We began a study last week on some commonly misunderstood prophecies concerning Israel. Many believe that the prophecies we studied last week and the ones we are studying this week have already been fulfilled. They haven’t been fulfilled, as you will be able to discern when you read the contexts in which these prophecies appear. These prophecies will be fulfilled in the future.
Is 35:1-7 – the desert shall blossom as the rose. The Negev desert covers half of Israel’s land mass. Parts of it get less than three inches of rain per year. Yet it is fertile and productive. Underneath the desert is a massive water supply of brackish water that is used for agriculture. Many see the fertile production in this desert of Israel as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. However, if you will consider the context of this prophecy in the passage, you will see that it has not been fulfilled yet. They haven’t seen the glory of the Lord, Is 35:2. God hasn’t come with vengeance, Is 35:4.
Ezek 36:34-38 says “this land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden.” And certainly when you see what Israel has done with this barren land, it is indeed impressive. However, if you will consider the context of this prophecy in Ezek 36, you will see that it has not been fulfilled yet. The Lord has not built the ruined places, Ezek 36:36. He has not planted the the desolate places, Ezek 36:36. These are things that will not be fulfilled until after the second coming of Jesus.
In Ps 133:3 you see the reference to the dew of Hermon. Water from snow-melt forms springs that feed streams and rivers merging to become the Jordan River. The runoff from the mountain waters the fertile plant life below the snow line. Some say that the snow-melt of Hermon descends upon the mountains of Zion and is a fulfillment of prophecy. However, that’s not what this verse says. It says, in the context, that brethren dwelling together in unity is “as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion.” The dew on these mountains is a type of the pleasantness of brethren dwelling together in unity. This is not a prophecy concerning the increased fertility of the region due to irrigation from these waters.
Is 66:8 – a nation born at once. Many see the proclamation of the establishment of the State of Israel by David Ben-Gurion, on May 14, 1948, as the birth of Israel in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. But look at the context in Is 66:6-16. He hasn’t extended peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream, Is 66:12. The hand of the Lord is not known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies, Is 66:14. The Lord hasn’t come with fire and with his sword, Is 66:15-16. These are still out in the future.
Jer 31:31-36 – many believe that the creation of the State of Israel is the fulfillment of God’s new covenant with Israel. His covenant with Israel hasn’t been fulfilled, yet. It most certainly will be. When it is, they will all know him from the least of them to the greatest. They will all be saved. The greater percentage of the inhabitants of Israel are secular. They don’t know God. According to Ps 105:8-12, God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob concerning the land of Palestine is an everlasting covenant with Israel. But like his new covenant, it hasn’t been fulfilled yet, though many think it has. It will be, for sure. And when it is, there will not be a two-state solution. Not at all.
Conclusion: The problem with teaching that these prophecies are fulfilled now is that Israel doesn’t see the bloodiest and most devastating wars against them are still to come, Zech 14:1-3; Ps 83:2-18. Thus, they will accept the antichrist, the man of sin, who comes in peacefully, as their Messiah. They must realize that these prophecies have a future fulfillment. Only then will they wait for their right Messiah and not accept the wrong one.
Unfortunately for Israel, when their Messiah was here the first time, they said that he cast out devils by Beezebub, the prince of the devils, Matt 12:23-24. They said he had a devil. Sadly, when the devil shows up, as the man of sin, they will worship him, 2 Thes 2:3-4, and accept him as their Messiah, Dan 8:23-25.
They will eventually realize that this man of sin is the wrong Christ, but not until he has nearly annihilated the nation of Israel. Their deliverer is Jesus Christ, not the antichrist, Rom 11:25-27. Israel would be more inclined to know that if they understood that these prophecies we have studied today and last week have not been fulfilled yet. They will be fulfilled when God, himself, fulfills these prophecies. I am looking forward to that day and I hope you are, too.