Daniel 9

Dormant or Dead?

Is Israel dead or dormant?  There is a teaching in the Church today that says the Church has replaced Israel.  It is called replacement theology. They say God is done with Israel but that is not what the Bible says.

God does have a plan for the church, but He also has a plan for Israel as we read in Daniel 9:24.  “Seventy sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city to (1) finish transgression, (2) to put an end to sin, (3) to atone for wickedness, (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) to seal up vision and prophesy, (6) and to anoint the most holy.”  NIV emphasis mine. 

The Church also has a task. Ephesians 4:11-13 “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” NIV

Presently we are in the Church Age and indeed, we read in Mark 11:20& 21,  that Jesus cursed a fig tree and it withered from the roots.  The fig tree is a symbol of Israel.  Jesus was looking for fruit but found only leaves.  He had just cleared the temple because He saw a lot of “religion” taking place but no fruitfulness.  So when Jesus cursed the fig tree He was declaring that Israel was about to enter into an interlude between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week spoken of in Daniel 9.  However, Jesus was not done with the fig tree.  Days later when he was teaching on the signs of the end of the age He had this to say in Matthew 24:32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree:  As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.”  NIV  In other words, when Israel comes back to “life” or out of a long dormancy, the end of the age is near.  Israel will complete the tasks that the Lord has given them during that last “seven” (years).  That time will be called the Great Tribulation.

The use of a fig tree to symbolize Israel was not an accident but a perfect symbol for the nation.  Fig trees produce two crops each year if they are healthy, one in spring/ summer and the other in summer/fall.  But they also have another thing which makes them a perfect symbol.  They go dormant in the winter.  If the winter is really cold all the above ground old growth dies.  In fact when all the other trees are leafing out in the spring the fig looks dead. But late in the spring, from its roots deep in the ground, the tree will send up new shoots that will develop into new branches bearing new leaves and producing a late season crop.  This is why Jesus said that we would know the end times are near if we would keep an eye on Israel.

In 1948 Israel became a nation again, something unprecedented in History.  The world has been focused on this little nation ever since. Israel presently is trying to survive by diplomacy and allies but it is evident from the Bible and by observation that these will fail and they will be left to  rely on God alone and the new life flowing through them, the Holy Spirit.

There is more I could say but for now I hope I made my point that God is not done with Israel.  Prolonged dormancy, yes, but keep watching, summer is coming. Leaves come first, then the fruit!

Pastor Dave