Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Genesis 20 -21

 Genesis 20:1-21 – Living in Fear

Abraham moved south to live just outside Canaan.  We don’t know why.  Maybe the ash from the burning of Sodom and Gomarrah affected the land where his animals grazed.  Maybe he finally sensed it was time to go releasing Lot to the Lord.  Abraham stayed in Gerar and again he lied and told the Abimelech king that Sarah was his sister.  She was beauty at 90 years old and she was married to one of the richest and most influential men of the region.  Being in Abimelech’s harem was also probably a political statement.  Abraham was afraid and had weak faith in God.  He thought if Abimelech knew she was his wife, he would be killed.  So Abraham lied again as he did when he was in Egypt.  What was he thinking?  Fear can make us irrational.  This shows us that we as well as Abraham can slip back into sinful habits. 

The king took her to be his wife, but God spoke to the king in a dream and told him she was a married woman and did not let him touch her.  He was to return Sarah to Abraham or he would die.  Abimelech asked Abraham why he had done this to him.  It is sad to see a pagan king in the right and a man of God in the wrong.  Abraham said Sarah was actually his half-sister as well as his wife – Gen. 20:11-12.  He tried to justify his lie by telling a half-truth, which is always a whole lie.  “When God called me to wander from my father’s house…”Gen. 20:13.  Here he indirectly blamed God for the problem.  Abimelech didn’t argue with God.  He gave Sarah back to Abraham.  God told Abimelech that Abraham was a prophet and that Abraham would pray for him and his people.  Abraham was still a man of powerful prayer and God’s mercy didn’t leave him even though he didn’t trust God the way he should.

Abimelech was kind to Abraham even though he was deceived.  He gave Abraham sheep, cattle and money to show he was sorry for his actions.  Abraham took the money to show he didn’t blame Abimelech.  Abraham did suffer though.  He suffered shame and the loss of respect among the people and lost the opportunity to be a witness. 

God will protect anyone and anything that gets in the way of His plans.  No mistake of ours will stop God.  It’s clear in Gen 20:17-18 that the women in Gerar could not have children.  God sometimes caused women not to have children and at other times he gives children to women.  Why does He do this?  Maybe when at last a child is born, we give God the credit.  It shows how wonderful God is.  He wants to show His power.  God answered Abraham’s prayers and Abimelech’s people could have children again. 

What half-truths have you told?
Do you struggle with your sinful nature?
How has God been merciful to you?
Why does Abraham continue to be better off? That’s a description of God’s lavish grace.  Jesus took our place and died for our sins even we don’t deserve it.  When He returns and we take our place in heaven with a rich inheritance, that is lavish grace.
What are your insecurities - fear, jealousy, bitterness, anger, control?
How is fear stealing your faith?

God’s grace allows the repeat offender to confess sin and be restored.

Genesis 21:1-21 – Living by Faith

At last Sarah gave birth to a son, Isaac just as God had promised and at the time He had promised.  It had been 25 years and God was faithful all along the way.  God gave Abraham and Sarah faith.  They were very happy, but Abraham’s other son, Ishmael was not.  Ishmael was the son of a slave mother and knew he would never be as important as Isaac.  He became cruel to Isaac and mocked him.  Sarah knew that he was jealous and that there were would be many problems between them to come.  She also didn’t want Ishmael to oppose Isaac’s right to lead the family.  So she took matters into her own hands again.  The last time she did this it was a disaster.  She told Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away.  Abraham was distressed and concerned for his son so this time he consulted God for guidance.  This time she was right and God told Abraham to listen to her.  Even though he loved Ishmael, Abraham obeyed God and sent them away with food and water.  Why didn’t he send them away without a caravan of soldiers to accompany them and protect them?  He must have believed that God would provide for them, because He had promised.

Abraham lived near Beersheba near the desert.  Hagar and Ishmael wandered into the desert, which was very hot and dry.  When the water was gone, Ishmael became weak before Hagar since he was just a child.  He was sure to die.  She felt hopeless and put him under a bush.  He begins to cry, but God heard Ishmael’s cry.  An angel from heaven repeated God’s promise to her and for the second time God provided water for them by showing them a well.  Why did God promise to bless Ishmael?  Because as a descendant of Abraham, he was included in God’s covenant.  They continued to live in the desert.  Ishmael married and had 12 sons that became great nations just as God promised. – Gen. 21:14-21.  These are the 12 nations of the Arab world. 

Isaac had a distinct purpose and Ishmael needed to be removed.  God has a distinct purpose in your life. 

Will influences hinder your walk with God?
Has God asked you to do something as you study His word?
Do you want to give up?
Do you feel like Ishmael, crying because you need God’s help?
Are you under a bush with your tissues and chocolate?
Will you let God lead you?

God can be trusted with whatever our obedience requires.

