The promise Land was conditional, what ever Christian Zionist says. In other words, the Jews had to keep the law of God to have the opportunity to remain in the land which I have shown by example. Deuteronomy 28 to emphasize the truth, but many have yet to see “the writing on the wall” if I may use such an expression. In Deuteronomy 28 we can also see all the things that were fulfilled in 70 AD, eg. they will eat their own children owing to hunger (verse 53, cf. War. 6:3:4 as you can read in the “eschatology of the Bible 4”).
It’s not just Deuteronomy 28 who indicating that the promised land was conditional. Let’s take a look at another part of the same promise, about exile and return, for it is also a promise. The entire possession of “the Promised Land” was never fully realized. It sounds like a contradiction of where God says He “gave all the land he had sworn to give to their fathers” (Jos. 21:43), but this is not any kind of contradiction.
God led them into the land by Joshua as promised and if they now stuck to His Law, they would be able to successfully “occupy” and have dominion over the area. God had now kept and fulfilled his promise and “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” (Jos. 21:45). Now it was up to Israel to keep their side of the promise.
But they never managed to have complete control over the area and full sovereignty, and the complete transfer of the promised land to Abraham was never realized. It was a constant struggle, but why? The reason was that they did not keep their part of the agreement by keeping God’s law. This applies not only to the ten (10) commandments but also to how to treat strangers in the land and seek justice.
Even Solomon, in his peak of government and power, managed to ruin the perspective by introducing foreign gods and abominable worship of his wives and their priests. God then sent armies to punish the Jews because they had defiled land. The promise was again fulfilled on God’s side, the promise made through Moses and the prophets, they were driven into exile out of the promised land that was given to their parents.
But the story did not end with the exile. Approximately 49,000 returned in contrast to 3,000,000 (three million) who came out of Egypt. The prophets had a vision of a restoration that was so glorified that it could not possibly be within the realistic limits of the Old Testament. Visions blasted skin of the old wineskin (Matt. 9:15-16), and the Jews came back only to part of the original site and built only a small replica of Solomon’s Temple. Future described by Haggai and Zechariah also breaks completely out of the Old Testament shadows. Jerusalem will be without walls and rebuilt the temple with a glory greater than Solomon’s building.
The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts. (Hag. 2:9).
This vision finds its fulfillment in the New Testament when Jesus taught that His followers should no longer worship in Jerusalem or Samaria but anywhere, since God’s inherent glory would be ubiquitous with every child of God. (John 4).
“But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Gal. 4:26) This Jerusalem is not spiritual-made or a phenomenon but according to Paul, every Christian, wherever he do worship, already in the face of innumerable hosts of angels, from the heavenly Jerusalem.
«But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels,» (Heb. 12:22).
The New Covenant refuses completely to support a return to the OT paradigms. Prohibition is the old shadows because of God’s children are now temples to the glory of God to rest in. What the Christian-Zionists do is to turn from the reality to the ancient shadows, at a single location, in which Jews and Christians are to worship in Jerusalem once in the future. They hang again up the veil in the temple. Paul is clear in his defense against the restoration of Jewish theology to the church in Galatia:
I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel; 7 and there isn ‘t another gospel. Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. … “We, being Jews by nature, and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through the faith of Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law. … Even as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” 7 Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who doesn ‘t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (Gal. 1:6-7, 2:15-16, 3:6-10).
The promise of a land was not an absolute right but was always a conditional gift.
What do you think?
Scripture verses is from WEB – World English Bible.