Israel — What Does the Future Hold?
By Arlen L. Chitwood
The Pupil of Man’s Eye
The Manner in Which Christians Are to View All Things
For the LORD’S portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple [lit., ‘the pupil’] of His eye.
(Deuteronomy. 32:9, 10)
Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon. For thus says the LORD of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple [lit., ‘the pupil’] of His eye. (Zechariah 2:7, 8)
Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple [lit., ‘the pupil’] of your eye. (Proverbs 7:2)
According to Deuteronomy 32:10 and Zechariah 2:8, God views all matters occurring among the nations in the world — past and present — through one means alone, through Israel. “Israel” is seen in Scripture as the pupil of God’s eye, the lens through which He views any and all activity among the surrounding nations.
When matters are carried back behind Israel’s existence (i.e., preceding Abraham, the father of the nation; or, preceding Moses five centuries later when the nation was brought into existence) things relative to how God viewed all activity occurring in the world among the nations would, in reality, be essentially the same.
Such activity would have to be seen occurring in the bowels of Abraham (Genesis 15:4), extending all the way back through Shem and Noah to Enos, Seth, and Adam, or extending forward through Abraham and his seed, with the nation being brought into existence through his seed centuries later during Moses’ day.
Matters having to do with the bowels of Abraham in this respect — both backward and forward — could be somewhat explained and understood by reference to several things:
1) Levi (Abraham’s great grandson) paying tithes in Abraham at the time Abraham, years earlier, had met Melchizedek and paid tithes of all that he possessed (cf. Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:9, 10).
2) The sojourn of the children of Israel (referring to the nation in Egypt under Moses) beginning thirty years before Isaac’s birth, 430 years before the inception of the nation (cf. Genesis 15:13, 14; Exodus 12:40, 41; Galatians 3:17, 18).
3) The establishment of the boundaries of the nations of the earth — both by language and geography — at a time between the Flood and Abraham, during Peleg’s day (born about 100 years following the Flood and died at the age of 239 about ten years before Abraham’s birth). And the establishment of these boundaries was governed by “the number of the children of Israel” (the number of individuals forming the nation emanating from the loins of Abraham, which would not even exist until centuries later [Deuteronomy 32:8, for purposes seen in Acts 17:26, 27]).
Thus, to understand how an unchangeable God has viewed matters on earth since the beginning of the human race, it really matters not at what point in history one begins.
From Adam to Abraham (2,000 years), the matter could only have been done through Abraham’s bowels (Adam, Abel replaced by Seth, Enos…Enoch…Noah, Shem…Terah, Abraham).
(Relative to the preceding, note that which Scripture states about a number of individuals in the lineage extending from Adam to Abraham: Abel [Genesis 4:4, 5]; Enos [Genesis 4:25, 26]; Enoch [Genesis 5:21-24]; Methuselah [Genesis 5:25-27 — given a name which means, When he is gone, it (the Flood) will be sent]; Noah [Genesis 6:8, 9]; Shem [Genesis 9:25-27 — somewhat capsulizing matters with Shem, the only one of Noah’s three sons said to have a God, anticipating Abraham and his lineage].)
Then, from Abraham to the present time, the matter, as clearly stated in Deuteronomy 32:10 and Zechariah 2:8, had to do with Abraham and his Seed (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jacob’s twelve sons…the nation of Israel and Christ).
(For additional information on the preceding, refer back to Chapter 1, “The Pupil of God’s Eye.”)
God views matters among the nations today through Israel, the seed of Abraham; or, God would view matters among Christians through His Son, the Seed of Abraham. And either way matters would be the same.
The lens through which God views any and all things is seen in the bowels of Abraham — through a lineage beginning with Adam and culminating with a nation emanating from Jacob and his twelve sons 2,500 years later during Moses’ day.
The Jewish People
The preceding is how God, down through 6,000 years of time, has viewed matters in the human race.
But how were His people to view matters in this same respect? In reality, the matter is essentially the same — which, of necessity, it must be — though stated and dealt with in a slightly different manner.
According to Proverbs 7:2, the Jewish people (a people through whom God viewed all things) were to view all things through God’s Word (a written Word at the time this verse was penned, also manifested in the form of flesh about 1,000 years later [whom the Jewish people rejected but will one day receive]).
And Scripture clearly states concerning this Word, “the Word was God” (John 1:1, 2 [‘was,’ a verb of being in the Greek text — no beginning, no end; the Word always has been God, and the Word always will be God]).
Then the Word, seen as God in this manner, “became flesh” (John 1:14). God became flesh in the person of His Son and dwelled among His people in this manner. And this Word will one day return to His people in this same manner (Acts 1:9-11; cf. Zechariah 12:10-14; Matthew 23:37-39).
