A Brief History Of The Nation Israel

       Where did the nation of Israel begin?  It all began in Genesis 12:1-3, God promised Abram (later to be called “Abraham”) a great nation.  “Abraham” means “father of many nations.”

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

God promised that Abraham’s descendants would inherit and OWN the land. 

“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land…” (Genesis 12:7).  

“And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” (Genesis 15:7). 

Script rally, Israel owns everything from the Euphrates River of Syria to the Nile River of Africa.  This doesn’t make Arabs too happy when they hear this, but it is true.  It is Israel’s sin that has caused them to lose control of their rightful land.  Even today, it is very difficult to find a born-again Jew.  They follow Judaism and think they are automatically going to heaven.  This is not true.  God is no respecter of persons; Jew or gentile, all must trust Jesus.

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:6)

“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:18).   

“Moses led the Hebrews to the Promised Land.  The Hebrews were shepherds who had wandered for centuries in the Arabian Desert seeking grass for their flocks.  Sometime between 1400 B.C. and 1300 B. C. their search led many of them out of the desert into the land of Canaan in eastern Palestine.  As a homeland, Canaan left much to be desired.  It lacked fertile soil, natural resources, and harbors.  Although winds from the Mediterranean Sea brought plenty of rainfall in winter, it quickly drained off.  In summer, the hills in the south were burned brown and covered with dust carried by the hot desert winds. 

Since the hills were far more suitable for grazing than for crops, most of the Hebrews continued to be shepherds.  In spite of its drawbacks, however, the Hebrews found Canaan a better home than the Arabian Desert had been.  The Jordan River, in the northern part of the country, created a rich, well-watered valley, which seemed like a paradise to the Hebrews.  They called it the land of milk and honey.”

Source: “Story of Nations”; by Lester B. Rogers, Fay Adams and Walker brown; 1960.

     The Bible tells us that Joseph’s 10 evil brothers sold him into slavery.  Joseph was carried into Egypt and sold there to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s servant (Genesis 39:1).  Joseph was put into prison by a false accusation; however, he prospered by the mercy and sovereignty of God.  God had a purpose for Joseph.  Joseph prospered and eventually became governor over all of Egypt through a series of miraculous events.  Eventually, Jacob was reunited with his long-lost son, Joseph; whom Jacob thought had been dead all those years.  Joseph forgave his 10 brothers. 

Jacob moved his entire family into Egypt to be with Joseph.  The Hebrew families multiplied greatly and became successful.  Many years went by and a new Pharaoh took power that knew not Joseph; the Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses II. 

     God delivered His people (the Hebrews) from the cruel bondage of the Egyptians by the hand of Moses.  The Jews (named after “Judah”, fourth son of Jacob), crossed over the Red Sea into safety.  Pharaoh’s armies and horses drowned in the Red Sea by the judgment of God.  The Jews continued their journey into the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula, where they wandered for 40 years. 

    Finally, in about 1200 B.C., the Hebrews reached Canaan.  They fought and defeated the Canaanites.  The Hebrews began to develop their new homeland.  They built permanent houses and began to farm the land.  God sent “judges” (godly men and women to guide the people).  In time, the Jews demanded a king over them.  The prophet Samuel spoke to the Lord and Saul was appointed by God to be king over Israel. 

Upon his tragic death in battle, David became king.  David, “a man after God’s own heart”, reigned mightily over Israel.  His son Solomon took the throne upon David’s death.  Solomon was a wise, yet foolish king.  He lived in sin and did not follow in his father’s footsteps.  Solomon’s heart was turned aside after heathen gods, because of his one thousand heathen wives.   Upon Solomon’s death, the people of Israel were tired.

