A careful study of the Bible reveals that those promises of the Old Testament were not unconditional promises at all. repeatedly, the nation of Israel was warned of the dire consequences of disobedience. Both blessing and curse were set before them, depending on obedience or disobedience. because of continued patterns of rebellion, God allowed them to be decimated and scattered into Babylonian captivity for seventy years. Many prophets were raised up by god to foretell their return from that captivity. Modern commentators have made the mistake of applying those prophecies of restoration to some future gathering of Israel. They refuse to see that the restoration spoken of by Isaiah and Jeremiah has already taken place. There are many graphic threats of rejection made to Israel. Over and over God gave warnings like this: "And if thou wilt ... do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgements: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever ... But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments ... Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people." [ 1 KINGS 9:4-7 ] Finally, as related through the prophet Daniel, God allotted a probationary period of 490 years for the Jewish people to see what they would do about the Messiah [ DAN 9:24 ]. The prophetic time period of 70 weeks (a day for a year, [ EZE 4:6 ]) began with the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem (Artaxeres's decree in 457 B.C., Ezra 7:11) and ended in 34 A.D. In that same year the gospel began to go to the gentiles, Stephen was stoned, and Paul went forth to begin his unique ministry to the non-Jews. The occasion marked the formal and final separation of Israel from its covenant relationship. Jesus had explained to the Jewish leaders in the clearest possible language that their rejection of Him would seal their own rejection as the children of the kingdom. "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." [ MATT 21:43 ] The Jews had expected a Messiah who would come in blazing power and glory, who would restore the Jews and build a kingdom here on earth. When Jesus humbly arrived in a manger and spoken of a kingdom not of earth, they rejected Him, looking back to the heavens for something to come which had a supernatual-show-of-extravaganza to it. There is no mystery as to why the hundreds of specific Old Testament promises were never fulfilled to Israel. They utterly failed to meet the conditions of obedience. Otherwise, they would have inherited the earth, been delievered from all their enemies, and made Jerusalem the worship center for all nations.
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