Welcome to the Bible in the News weekly programme. This is Paul Billington with you this week.
When you open a Bible, there is one nation that is dominant in all that it says, or that it is concerned with--and that nation of course is Israel. You just cannot escape it. Well, in our day, the news has that same feature--the nation of Israel is always a topic. During the past week or so important statements have been made about Israel by the United States, by Britain, the European Union, the United Nations--and of course as always, by the Arabs.
These statements are all pointing in one direction. They are saying, in effect, that Israel must withdraw from the West Bank--that is the Biblical areas of Judea and Samaria. The international pressure upon Israel's Government is becoming very intense. The message from all quarters is loud and clear: "GET OUT!"
Israel took over Jordan's "West Bank" in 1967 and today there are some 270,000 settlers who live there. These settlers are not cattle--to be moved around according to the policies of politicians--they are people; people with feelings, with emotional attachments, people with beliefs. And these beliefs among the settlers are squarely founded upon the Scriptures. The Bible has given them an ideological attachment to the Land promised to the fathers. They may not understand the whole Truth--but what they do understand they are willing to live by.
The Lavi Vineyard on Mt. Gerizim.
This week we had a letter from one of these West Bank settlers. Nir Ha Levi lives on Mount Gerizim overlooking Shechem. He keeps a vineyard and makes wine for his living and he quotes the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:5 which says:
" Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things."
He feels himself to be personally involved in the fulfillment of prophecy and awaits the coming of the Messiah to redeem Israel.
Let me share a few paragraphs from his letter with you--I retain his broken English so you can perhaps get a feel for his personality. He refers to the SHMITA (Sabbath year) and mitzvah, or obligation (commandment). He writes of course as an orthodox Jew as follows:
"Shalom to all tribes of g-d the almighty.
I want to share with you the feelings of the SHMITA year the seventh year as you know & read in the Torah.
Firstly it is a test of faith just like life itself is but it’s a mitzvah that can only be kept in the holy land & no where else like several other commandments that are only valid in the land of Israel that mainly suggest living in the land.
The test is concentrated on this year on all your lifestyle because what are you going to fool g-d.?
In the torah it is written of course of not profiting from this year just breaking even & letting the land rest as it is. This is the commandment why?
So the poor can also have a year of prosperity they deserve a good year to.
Nowadays most of the farmers sell the land for this holy year because everybody needs cash flow & receives it back at the end of the year & works the land regularly.
But us settlers here in the Sachem area are not willing to sell the land at all & want to see eye in eye the l-rds salvation.
The fruit is holy in this year & is very complicated to make business with so that’s another reason farmers choose to skip this year.
As I commented in the beginning it is a test!
Who are we?
We are the Lavi Family from mount blessing community we are settlers & individual farmers in our community we grow grape vineyards on mount Gerizim the mountain of blessing.
We met the Waller family in the year 2004 & from since there is a very strong bond between us families we feel blessed to work together the land of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.
The vineyard got to be known all around the land of Israel for its unique Microclimate & its height 870 meters above sea level & fertile lands that’s in Ephraim's the son of Josephs portion of land that was divided by Joshua the disciple of mosses .
we have plans of cultivating more land on mount blessing just now after the seventh year. Here were all our fathers walked in ancient times it is in our bibles & it is special why from all the land of Israel Abraham walked to schem & so did Jacob & Joseph?
this is the heartland of Israel we have to continue with stronger deeds & work stronger in the eighth year & in g_ds will go_d will bless those who will give us strength to walk in our fathers footsteps they knew what's good for us"
Nir Lavi with his son.
So here is a family that would be included in any expulsion from the Biblical heartland of Israel. The Governments of the United States, Britain and the others want to see these people thrown out--just as happened with the Gaza Disengagement of a few years ago. Gaza of course has since become a stronghold of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. Many predict that the same would happen in the mountains of Israel, and that rockets would soon be fired from these just as they are now being fired from Gaza.
Well, it is not our purpose to erect a political platform on this issue--but it is our purpose to point out the truth of the Bible and the fact that its prophecies must inevitably be fulfilled. God will keep His promises; we can be certain of that. We also know that--whether the Governments of the world like it or not--the prophetic word will be fulfilled to the letter.
We know that God has said through the prophet Ezekiel, concerning Israel:
"And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel."
No Government in the world can stop this from happening. As we read in Micah 4:11, 12
" Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor."
Yes, the nations will gather against these mountains of Israel, just as Ezekiel 38:8 declares--and they will fall upon the mountains of Israel as we read in chapter 39:4.
They will fall because God will intervene and send the Messiah--as we read in Acts 3:20,21.
"And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."
The children of Israel dwelling in the Land today are yet to be instructed in the Truth, and God has provided for that. Meanwhile our message to Nir and his family--to all those dwelling in the Biblical heartland is that they open their Bibles and study its pages. Pray for understanding, pray for the Redeemer to come. In the words of Isaiah 35:3
"Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you."
Join us again next week, God willing. bibleinthenews.com