In the Old Testament we read how God chose Abram (Abraham) and his descendants through Isaac and then through Jacob (Israel) to be “his people”.
Many modern Christian writers now claim that the Jews forfeited that right when they rejected Jesus, and that now all the promises made to the Jews have been passed on to the Christians.
While this sort of sounds right at first glance, it is actually very far from the truth. The Jews are still God’s people and the promises he made to them still stand. God is not yet finished dealing with the Jews.
In Old Testament times God dealt with his people through the Law. And they did reject Jesus, and because of that God reached out to the Gentiles with his offer of salvation.
But God did not completely reject his people, he has only “interrupted” his dealing with the Jews to deal with us as the church. Now is the church age. When it is over, (which I expect to be soon), God will once again establish his covenant with his people, the Jews. Once he has fulfilled all his promises to them, this world will come to an end.
In AD 70 Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and the Jews were scattered throughout the world. For almost 1900 years Israel did not exist as a nation. It seemed that God’s people were gone.
In Romans 9-11 Paul talks about how the Jews have been cut off from God for the sake of the Gentiles. But he also says that God is able to graft them back in. And in fact he will, once “the full number of the Gentiles has come in”.
In 1947 the United Nations voted to give the land of Israel back to the Jews, in 1948 they declared independence, and after a year long war with their Arab neighbours Israel became the modern country we now know. In 1967, in the six day war, after being attacked again by it’s neighbours, Israel expanded its territory to include Gaza, the Golan Heights and all of Jerusalem.
God’s people were back.
There are several places in the Bible which talk about Israel being surrounded by their enemies. But there is one (Zechariah 14) which talks about a final battle, where Jerusalem is surrounded by all the nations of the Earth. And Yahweh himself will stand on the Mount of Olives to defend his people and defeat their enemies once and for all. Then he will take up his throne in Jerusalem to reign over the entire planet for a thousand years. Every nation in the world will travel to Jerusalem year after year to worship God there. Revelation 19 and 20 seem to be talking about the same event.
This hasn’t happened yet. But it will.
One day, the church will be gone. Raptured. And God will once again deal with his chosen people, Israel, and he will finally deliver them from all their enemies.