In the light of recent events concerning the recently concluded elections in Israel there has been a lot of comments and concerns shared over what people actually believe is God’s plan pertaining the church and the land of Israel.
I personally grew up seeing Israel as God’s preferred choice. I saw them as God’s chosen country besides the USA. But I have come to a place of realizing that this theology is not only unscriptural but portend more evil than the unsuspecting public is aware of.
The church has been subtly drawn to give support for violence, oppression, torture and terrorism going on over there in the Mid-east. In the support for Israel taking the land there are countless cases of Palestinian people who have become homeless. Most affected are even Christians living there. It is well documented that there are more Christians living in Palestine than in Israel.
When we look at the argument being put forth it is not far connected to the promise made to Abraham by God. Many Christians draw their support for Israel based on the “everlasting” Abrahamic covenant. What we don’t realize is that the Abrahamic covenant found its perfect expression in Jesus.
Now to the scripture that is being quoted in support.
“ And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.” (Genesis 17:7)
They claim that God has made an everlasting covenant with Israel based on this scripture. The problem of seeing this scripture like that is it produces inconsistencies with the new covenant in the scriptures.
The Apostle Paul declared that the true Israel is not by blood line but by the blood of Jesus. See what he says in Romans 9:6-8
“But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”[b] 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.”
John the Baptist in his ministry declared that they should not trust in their lineage for safety. The New Testament opens up with John was already prophesying the threat of coming destruction. Later, Jesus also echoed this declaration:
“Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did [walk by faith]. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” (John 8:39-47).
So how we reconcile the Abrahamic covenant being everlasting?
First of all the beneficiaries of the covenant was in the seed and not seeds.
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” (Galatians 3:16-18)
Secondly and this is very important. The Abrahamic covenant was not an everlasting covenant.
I did some research and this is what I discovered. The word everlasting in Genesis 17 is “owlam”. According to Ancient Jewish definitions and commentary, the Hebrew word olam means in the far distance. When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This concept is the olam. The word olam is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive.
Owlam is a time-related word and it has the following two distinct meanings in the Bible, depending on its context:
1. A period of time that never ends, meaning forever, everlasting or eternal.
2. A period of time that begins and ends, meaning an age or age-lasting.
Let us give you examples from the Bible that clearly show that the original Hebrew word owlam has these two distinct meanings.
The fact that one of the meanings of owlam is ‘forever, everlasting or eternal’ is not in dispute because many scriptures confirm this, for example:
In the Bible, when owlam is used to describe the eternal attributes of God, then of course owlam means forever, everlasting or eternal as seen in the verses below:
Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting (owlam) God.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel From everlasting (owlam) toeverlasting (owlam)! Amen and Amen.
Owlam, depending on the context, can also mean age or age-lasting even though most Bible translations always interpret it to mean ‘forever, everlasting or eternal’.
Genesis 17:13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting (owlam) covenant.
Owlam in this verse actually means an ‘age-lasting’ covenant, even though it is translated in the NKJV version above, and other versions of the Bible, to mean ‘everlasting’ covenant. What we find in the New Testament in Galatians 5:6, is that the covenant of circumcision given to Israel was never intended to be an ‘everlasting’ covenant but an ‘age-lasting’ covenant.
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,Because they have transgressed the laws,Changed the ordinance,Broken the everlasting covenant.
The Mosaic Covenant given to Israel has been translated to mean ‘everlasting’ covenant. But, we know from the New Testament, in Hebrews 8:13, that the Old Covenant of the Law under Moses has now been done away with and we now have the new covenant that finds it root in Jesus.
Now I would love to show you how Youngs Literal Translation renders it.
“And I have established My covenant between Me and thee, and thy seed after thee, to their generations, for a covenant age-enduring, to become God to thee, and to thy seed after thee.”
That promised land was to be in the possession of Abraham’s descendants for the period of an Age. On the cross when the Old Covenant was made “obsolete” the countdown to the end of age began and it fully “passed away” within one generation as Jesus prophesied when the Temple and the totality of the sacrificial system was destroyed by the Romans in AD70.
Everything promised has been fulfilled at that age and the blessings of Abraham found its way in the New covenant as Jesus the seed of Abraham inherited it all for us all who believe in Him.
Circumcision was the physical sign of the Covenant of God with Abraham. When man procreated, the seed had to pass through the sign of the Covenant, thus passing that Covenant on to the next generation.
Paul stated that the New Covenant had no need of this rite, for Abraham was actually declared to be righteous while he was still in uncircumcision (Romans 4:9), and that “them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised”, would have righteousness imputed to them as well (Romans 4:12).
This Abrahamic covenant is now fulfilled in Christ. We who are in Christ and can live like faithful Abraham and enjoy the rest and promise in this age regulated by the new covenant. Since the true Israel of God is those who walk by faith, there is no reason to pray for the nation of Israel more than any other nation. God loves the Arabians, Palestinians, Israelis, Malaysians, Philippines, Nigerians alike.