    “Solomon’s projects were so expensive that he had to tax his people heavily and force many of them to work in the Phoenician mines.  When he died, the ten northern tribes angrily broke away and re-established the independent Kingdom of Israel.  Disunited, the Israelites were too weak to withstand the onslaught of the Assyrians, who thundered through Israel in 722 B. C. on their way to Egypt.  The Assyrians captured the Israelites and forced them to march across the hot plains to Assyria, where they vanished and were never heard of again. 

The Israelites became known as the Ten Lost Tribes.  The remaining two tribes in the south formed the kingdom of Judah.  The people called themselves “Jews”, from a shortened form of “Judah.”  One country after another exacted tribute from the tiny kingdom.  In 586 B. C. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Chaldeans and were marched to Babylon in captivity.  Even though the Jews later returned to Canaan, they were unable to regain their former unity or power.”

--Source, “Story of Nations”; by Lester B. Rogers, Fay Adams and Walker brown; 1960.

After Solomon died, Solomon’s son “Rehoboam” took the throne.   He refused to lighten up on the people so they instead rebelled against him.  “Jeroboam” (who had served under king Solomon), took ten tribes and journeyed north.  An easy way to remember this is:

Jeroboam Journey, but Rehoboam Remained.”

The northern Kingdom of Israel was known as “Samaria” (their capitol).  The southern Kingdom of Israel was known as “Judah” (their capitol was Jerusalem).  The nation of Israel was divided by the foolish decision of Rehoboam to remain hard on the people.  He told them he was going to be even harder than his father (Solomon); they didn’t want to hear this.  The nation of Israel was divided—A house divided cannot stand!  After the destruction of Samaria in 722 B.C. by the Assyrians, and the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B. C. by king Nebuchadnezzar, Israel would not be recognized again as a nation until 1948 A.D.

    The remnant of Jerusalem and its people were totally annihilated in 70 A.D. by Titus of Rome.  The Jews lost their homeland and were scattered all over the world.   They suffered persecution and were a minority group in many different countries.

 "At the beginning of the twentieth century, a number of prominent Jews founded the Zionist (zy-unist) movement (“Zion” is a Hebrew name for “Jerusalem”).  The Zionists wanted to establish a homeland for Jews.  Naturally, they hoped to go back to their ancient home in Palestine.  The Turkish Empire had controlled Palestine for centuries.  So the Zionists got permission from the Turks to buy some land and make a few Jewish settlements in their ancient homeland.   By the outbreak of World War I, several thousand Jews had established themselves in Palestine.  In a peace treaty, the British received a mandate over the territory.  The British government favored the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people.  When the British took over control of Palestine, they did just that. 

In the next twenty years, thousands of Jews settled in Palestine.  They made great progress in agriculture and manufacturing, set up schools, built irrigation projects, and generally improved the country.  As the Jewish communities developed, however, the Arabs began to fear that they would be outnumbered and would lose control of their own land.  There was some ill feel and trouble before World War II.  After the war, it became more serious.  The Jews, who had been horribly persecuted in Nazi-held territory, thought of Palestine as their Promised Land.  Most of those who lived through the Nazi horrors wanted to go to the Jewish homeland.   Warfare broke out, and the British suppressed it, but they could not solve the difficulties. 

Finally the British announced that they would turn the Palestine problem over to the UN and that they would get out of Palestine on May 15, 1948.  On may 14th, 1948, the day before the British finally withdrew from Palestine, the Jews proclaimed the State of Israel as a new and independent nation.  The Arab states at once went to war with the new states.  The UN urged the armies of both sides to cease fire, but neither side obeyed.  Fanatics on both sides refused to listen to reason.  The Israeli armies proved to be stronger than the armies of the Arab states."

--Source, “Story of Nations”; by Lester B. Rogers, Fay Adams and Walker brown; 1960.

The UN continues to work for peace.  Besides its establishment of Israel as a nation, it has been particularly effective in settling international disputes that might have otherwise erupted into serious crisis.  Israel still has much turmoil today with the Arab states.  The Middle East crisis will never end until Jesus returns. 

End of Article

Israel Idolatry


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