Bible Studies

 






 
 

Part One. Click here for Part Two.

 

A Bible study  for which we have drawn heavily on a portion of Elmer Josephson’s  article in Vol. 2, No. 1 of  Bible Light On the News.

 

Why Is the Land of Milk and Honey
Flowing with Blood and Tears?

By Chris Josephson

An Overview of The History of Israel Until the Time of Yahshua (Jesus)

Each story in the references below is a  wonderful study, but for now we’ll try to stick with a bird’s eye view, and try to high-light the foundations of Israel’s history.

2128 B.C. to 1898 B.C.

  • Genesis 10:19 – first mention of the land
  • Genesis 12:

1.     Verses 1-3 – the call of Abram to the land, the “preamble” to the Abrahamic Covenant. This is basic – the “Cradle of Redemption.”

2.      Verses 4-7 – obedience of Abram and first promise of the land.

  • Genesis 13:14-18 – promise confirmed and extended (after Abram gave Lot the best choice of land.
  • Genesis 15 – After Abram had rescued Lot and the kings of Sodom area, he refused their reward and was blessed by Melchizedek – “King of Righteousness”, King of Salem (ancient name for Jerusalem). Then in this chapter God spoke to him again and

1.     Abram’s seed is identified;

2.     The covenant was established by sacrifice;

3.     and he was given the boundaries of the land (Gen.15:18, also Exodus 23:31; Deut. 11:24 and Joshua 1:2-4

  • Genesis 16 – the beginning of the conflict; Ishmael is born
  • Genesis 17 – is very important as ratifications (confirmations) and ramifications (spreading out, extensions) of the covenant were given him.

1.      God says 3 times in this chapter that the covenant is “everlasting”,

2.      9 times that it is HIS covenant – unconditional and unchanging. 

3.     And of the ramifications (far-reaching extensions) 8 times they are mentioned and  was the reason his name was changed to Abraham which means  “father of many”.

4.     The Covenant “seed” was established as being Isaac (v. 21),

5.     The eighth-day-circumcision was given as the token (in the flesh) of the Covenant.

  • In chapter 21 of Genesis this story becomes reality  and verse 12 of that chapter, also, says,  “in Isaac shall thy seed be called. ”   But let’s not miss the “also” of verse 13, “Álso of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation because he is thy seed” – though the Covenant is with the seed of Isaac.

 

1898 B.C. to 1451 B.C.

  • Genesis 26:1-4 – “seed” covenant confirmed to Isaac
  • Genesis  28:1-4 – blessing passed on to Jacob by Isaac
  • Genesis 28: 10-15 – through the “ladder vision” God spoke and confirmed the Covenant to Jacob.
  • Genesis 32:

1.     Verses 9-12 – Jacob returns to the Land; anticipating meeting his brother Esau, He reminds God of the promises.

2.     Verses 24-32 – Jacob’s name becomes “Israel”.

  • Genesis 35:9-13 – Confirmed at Bethel again.
  • Genesis 48 and 49 – Jacob’s dying blessing on all the tribes. The promises again reaches huge proportions when Jacob adopts Joseph’s two sons as tribes (making 13 tribes in Israel) with the blessing of becoming teeming multitudes. Notice how worldwide God’s plan of restoration and redemption is.
  • Exodus 13:21,22 – Israel was forged into a nation in the furnace of Egypt. When they came out the LORD led them in a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. These references make interesting study we can’t now develop, but note Exodus 23:20-33. 
  • Exodus 33:1-3a “Unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” Twenty-two times from Exodus to Ezekiel this expression is used concerning the land of Israel.
  • Deuteronomy 28 sets forth the blessings of believing and the curses of unbelief.

1451 B.C. to 1095 B.C.

  • Joshua 7:5-13 – The conquest of the land under Joshua was fraught with both victories and defeats as “imperfect men did God’s perfect work.”  And Israel did not fully obey the Lord in purging the land of idolatry and its idol worshipping inhabitants.
  • The Book of Judges is a history of frequent confusion of Israel in the land, because “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).  It was a time of constant declension and recovery.

Go back by the medium of these sacred records and live with Samson, (Judges 13-16) as he does exploits for the Lord until his mighty strength dissipates under the spell of an ungodly woman which led him to the prison house, put out his eyes and made him to grind at the prison mill like an animal. Read then how his strength was restored in his latter days. Typically, isn’t this a parallel to the USA who in her unquestioned world power, dangerously flirts with lust and falls into the lap of luxury, ease, pride an immorality? Will we recover – and when?

 

1095 B.C. to 975 B.C.

  • II Samuel through I Kings 12 – Israel’s better days were just ahead under the full establishment of the kingdom of Israel under King Saul, BUT ITS GREATEST power and glory developed under King David in 1048 B.C. and continued under the reign of King Solomon who had 40 years of peace. (Read this inspiring, colorful and instructive historic account of the purest theocratic government we know anything about – 1171 to 975 B.C.)

975 B.C. to 586 B.C.

  • I Kings 11:1-3, 11-14; 26-39 – >From this point the kingdom was divided. Judah and Benjamin formed the southern segment with its capital at Jerusalem. The ten northern tribes had their capital at Samaria,
  • I Kings 12:15-24 – The split occurred when Solomon’s son, Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men to reduce taxes.

Some of the devout from each of the 10 northern tribes left and joined Judah, however, this division largely continues to this day. The northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive into Assyria 721 B.C., and Judah was taken captive into Babylon 586 B.C. A remnant of about 42,000 returned with Ezra and Nehemiah, but the kingdom was never restored to the glory it knew under King David and Solomon. From that time on “Judah” was known as “Jews”.  This term never applied to the Northern Kingdom.

Yet the Scriptures are replete with the prediction both houses will be restored and made one under Messiah (e.g. Ezekiel 37).  In Acts 15, James (who was the ‘chairman’ of the believers’ assembly) quoted from Amos 9 that the “tabernacle of David” will be restored. (For “tabernacle of David” read “Kingdom of David” which fell when the northern tribes rebelled.)

Amos 9:11,15 – “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old … And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.”

Jeremiah 30:40b, “… it shall not be plucked up nor thrown down any more for ever.”

Joel 3:11-21, verse 20 says, “But Judah shall dwell forever and Jerusalem from generation to generation.”

Zephaniah 3:19,20, “And I will get them praise and fame in every land where thy have been put to shame … for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.”

This is the land that is again producing milk and honey, so there must be pastures for the cows and flowers for the bees.  The area most suited for this is the northern Ephraim Mountains and the Golan, which is the most disputed over today and which most of the world wants Israel to surrender.    The Water-Carrier has been bringing down precious water from the North to the arid desert of the South. Nutrients are also needed to produce the best grass, pasture, flowers and all crops. Minerals are processed out of the Dead Sea in the South bringing fertilizers to the land. Although Israel’s officials are offering land for peace, it has not brought peace, for God in His royal land grant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, included ALL THE LAND to the Euphrates River. We believe He will fulfill His Promises.  All this the Eternal is doing to make “The Whole House of Israel” a blessing to all the earth to bring in righteousness and peace through Messiah, the Redeemer of the entire world, so that “the knowledge of the glory of God may cover the earth as the waters cover the sea”.

You CAN help make the land flow with milk and honey, rather than blood and tears.