THE MEANING OF “MY LAND”

I read this quote from someone commenting about Israel:”There is only a small part of the entire planet that the God of Israel refers to as “my land” and that is precisely where the State of Israel is situated.”

On the contrary, here is what the Bible says:

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalm 24:1).

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is (Deuteronomy 10:14).

For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof (Psalm 50:10-12).

The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them (Psalm 89:11).

And the list goes on…

Now, with regards to the references in the Old Testament in which God refers to the land of Israel as “My land” (example Joel 3:3) there is a Biblical context.

In the Old Testament, God refers to the land of Israel as “My land” because that land was sanctified by God as his dwelling place among men under the first covenant. The people of Israel were God’s covenant people (a nation of Jews with Gentiles who joined them). The land was given to them as their inheritance under THAT covenant. Jerusalem in Israel was the holy city, the Temple in Jerusalem was of the holy site and the place where the God of Israel was worshipped.

This all changed with the announcement of the gospel for God’s people are no longer a physical nation in a small portion of land with a man-made Temple. God’s people are now living in every nation and God’s Spirit lives in their hearts by faith and they are His Temple (individually and corporately).

Abraham the father of our faith was made the heir of the world (Romans 4:13) and the father of many nations (Genesis 12:3; 17:4; Galatians 3:8-9). Yet, he never inherited the land of Israel for himself (Acts 7:4-5). Neither did his descendants Isaac, and Jacob.

Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:9-10).

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob weren’t looking for a physical land, but a heavenly one and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (Hebrews 11:14). The land of Israel was the physical inheritance for the physical nation under a physical covenant that has been replaced by a new and better Covenant.

Jesus is the seed of Abraham through whom the promises made to Abraham have come to fruition. Jesus died and rose again so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles (the nations of the world) so that all who believe in Jesus Christ may be justified by faith even as their father Abraham was justified by faith. Those who belong to Christ are Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:29) and have their citizenship in Heaven (Philippians 3:20).

The message of the Gospel isn’t “go back to the land of Israel”, it is instead, “go into all the World!”

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