The Time Has Come To Possess

The Exodus thrust the nation of Israel on to the world stage and presented them as the people of God and a nation of purpose – a destiny like no other nation, one that would bless all the other nations. The Exodus was the appointed time for Israel to become a separate nation, with an individual identity, and to bring them into the Land promised to them as an everlasting inheritance.

It was at that time that the people of Israel became the sole recipients and custodians of God's Law and commandments. They alone were given the design of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, in which God would dwell – among them. They alone were permitted to approach Him, the Most High. The time had come for Israel to take possession of the Promised Land.

"And God spoke to Moses and said to him; 'I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name YHWH (LORD) I was not known by them.' I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered my covenant."

'Therefore say to the children of Israel: "I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgements. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD."'" (Exodus 6:2-8)

The people of Israel had suffered for many years in the land of Egypt, but it was only now that God responded to their cry for help and came down to deliver them. And though Moses was raised and lived in the Egyptian courts for the first forty years of his life, it wasn't until now, after he had returned from exile, at the age of eighty that God appointed him and his older brother, Aaron, to lead His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. The time had come for them to leave Egypt and take possession of the Land of Canaan. This was indeed the appointed time.

And in that moment of time, Israel was released unharmed from the grip of a powerful but stubborn Pharaoh. In that moment, God shattered the seemingly unbreakable chains. He opened wide the prison gates. He set the captives free from an inescapable fortress, and from a life of servitude and bondage.

Released from the bondage of Egypt, Israel would be known forever as the people whom God redeemed. Their deliverance included all the bells and whistles. They would not return to Egypt, their 'home' for more than two hundred years. But with the Torah in hand and the Mishkan on-board, the resurrected Israel journeyed on to possess the Promised Land. Indeed, the appointed time had come.

Reminiscent of that first exodus, Israel has overcome numerous plots and plans that threatened their very existence. History records the shameful treatment of the Jewish people, by the nations. Israel has survived relentless torture and torment. And whilst countless millions of Jewish people have suffered and died, the LORD has rescued the nation from extinction. To be sure, the people of Israel live today because the LORD's mercy has endured to all generations.

The Holocaust was a more recent tragedy. Yet, even from the depths of such darkness came light. As in times past, from the heart of the destitute, came the prayer of hope, and a longing for the LORD to arise.

"For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned like a hearth. My heart is stricken and withered like grass, so that I forget to eat my bread. Because of the sound of my groaning my bones cling to my skin." (Psalm 102:3-5)

As in times past, the prayer was answered, the Nazi regime collapsed, and millions of Jewish people escaped certain death. We are witnesses to this answered prayer. Praise God!

Significantly, in these days we have witnessed the establishment of the State of Israel and the home-coming of the Jewish people from around the world to the land of their forefathers. For the first time in nearly 2,500 years the Land is in the possession of the nation of Israel.

The event is reminiscent of Israel's exodus from Egypt and their first possession of the Land of Israel. Not only are the Jewish people returning home to the land of their forefathers but they are taking possession of it.

This is not a mistake of history. Neither has it been engineered by men but fulfils the purposes of God.

The cry of the Psalmist is relevant in view of these events. "But you, O LORD, shall endure forever, and the remembrance of your name to all generations. You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favour her, yes the set time has come." (Psalm 102:12-13)

These are prophetic words. Out of the ashes the LORD will deliver His people. This is what He has done for centuries, and this is what He has promised He will do in the future. Yes, Israel's survival is assured. But especially, Israel lives today and is taking possession because the appointed time has come. "You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favour her, yes the set time has come."

The prophet Jeremiah also speaks of these days, when the people of Israel will again return and take possession of the Land.

"'Therefore behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'that it shall no more be said, "The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,"

'but, "The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where he had driven them." For I will bring them back into their land which I gave their fathers.

'Behold, I will send for many fishermen,' says the LORD, 'and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.'" (Jeremiah 16:14-16)

Significantly, the Jewish people have returned from the nations, exactly as prophesied, and it is comparable with that of the first exodus. Indeed, the LORD lives. He who delivered His people out of the land of Egypt, has now, today, gathered His people from all the nations where they were scattered and He has brought them into the land which He gave their fathers. They have returned from the north, the south, east and west. They have come from different countries, from various cultures and have resettled as one people in the Land – a miracle, only God could perform.

The State of Israel is once again home for the children of Israel. And like their forefathers before them, they possess the Land. Moreover, the Land flourishes and the cities are being rebuilt, exactly as prophesied, because these days are an appointed time when the LORD is showing favour toward His people and the Land of Israel. Now is the time to assist their resettling and possession of the Land. Now is the time to show mercy to Israel.

"But you, O LORD, shall endure forever, and the remembrance of your name to all generations. You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favour her, yes the set time has come." (Psalm 102:12-13)