gentiles. When that time does come God will not require diplomatic declarations, whether made in response to services rendered, or from the exigencies of international politics. Mandates from Geneva will have no place when He acts; He will not allow men and nations to have anything to say in the disposal of the land that is His and not theirs. He will act sovereignly, supremely and swiftly, and all the inhabitants of the world and the dwellers on the earth shall see when He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains, and when He bloweth a trumpet they shall hear (Isa. 18). But that trumpet of Jubilee shall only sound in relation to atonement; the release of the land from its bondage and the liberty of the people shall be in relation to Calvary (Lev. 25), and not in relation to anything that men can do. God will fall back on His own electing grace and upon the precious atoning blood of Christ, and because of the value of that blood He will be able to carry out His grand designs righteously. Let no Jew say within himself, I have Abraham for my father and so I must come into favour, for God is able to raise up from the stones children to Abraham (Matt. 3); never on that ground will any be blest, for on that ground all is forfeited. But He has the right to redeem what is His and He will do it.

When God sets His hand to this great work, He will bring about a change of heart in His elect ones, and they will recognise their Kinsman-Redeemer; and He will own them again when their national pride has given place to brokenness of spirit and humble repentance for their own sinfulness and the blindness of their fathers; and though they have sold themselves for naught they shall be redeemed without money, and the land which is Immanuel's shall be apportioned to them according to His own decree; and then they will lift up their heads and boast, not in the wisdom of their intellectual leaders, or the riches of their financiers, or the might of any power or powers that have been favourable to them, but they will glory in this, that they understand and know Me, that "I am the Lord which exerciseth loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord."