God is Gathering His People Back to Israel

“We are telling our Jewish brothers and sisters that Israel is your home… We are bracing ourselves and calling for a mass immigration from Europe”, announced Israel’s prime minister, Netanyahu. And they were not just words – a while ago the Cabinet approved a ₪180 million ($46 million) plan to finance the absorption costs of thousands of potential new immigrants, following numerous anti-Semitic attacks, along with political and economic troubles in the Ukraine, France and Belgium.[1]

Netanyahu broadcasted his message via social media; “I would like to say to all of Europe’s Jews, and Jews everywhere, Israel is the home of every Jew.”

Not everyone is impressed with these remarks – European leaders insist that they can protect their Jewish communities, and many Jewish people just don’t want to leave. But many others are packing their bags nonetheless, feeling they have no choice.

In France, the number of Jewish students attending public schools has dropped to one third for fear of violent attacks. Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF Jewish umbrella group in France, admitted that “In the Paris region, there are virtually no more Jewish pupils attending public schools,” attributing their absence to “a bad atmosphere of harassment, insults and assaults” against Jews.[2]

“They shall come trembling from the West…”

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt’, but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ (Jeremiah 16:14)

The miracles of God’s promises to Israel continue to unfold; the good, the bad and the ugly. In very many places, the Scriptures prepare us for the fact that God was planning to bring His people back to His land by hook or by crook. With anti-Semitism spiraling out of all control around the world, many Jewish people are now deciding that they would be safer in war-torn Israel under the protection of the IDF than they are in Europe, and are escaping while they still can.

They are being hunted and hounded back to the land given to their fathers, just as the Bible said.

“For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.”” (Jeremiah 16:15-16)

The regathering of God’s people to their land is one of the most frequently predicted prophecies in the Bible. There have been Jewish people living there long before 1948, buying property and working the land, and the waves of immigration continue to pour in.

In Isaiah 11:11, God promised to stretch out his hand to regather Israel from the four corners of the earth “a second time” (the first time being from the lands of the Babylonian exile).

We know from Hosea 3:4-5 that it would occur in the last days, and Amos 9:15 tells us that they will never be uprooted again.

Making ‘Aliyah’

Over three million Jewish people have left their homes and emigrated to Israel since 1948 [3], a move which is known as “making aliyah”. Biblically, moving to Israel or ascending to Jerusalem is referred to as “going up” and leaving is “going down”; the word aliyah means “going up” or ascending.

And the number of Europeans making this move will also be markedly ascending in the wake of vitriolic and violent outbreaks of anti-Semitism, the likes of which we have not seen since the rise of the Third Reich. It is quite staggering how quickly the world has forgotten its history. But the people of Israel have vowed never to forget, and are boarding airplanes back to the land of their fathers.

I heard a rabbi once speculate about this verse in Isaiah, as possibly describing the method of transport by which God will do this – first by ship, and then “flying like a cloud”:

“Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows? For the coastlands shall hope for me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from afar, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the Lord your God and for the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 60:8-9)

We see this image again in Hosea:

“When he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west; they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria, and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.” (Hosea 11:10-11)

God is faithful to all His promises, and to His covenant people Israel. As we watch with sadness the events shaking the world, we know that our sovereign God is still in control. He continues to work out His plans and purposes, drawing all things to Himself. There will be a time, just as Yeshua predicted, when the Jewish people will finally call out from the land of Israel to welcome their Messiah, “Baruch ha ba be shem Adonai! – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

[1] HaAretz, Israel Approves $46 Million Plan to Absorb Jewish Immigration, Judy Maltz, Feb 15, 2015
[2] Jewish Telegraphic Agency Sep 10, 2017, French School Principal Reveals Depth of anti-Semitism in Public Schools. As the number of Jewish students attending public schools in France drops to one third, one Marseille school principal tells how he had to warn Jewish students not to end attend for fear of their safety
[3] Jewish Virtual Library

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