The Deed To The Land 2

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The Deed To The Land - Part Two

 

In our previous segment, we took a look at the great ongoing debate that is being waged over Israel’s right to the land of Canaan. We saw that it is waged on both the secular and sacred levels with many differing conclusions. It will be our purpose in this segment to begin answering this question from a purely biblical perspective. Only God has the authority to settle this matter and so we will appeal to His Word. 

In Christian circles, most agree that the Bible states that God did give Israel the deed to the land. There are many passages that can be cited to support this and we will cover them later in our study. The real issue has to do with whether Israel still possess that deed. Was the deed given by God as an everlasting possession or was it forfeited it by Israel when she rejected her Messiah at His First Coming? As we look at the Scriptural record we find that there are several things which indicate that the deed of the land still belongs to Israel. In this segment we will look at the unconditional and eternal natures of the past Covenants God made with Israel.

As we study the Old Testament record we find that God made four covenants with Israel; the Abrahamic Covenant, the Deuteronomic Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the Mosaic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was unique in that it does not deal with the deed of the land and is given a time frame in which it would be fulfilled. The Mosaic Covenant began with Moses and ended with Christ’s work on the Cross. Take note of the following passages.

Matt 5:17-18, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” NKJV

Rom 8:2-5, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” NKJV

Gal 4:4-5, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born* of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” NKJV

Gal 3:19-20, “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.” NKJV

Since the Mosaic Covenant has no bearing on the deed of the land, let us look at the other three Covenants that do. Please note that each of these covenants is unconditional and everlasting in nature. This fact indicates that God’s deed to the land of Canaan is a permanent deed without end or limitations. Now before we look at these covenants let us further define three points.

A) The deed does not require occupation. Many people own deeds to properties that they do not always occupy but they still are the owners. So it is with Israel. The deed means she is always the rightful owner whether she occupies the land or not. Therefore, though Israel has not occupied the land for most of the last 2000 years does not in any way detract from her being the rightful owner of Canaan.

B) Unconditional Covenant: The unconditional nature of a covenant indicates that there are no conditions that must be met for the covenant to be valid. Likewise, there are no conditions that will nullify the covenant. The covenant will stand regardless of what the holder does or does not do. In regards to Israel, no matter whether she obeyed or disobeyed the Lord, since her covenant with God is unconditional, it would always be a valid covenant. 

C) Everlasting Covenant: The everlasting nature of a covenant indicates that there is expiration date so the covenant will never end. Therefore, if Israel is given an everlasting covenant it would be expected that the covenant will always be valid. Time is not a factor.

Both sides of the argument agree with these definitions. The question still remains whether these deed covenants were everlasting and unconditional. Lets look at them in light of God’s Word.

A)Abrahamic Covenant: God gives the deed of the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendents.

i) It was an Unconditional Covenant (Genesis 15:9-21): God comes to Abraham and commands him to cut several animals in two and place the halves opposite of each other creating a path down the middle. Those entering into the contract would then walk together between the halves and thus sealed the contract. The purpose of killing the animals was to symbolize what should happen to the parties if they were to break that contract. 

In the case of this making this contract or covenant, something unusual takes place. When I comes time to seal the covenant, God puts Abraham in a trance where he is able to observe what is taking place but is unable to participate in it. As he lays there watching, God alone walks between the animals indicating that the fulfillment of that covenant was not based in anything that Abraham or his descendents did or did not do but rather it rested solely on the faithfulness of God. In other words, even though the Jewish people would often disobey God and violate their covenant, yet it remained always in effect.

ii) It was an Everlasting Covenant: The fact that this covenant had no expiration date is seen both in the words of God and in the fact that it was passed on from generation to generation.

a) As given to Abraham

Gen 13:15-16, “for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.” NKJV

Gen 17:7-8, “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. 8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." NKJV

b) As transferred to Isaac

Gen 26:3-5, “Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;” NKJV

c) As transferred to Jacob and his descendents

Gen 28:3-4, “May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples; And give you the blessing of Abraham, To you and your descendants with you, That you may inherit the land In which you are a stranger, Which God gave to Abraham." NKJV

Gen 28:13-14, “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” NKJV

Gen 35:12-13, “The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land." NKJV

Gen 48:3-4, “Then Jacob said to Joseph: "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.” NKJV

B) The Deuteronomic Covenant: The Deuteronomic Covenant was established after the and separate from the Mosaic Covenant. It had to do with a Covenant God made with Israel as she was ready to move into the land of Canaan after the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

Deut 29:1, “These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb.” NKJV

In this covenant, God promises that the land will always belong to Israel as it is both everlasting and unconditional. Please note the following examples

i) It is the same in nature as the Covenant given to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob there it has all the conditions and promises (Deut. 29:10)

ii) It is given to all succeeding generations – as long as there is a Jewish people they have the deed to the land (Deut. 29:14-15)

iii) It is to be fulfilled after a period of obedience and rebellion as expressed in Duet. 28 indicating that neither obedience nor rebellion will change this covenant (Deut. 30:1-2)

iv) It is to be fulfilled when all of Israel is gathered from all parts of the world, and are regenerated, their enemies cursed, and they will prosper beyond anything previously (Deut. 30:3-10)

C) The Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:8-16): God established a Covenant with King David that will impact not only his decedents but also all of Israel. For there to always be a king on the throne of David there will have to be a Kingdom of Israel to rule over. Therefore the promise as given to David will also impact the nation he rules.

As we examine this Covenant we note that it is both everlasting and unconditional in nature.

i) Israel will be planted in the land and never moved and be free from her enemies (2 Sam. 7:10-11)

ii) The throne of David as it passes through Solomon will be established as an everlasting throne (2 Sam. 7:13)

iii) The promise is unconditional for though Solomon sins, yet the Lord will not take the throne away from the House of David (2 Sam. 7:14-15)


iv) The throne of David and His Kingdom will be established forever (2 Sam. 7:16) – note that God uses “forever” twice indicating that both the throne and the people in the land as a Kingdom will last forever.

v) This covenant is further confirmed in several other passages

2 Sam 23:5, “Although my house is not so with God, Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, Ordered in all things and secure. For this is all my salvation and all my desire; Will He not make it increase?” NKJV

2 Chron 7:17-18. “As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, 'You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.'” NKJV

2 Chron 21:7. “ Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.” NKJV

Ps 89:3-4, “"I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: 'Your seed I will establish forever, And build up your throne to all generations”. . . 28-30, “My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.” . . . 34-37, “My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky."NKJV

Jer 33:19-26, “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, "Thus says the Lord : 'If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.'" Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, "Have you not considered what these people have spoken, saying, 'The two families which the Lord has chosen, He has also cast them off'? Thus they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them. "Thus says the Lord : 'If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them.'" NKJV

It is clear from these three Covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their decedents, God’s gift of the land of Israel would be an everlasting and unconditional gift. As long as there was a people of Israel, the Divine deed to the land of Canaan would belong to them only. Thought they have never fully occupied it, the day is coming when their Messiah returns that Israel will be completed restored to their chosen land.