A 4000 year-old declaration by the Great Judge disputed and rejected still!

“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land,” Genesis 12:7.

These words were spoken in 1921BC, according to Ussher’s esteemed ‘Chronology’. They are the first recorded words of the Lord to Abraham upon his reaching of Canaan, having left Ur of the Chaldees at the Lord’s command, verse 1.

The eternal intent of these words is denied by many believers. As far as they are concerned, God has no further use for the Jewish race, they have been abandoned by Him. Of course, the enemies of Israel, in the past and at the present time, reject utterly Israel’s claim upon that land God has bestowed upon them.

That is NOT what the Bible teaches!

In these words : —


“Unto thy seed will I give this land.”

1. This wonderful promise was to be reiterated on many occasions. Here is one of God’s confirmations of His promise to Abraham. “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever,” Genesis 13:14-15.

The promise was repeated to Isaac. “And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;” Genesis 26:2-3.

Promises made to our fathers need to be repeated to us for them to be effectual comforts. How many comfort themselves in what their fathers had received from the Lord without ever seeking for themselves that same comfort and assurance from the lips of the Lord!

Jacob too, was told the same. “And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed,” Genesis 28:10-14.

Future generations of Israel were comforted by the Lord repeating this promise. Here is one such rehearsal of this great promise. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it,” Exodus 33:1.

There are so many other instances over the centuries following Abraham that I could fill pages by quoting them!

2. There can be no doubt that the Lord would have Israel believe that the land is theirs by divine decree.Israel was right to believe that it was theirs, though their claim was disputed on many occasions and is disputed still!

Was this not the inspired psalmist’s hope? “O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” Psalm 105:6-15.

3. The claim of modern Israel is legally correct.

There are few in this world today who take any heed to the ‘documentation’ for their claim to the land that I have quoted. The Bible is entirely a ‘rejected’ book in this evil time of apostasy. However, in fashion reminiscent of the incident when the enemies of Israel disputed Israel’s right to build the temple in the days of Ezra, so the record of this ‘land deed’ remains forever “settled in heaven,” Psalm 119:89.

The enemies of Israel who objected to the rebuilding of the temple petitioned Darius the Persian king and said: “Now therefore, if it seem good to the king, let there be search made in the king’s treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter,” Ezra 5:17.

Darius duly acted and it is recorded: “Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written: In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; with three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house,” Ezra 6:1-4.

The Lord in His sovereignty had a copy of King Cyrus’s command preserved. So it will one day be discovered by the complaining, protesting enemies of Israel.

The land is Israel’s!


Just consider, Christian, if the unfaithfulness of those to whom God makes a promise disannuls that promise, what of David, what of Peter? More importantly, Christian, what of each one of us? Is it not true that: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. . .  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” 1 John 1:8, 10?

1. The promises of God to all of His people in all ages were secured for them by the death of Christ on the cross.He, as our substitute, fulfilled for His people that righteousness God requires of those who would enjoy His favour and paid the penalty of their sins. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for (in the place of) many,” Matthew 20:28. He suffered in the place of sinners, paying the penalty of the law of God which they repeatedly broke and obtaining God’s favour and blessing for them. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18.

2. Christ’s death ratified ALL the promises God has made to His elect.“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts,” 2 Corinthians 1:20-22.

These verses teach us that: —

(1) As Dr John Gill states: “The words may be rendered, ‘as many promises of God’. There are some which concern the temporal good of the saints; as that they shall not want any good thing; and though they shall be attended with afflictions, these shall work for their good, and they shall be supported under them. Others concern their spiritual good; some of which relate to God himself, that he will be their God, which includes his everlasting love, his gracious presence, and divine protection. Others relate to Christ as their surety and Saviour, by whom they are, and shall be justified and pardoned, in whom they are adopted, and by whom they shall be saved with an everlasting salvation: and others relate to the Spirit of God, as a spirit of illumination, faith, comfort, strength, and assistance, and to supplies of grace by him from Christ: and others concern everlasting life and happiness, and are all of them very ancient, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; are exceeding great and precious, suited to the various cases of God’s people; are free and unconditional, immutable and irrevocable, and will all of them have their certain accomplishment.”

