Israel – God’s Holy Land
Israel is a tiny nation, and a new one at that. Israel received statehood in 1948 and is about that size of the American states of New Jersey. Not only is Israel known for being small and always involved in conflict (if you watch the news, Israel always makes the headlines for Middle East conflict), Israel is also known as the Holy Land. What does that mean that Israel is the “Holy Land”? Israel is the land that God Himself designated as His own, and also made a covenant with His people, the Jewish people, that this land is a part of their inheritance. Not only does God designate this land as His own, but almost everything that occurs in scripture happens in this area! From Abraham to Jesus, many historical and miraculous events take place in the land of Israel, thus deeming it holy!
What does the word holy have to do with it?
The Biblical definition of “holy” means anything that is set apart for a specific purpose. Some might think that all places in the Middle East are a desert, with hot and humid climate. We have images of the camels roaming around, lack of water and troublesome people. However, the Bible tells us that the land is “flowing with milk and honey.” Even today, Israel is a beautiful coastal region with forests, fruitful gardens, fields, lakes and yes, some desert. Some places in Israel are so beautiful one might confuse them with Italy, Greece or San Francisco.
According to scripture, God first gave the land of Israel to Abraham and all of his descendants starting with Isaac. “God said to Abram: ‘Go from your land … to the land that I will show you.’ ” (Genesis 12:1). Two other scriptures in Genesis also describe God giving the land to Abraham and his descendants: On that day, God made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river the Euphrates. The land of the Kenites, Kenizites, Kadmonites; the Chitties, Perizites, Refaim; the Emorites, Canaanites, Gigashites and Yevusites.” (Genesis 15:18-21)
“And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your temporary residence, all the land of Canaan as an eternal possession and I will be a God to them.” (Genesis 17:8).
When famine and drought ravaged the land, and the Israelites found themselves enslaved by the Egyptians, God still lead them out of Egypt to the promised land. We can see how God instructs the Israelites to act before entering the land: “You shall not defile yourselves … for the nations, whom I am sending away from before you, have defiled themselves with all these things. The land became defiled, and I visited its sin upon it, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.” (Leviticus 18:24-25). This passage describes the land they are entering as having high standards, high enough that God warns them of their behavior while dwelling in the land, thus giving the land a special holy presence expected from God.
Not only do we see how God sets it apart and provides standards of living while in the land of Israel, but we can also take note of the miraculous events that have occurred in the Holy Land. It is also the only land visited by God’s presence, as seen in the Tabernacle and the Temple. This is the land in which Jesus was born, crucified, and then rose again! In all of his time on earth, Jesus never visited Europe, India, or America. The Gospels speak of Jesus living, preaching, healing and performing miracles in places you can still find in modern Israel.
Israel is a unique place, a piece of land that is different from any other. This land has been given into the hands of those whom God chose. If we believe the covenant that our God made, we need to align our beliefs, ideals and desires with His. LoveIsrael.com promotes love, understanding and relationships based on biblical values between Jews and Christians. We invite people everywhere to join our mission of upholding God’s covenantal promises and we invite you to join us in some unique projects in the Land of Israel, God’s Holy Land.