The End Times Focus on Israel: The Promised Land
By Dr. David Reagan
The Land for the People
Two key events lead to the regathering of the Jewish people back to the Promised Land: World War I and World War II. World War I prepared the land for the people. World War II prepared the people for the land.
How did World War I prepare the land for the people? Most Americans are not aware of the fact that in World War I we fought not only the Germans, but also their ally. The German ally was the Ottoman Empire made up of the Turks. When the Germans lost, the Turks also lost.
The Allies not only divided up the German empire, but we proceeded to divide up the Ottoman Empire as well. The Ottoman Empire could boast of being a great empire. This was the last of the Muslim caliphates. Their empire was divided up after World War I by the British and French in particular. The American’s were not so much involved in this division, but we helped divide it up.
Right in the middle of the Ottoman Empire was a tiny speck of land called Palestine. That parcel was given to the British. As soon as Palestine was given to the British, the British issued a document in November of 1917. I believe this document stands out as the first tangible sign in history that we were moving into the end times. That document was the Balfour Declaration. In that declaration, the British announced they were going to turn Palestine into a homeland for the Jewish people. Lord Balfour wrote precisely, “His Majesty’s government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
The Jews were electrified all over the world at the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. They rejoiced in the streets! At long last the Jews were going to regain the homeland for the Jewish people. Not only the Jews, but evangelicals as well from all over the world who knew God’s prophetic word, realized the importance of this declaration. Finally, they realized, the world was moving into the end stages of the end times because the Jewish people were going to go back home and reclaim their own land.
At the time of the Balfour Declaration, Palestine included modern-day Israel plus modern-day Jordan. All that land was given to the British. Israel plus what is today Jordan was the land the British promised to the Jewish people. That’d be 45,000 square miles of territory.
But, in 1922, the British double-crossed the Jewish people. In 1922, the British stabbed the Jews in the back because they realized that the Arabs were beginning to discover oil, and so they needed to curry favor with the Arab peoples. As a result, in 1922 the British decided to divide Palestine into two parts and to give the majority of it, two-thirds, to the Arab peoples. The decision left the Jewish people a very small sliver of land that was only 10,000 square miles. Once again, the Jews felt like they had been doubled-crossed. They reeled from being stabbed in the back, but they still wanted that little sliver of land. And so, the Jews prayed and they looked forward to the day when that little sliver of land would become their own piece of land.
The People for the Land
The second step was World War II which prepared the people for the land. Even though the Jews were given the sliver of land by the British, they did not go back in large numbers. They had to be motivated to go back. The horrors of World War II, the horrors of the Holocaust, provided the grim motivation.
After World War II was over and the Jews were released from the Holocaust, they came out of the Holocaust saying, “Never again! Never again! Never again will we live under a Hitler. We are going to have our own nation and our own government. We are going to rule ourselves.” And so, they began to flood into the land of Israel. World War I prepared the land for the people, but World War II prepared the people for the land.
Finally, in November of 1947, when the United Nations voted to create a Jewish homeland, the Jewish people were betrayed yet again. The United Nations voted to take that little sliver of land that was only 10,000 square miles and divide it equally between the Jews and the Arabs. Jerusalem was to become an internationalized area.
Naturally, the Jews were despondent. They were of course very upset. Though they felt like they had been betrayed, they stood resolute announcing, “We want a state nonetheless, for that has been our dream.” And so they accepted the United Nations resolution very reluctantly, but still they accepted it.
On May 14, 1948, in a tiny room in Tel Aviv, David Ben Gurion stood up and read the Declaration of Independence. After nearly 1,900 years, the state of Israel had finally come into existence.
Now, I want to tell you something at this point that I hope you will never forget. It is something that no one ever mentions.
On the very same day Israel declared itself a nation, the Arabs could have meet in Ramallah and declared a Palestinian State, because the United Nations voted to create two states — a state for the Jews and a state for the Arabs. The Jews accepted the UN’s terms and created their own state, but the Arabs cried, “No! We want it all.” There could have been a Palestinian State ever since 1948, but the Arabs wanted all of the land.
On the very next morning after Israel declared its nationhood, five Arab states attacked Israel simultaneously from all directions. The Arabs were determined to annihilate the infant state. The Arabs announced to the world, “We will make the Mediterranean Sea run red with the blood of the Jews!” And so, they attacked.
Strategically, there really was no hope for Israel. Israel made for a tiny little nation with only 600,000 people. All they had were the primitive guns they had brought from the Warsaw Ghetto. There seemed to be no hope whatsoever. But, they survived.
The Arabs rejected the UN’s offer of a Palestinian state, and have done so over and over again. Three to four times, when the Arabs could have founded a Palestinian state, they turned it down because in their greed they wanted all of the Levant. Because of their lost opportunity, the greatest diplomat in the history of Israel, Abba Eban, made this statement, “The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
The “Palestinian’s” worst enemies have always been their leaders. Their leaders are determined that they will settle for nothing less than the total destruction of Israel.
In the fourth and last segment of our study of God’s end time focus on Israel, I’ll reveal how the Arab backlash against Israel’s rebirth actually fulfills a stunning prophecy.