(2) The promises are bound up in Christ, the Eternal One. They are therefore “sure and stedfast” (Hebrews 6:19) and are “sure” like the “mercies of David”, Acts 13:34. Converted saints even have “the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” As I am sure you know that word ‘earnest’ means ‘a pledge or downpayment’, a token indicating that God will pay the full amount in due time!

(3) They are for the advancing and promoting of the glory of God. Here is another reason for their certainty and another basis for our confidence that all promised by God in mercy will be fulfilled. The Shorter Catechism, Question 7 asks: “What are the decrees of God?” The answer is: “The decrees of God are His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will, whereby for His own glory, he hath fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass.” The proof of this statement may be found in Ephesians 1:9-12. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” The eternal advancing of God’s glory is irrevocably bound up with the fulfilling of the promises He has made to His people.

3. Amongst those promises allied to the promoting of the glory of God is the one made to Abraham and his descendants!This promise was “confirmed  . . . unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,” Psalm 105:10. The word ‘confirmed’ means ‘to remain, endure, continue’. Yes, today Israel is far from God and is in defiance of His law and utter denial of the truth of Jesus Christ the Messiah and Redeemer. BUT God’s ancient promise to the Jew remains and endures and continues, irrespective of Israel’s rebellion and the doubts of many Christians!


We know when that day will be.

1. It is the day of Christ’s return to this earth. What a day that will be! It is the day of our resurrection to glory and wonderful meeting with our Saviour. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words,” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

2. It is also the day when the whole issue of ‘climate change’ will be resolved!“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body,” Romans 8:17-23.

If only the precociously annoying Greta Thunberg and her fellow ‘environmental know-alls’ could understand and believe these words, they would cease their foolish pronouncements on the coming ‘doom’ of the earth because of man’s undoubted environmental follies!


God has a glorious plan for this earth which will be seen in its initial enactment at Christ’s return and His Millennial reign and then in its eternal fulfilment as is stated by Peter.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless,” 2 Peter 3:10-14.

These awesome scenes which are far beyond our comprehension, will come at the END of the ‘Day of the Lord’, which had begun with the return of Christ. The context of the references in Scripture to that ‘DAY’ clearly indicate that it is not a 24-hour day, any more than was the ‘hour’ Christ refers to in Luke 22:53, a period of 60 minutes. “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” The same word translated ‘hour’ here is used of the period of John the Baptist’s ministry in John 5:35. “He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.” The Greek word hora, previously translated ‘time’, is here translated ‘season’. John’s ministry lasted more than one hour as all will concede.

That ‘hour’ Christ refers to in Luke 22:53, began when God in His sovereignty permitted men to take the Son of God and crucify Him. I believe that it continues still for is it not so that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” and under the dominion of him who “as a roaring lion  walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” (1 John 5:19; 1 Peter 5:8).


Many things will take place in that ‘Day’ of which Peter and the prophets speak. The resurrection and glorification of the saints; the conversion of Israel and the beginning of their return to their own land; the transforming of the earth and the partial lifting of the curse pronounced in Genesis 3:17-18. That transformation is referred to in the following verses.

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked (see 2 Thessalonians 2:8). And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD , as the waters cover the sea. (This certainly is not this day or any previous period in the gospel age – IF). And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt,” Isaiah 11:1-16.

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God,” Isaiah 35:1-2.

There are many other verses which give us information of events in that ‘Day’, all of  which clearly indicate that it is NOT a period of 24-hours that is being referred to but, as this term is often used to indicate, a prolonged period of time.

3. The Lord indicates that at His return He will bring about the accomplishment of His ancient promise to Abraham. Please read these two passages from Jeremiah’s prophecy and consider what it is God plans to do for Israel. I have underlined particularly relevant statements.

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: but they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them,” Jeremiah 30:1-20.

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD. In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the LORD of hosts is his name: if those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever,” Jeremiah 31:27-40.

Here is a future day indicated. It is a day when Israel will be built up; pardoned and forgiven; a day of the restoration of Israel to its own land. It is a day in which God will see accomplished His promise of old! “So will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.”

Yes, all these words of God foolish men refuse, reject and deny. But for everyone that believes them, there is in them the PROMISE of a most wonderful time coming for God’s redeemed, for the world and above all for that hated people, ISRAEL!

In this I rejoice and like John, at least to some measure of that holy man’s longing, say in response to the Saviour’s promise to return, with which the Bible is concluded, “EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS”!

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
13th January 2024