Rejoicing in Beulah Land
When Theodor Herzl and the early Zionists laid the groundwork for the modern State of Israel in the 1800s, they believed having a national Jewish homeland would end anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, they were wrong. David Bar Illan, late executive editor of The Jerusalem Post, expressed the grim reality: “Israel itself,” he said, “has become the world’s Jew.”
Such will not always be the case. God has promised that a day is coming when “ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zech. 8:23). Israel will be the head of all the nations, no one will challenge its possession of the Holy Land, peace will flow like a river, and the Jewish people will be the most respected on Earth. These events will occur when the long-anticipated Millennial Kingdom arrives after the seven-year Tribulation (also called the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” Jer. 30:7).
Though many people today scoff at the idea of a future, literal, Jewish, Messianic Kingdom, the truth of it permeates Scripture. In the sixth century B.C. God revealed its reality to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, king of the greatest Gentile empire on Earth. In a dream, He showed Nebuchadnezzar an immense statue of a man made of metals that descended in value from gold (the statue’s head) to virtually worthless but strong iron (the feet and toes). The image symbolized Gentile domination of the Jewish homeland.
Jesus called this period the “times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21:24). It will end when He returns to set up His 1,000-year Kingdom (Dan. 2:34–35; cf. Lk. 1:32–33).
Everything about the Kingdom will be radically different from today. Satan, bound and cast “into the bottomless pit” (Rev. 20:1–3), will be unable to deceive the nations, foment anti-Semitism, or dissuade people from worshiping the true and living God.
The Messiah will reign over the entire earth from the Temple in Jerusalem (Ezek. 43:7). “He shall be a priest on His throne” (Zech. 6:13), holding two offices (priest and king) that God never before in Jewish history allowed to be vested in one person. The combination is reserved exclusively for Jesus whose divine, righteous, sinless, incorruptible nature enables Him to rule wisely, compassionately, and with absolute justice.
In that day Israel will be the “head and not the tail” of all nations (Dt. 28:13): “You shall be named the priests of the Lᴏʀᴅ, they shall call you the servants of our God….Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,…therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs” (Isa. 61:6–7).
There will be no Palestinian situation, no terrorism, and no land-for-peace negotiations. The land will belong to the Jewish people, and they will live there in peace because it is the land God promised them: “Then you shall know that I am the Lᴏʀᴅ, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Ezek. 20:42; 36:28).
Today the world seems to think the way to peace is to dismantle Israel and give it to the Arabs. David Bar Illan called this “the peace of the grave.” Since his death in 2003, the Middle East has grown no friendlier to the Jewish people. When CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan covered the Egyptian revolution in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in February, a mob of Muslim men beat and sexually assaulted her, shouting “Jew, Jew!” Logan is not Jewish. The word Jew was simply the worst thing they could think to call her.
Yet someday Egypt will serve the God of Israel:
Then the Lᴏʀᴅ will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lᴏʀᴅ in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lᴏʀᴅ and perform it. And the Lᴏʀᴅ will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lᴏʀᴅ, and He will be entreated by them and heal them (Isa. 19:21–22).
In fact, two nations that once dominated the Jewish people will be at peace with each other and with Israel because of King Jesus’ presence on Earth:
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance” (vv. 23–25).
The coming Jewish Kingdom will be characterized by justice, morality, and integrity:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth….Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist (11:1, 3–5).
Centuries ago God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans and promised him, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise. He brought peace with God through His life, death, and resurrection. And He will bring peace to the world when, after the Tribulation, He physically returns to reign and rule over it for 1,000 years.
In that day, Israel will possess all of the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and will enjoy peace like a river (Isa. 66:12). Today Israelis must work with a spade in one hand and a gun in the other. But a new day is coming:
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,…but you shall be called Hephzibah [literally, “my delight is in her”] and your land Beulah [“married”]. They shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid (Isa. 62:4; Ezek. 34:28).