The Signs of the Times (28): Gaza

editor - 30 December 2018

“Ekron, with its surrounding settlements and villages; west of Ekron, all that were in the vicinity of Ashdod, together with their villages; Ashdod, its surrounding settlements and villages; and Gaza, its settlements and villages, as far as the Wadi of Egypt and the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.”
Joshua 15:45-47 (NIV)

Sometimes people ask me whether Gaza is actually part of the Promised Land. The Bible is unambiguous about this. When the book of Joshua speaks about the inheritance of the various tribes in the Promised Land, you can read about the inheritance of the tribe of Judah in Joshua 15:45-47. The Wadi of Egypt is most likely the Wadi el-Arish in the northern part of the Sinai dessert.

Gaza will one day be depopulated and be the possession of the remnant of Judah. The prophet Zephaniah says in chapter 2:4-6:
“Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon left in ruins. At midday Ashdod will be emptied and Ekron uprooted. Woe to you who live by the sea, you Kerethite people (originally descended from Crete, dispelled by the Hellenes approximately 1200 BC)the word of the Lord is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines. He says, ‘I will destroy you, and none will be left.’ The land by the sea will become pastures having wells for shepherds and pens for flocks.”
And to whom will the Gaza Strip eventually belong to? Zephaniah 2:7:
“…That land will belong to the remnant of the people of Judah; there they will find pasture. In the evening they will lie down in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will care for them; He will restore their fortunes.”

 Jordan is also addressed in Zephaniah 2:8-11:
“’I have heard the insults of Moab (present-day Jordan) and the taunts of the Ammonites (also present-day Jordan), who insulted My people and made threats against their land. Therefore, as surely as I live,’ declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, ‘surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah—a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of My people will plunder them; the survivors of My nation will inherit their land.’ This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to Him, all of them in their own lands.”

Two and a half tribes used to live in what is now Jordan, the East Bank of the river Jordan: Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13). The Biblical Bashan, which is also mentioned in that Bible passage, refers to the present-day Golan Heights. And so, that too belongs to the land promised to Israel by the Lord.

And whatever the Lord promised to Israel, He will also fulfil to Israel. Just like everything that He promised to His church, He will fulfil to the Church. And everything that He promised to the nations, He will fulfil to them. And everything He promised to you and to me personally, He will fulfil to you and me personally. Everything in His own time and in His own way.


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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