The Jewish people were to look upon everything through the Word. The Word was their eye-gate, the lens, through which they were to view any and all activity in the world. And they were to do this after the manner set forth in Isaiah 8:20:
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them [lit., ‘no dawn to them’].
And the matter is exactly the same for Christians today. All things are to be viewed through the same lens, which in one respect is through a Jewish Savior, who is God manifest in the flesh, the Word made flesh. Or, in another respect, all things are to be viewed through that which is stated in the written Word, which is viewing matters through the same lens in a different way, though, in reality, the same way.
The Word, the Word made flesh, and God simply cannot be separated. If a person is dealing with One, that person is dealing with all Three. Matters can’t possibly occur any other way. Thus, viewing matters through that which is stated in Isaiah 8:20 is viewing matters through the Father or His Son. The Jewish people are the lens through which God views all things in the world, acting on that which is stated in His unchangeable Word.
And this Word, given through Jewish Prophets, inseparably identified with the Father and His Son, is the lens through which God’s people — whether Israel (past and future) or Christians today — are to view these same things.
(Note that orthodox Jews today, ascribing to the Old Testament Scriptures [the Torah, as the Jewish people like to reference Moses, or the entire Old Testament], are, as well, ascribing to the Word that became flesh though they don’t even know it. They accept One and reject the Other, which, in reality, is an oxymoron, for they are accepting on the one hand the same thing that they are rejecting on the other hand.
Then there is the reverse side to that which is previously seen among orthodox Jews. This can be seen, to varying extents, in certain Christian circles today.
Note that the Word became flesh before a single Word of the New Testament had been penned, showing, beyond question that there can be nothing in later revelation [the New Testament] that was not seen after some fashion in former revelation [the Old Testament]. If anything exists in later revelation that is not seen after some fashion in earlier revelation, then the Word which became flesh at the time of the incarnation could only have been incomplete.
But note the outlook many Christians and entire denominations in some respects have on the matter. They refer to themselves as New Testament churches, giving little attention to, or, for all practical purposes rejecting, the Old Testament Scriptures.
But what are they doing? They are acting in a reverse fashion to that which is seen in the orthodox Jewish community.
The orthodox Jews accept the written Word, the Old Tesstament Scriptures, but reject the Word made flesh; Christians accept the Word made flesh, but, to varying extents, reject the Old Testament Scriptures, the written Word.
And either way only an oxymoron can be clearly seen.)
If They Speak Not According to This Word…
“The Word” is the Standard through which all else is to be viewed and judged. Nothing exists that is equal to or higher than the Standard. Therefore, it cannot be dealt with like other things in the world (e.g., proven, as some attempt; discredited, as others attempt), for there is nothing to use for such purposes.
This is why God never attempts to prove Himself, His Son, or His Word. Scripture simply begins, “In [the] beginning God…” And God then states that the one whom He created is a “fool” if the creature doesn’t believe in the Creator’s existence (Genesis 1:1a; Psalm 14:1; 53:1; John 1:1).
Though the Word cannot be proven, the veracity of the Word progressively becomes self-evident for anyone acting after a manner other than a fool, i.e., for anyone believing, reading, and studying this Word.
God, through His Spirit, who moved individuals in time past to pen this Word, progressively opens this Word to the understanding of any and all who spend time reading and studying this Word, seeking to understand that which God has revealed in His Word. And, at the same time, the Word, by its own testimony, progressively becomes self-evident to that individual that this Word is exactly what it claims to be.
And this is the only way that the Word can deal with proof relative to its veracity. There is nothing equal to or higher; thus, the Word can only reference itself in a manner of this nature.
The same thing is seen where God swears by Himself (Genesis 22:16; Exodus 32:13; Isaiah 45:23; Hebrews 6:13). There is none equal to or higher that He can swear by. Thus, God can only swear by Himself.
And the Word is exactly the same. It has to be, for it is inseparably identified with God. The only way in which the Word can be dealt with in relation to proofs, checks and balances, etc. is to let the Word deal with itself, which the Word will readily do every time for anyone allowing the Word to speak for itself.
This is why Scripture must be interpreted in the light of Scripture. Everything is of divine origin and inseparably related. The supernatural simply cannot be dealt with by the natural, after any fashion.
One cannot move above this sphere, though one could move outside or below this sphere, which would be outside or below the only place where that which is related to the Word can exist (e.g., truth, life, etc.).
And this is the reason why this Word is the eye-gate, the lens, through which God’s people are to view all things in the world in which they find themselves, governing their lives accordingly.
Through the lens of the Word, everything is either in accord with the Word or out of line with the Word, in accord with or out of line with the Standard. There is no middle ground (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23).
Thus, as one sets the timepiece in Greenwich by the celestial chronometer (the standard, which never changes), God’s people are to view all things through the lens of the Word (the Standard, which never changes) and govern their lives accordingly.