Genesis 21:22-34 – Living a Testimony

Now Abraham was living his life was a witness and all the people knew that God was blessing him.  He had become very wealthy and had many servants.  There was a dispute between Abraham and Abimelech over a well that Abraham had dug.  Abimelech didn’t want to battle Abraham so he asked for a peace agreement. He knew how big Abraham’s God was and to fight with Abraham would be to attack his God, too.  Abraham also wanted peace so he gave gifts to Abimelech.  He gave a special gift of the well.  This agreement or treaty was made between them and they called it Beersheba.  Then Abraham planted a tree and called upon the name of the Lord.  He lived in the land for a long time. – Gen 21:22-34.  This was the first time that Abraham claimed the land.  The planting of the tree showed that he would stay in the region.

What physical reminders do you have to worship God?
Will others say you can be trusted?

As we cooperate with God, He changes us on the inside so others see Him and His gift of grace.

We all live a testimony to something.  How is Abraham showing a testimony?  He is a man who doesn’t do everything right, but the God loves him and us even though we make mistakes.  God is still faithful.

What is your life a testimony to?
How does your life show the presence of God?  None of us deserve God’s divine intervention.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Genesis 18 - 19

Genesis 18:1-15 – Truth to Believe

Early in the afternoon three men appeared to Abraham.  We know this because verse 1 says “in the heat of the day”.  Two of the men were angels and the other was the Lord.  The Lord did not reveal himself right away.  He let Abraham serve him and the angels first.  Why did Jesus come to visit Abraham?  Perhaps it was a test of his heart.  Abraham pasted the test.  He demonstrated hospitality and love for the human needs of those around him. 

Are you tuned in to the needs of others?
How would you respond if God came for dinner tonight?   

Another of the Lord purposes of the visit was revealed by asking about his wife, Sarah telling she would have the promised son.  This is the sixth time that we see the revelation about the promised son.  Sarah overheard this and laughed to herself in disbelief and said to herself that she was too old and worn out to have a son.  The Lord asked, “Why did Sarah laugh..” – Gen. 18:13.  This shows us that the Lord knows our innermost thoughts and what we do in secret.  Then He said, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” – Gen. 18:14.  Nothing is impossible for God.  After all He is the Creator.  They both believed in God, but now she’s facing her unbelief in a promised son.  Now she has to believe the truth.  Perhaps if she had believed sooner, it would not have taken her so long to conceive. 

What truth in scripture seems impossible for you to believe?
Has God asked you to do something and has He given you everything you need to do it, but you don’t believe you can?
Does your doubt impact the way you parent?  The Bible says we should be sexually pure, but this is not the way of the world.  So we as parents think this is not possible for our children.  Do you parent out of your unbelief?
Rom. 8:28 says “in all things God works for the good”.  Do you ask, is this for people whose messes are like mine?

God knows our innermost thoughts and is willing to do the impossible.

God’s Word challenges us to believe the impossible.

Genesis 18:16-22 – Truth to Pray

Then when the men were ready to leave, the Lord revealed His other purpose for the visit.  Abraham was God’s covenant friend so He announced His plan of judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah.  Sin was so grievous there and had been for a long time that God would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. – Gen 18:20.  He gave Abraham the opportunity to plead for the righteous people who lived there.

Lot and his family lived in Sodom.  Abraham had risked himself and rescued Lot in the past and even though Lot had returned to Sodom, Abraham still wanted to spare him.   So Abraham pleaded with the Lord to spare the righteous people of Sodom.  He asked, “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  What if there are fifty righteous people in the city?...” Gen. 18:25.  “The Lord said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.’”.  Gen. 18:26.  Then Abraham spoke up again boldly asking if there are 45 righteous men, then 40, then 30, then 20.  Each time God said He would not destroy Sodom if righteous men were found until Abraham was down to 10. – Gen. 18:26-33.  Our attitude toward homosexuals should be that they are sinners in need of a savior, just like any lost person.

Abraham was humble, persistent, and bold.  He was open to God as he talked with Him.  He knew God was just and righteous and had authority.  God listened patiently to Abraham as He does when we pray.  The passage doesn’t say that Abraham stopped pleading with God, but that God left.  “When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.” Gen. 18:33.

Does this mean we can change God’s mind?  If not, why pray?  I think it is a lesson to Abraham and to us that prayer is important.  God allows us to intercede in order to reveal His mercy.  It shows that God takes no pleasure in destroying the wicked.  It also shows the power of righteous people can have and it teaches us the value of intercession.  Prayer gives God the opportunity to mess with your heart and to align it with His.

Walking intimately with God by trusting His Word will align our heart’s desire with His.

How will you describe your relationship with God, as friend or acquaintance?
Prayer is a way for God to change our heart.  The enemy wants us to not take the time to pray.  Are you available for God to change your heart?
Does your prayer life involve only those around you?
How might your pray concerning the lost?

Genesis 19:1-38 – Truth that Saves

The two angels arrived in Sodom in the evening and Lot met them.  The Lord did not go with them.  He would not have been welcomed there.  Lot seemed to know they were divine guests and offered for them to wash their feet and spend the night at his house instead of them staying in the square.  After they ate and before they had gone to bed, all of the men (young and old) from all over the city surrounded the house.  This sounds like rampant homosexuality.  They wanted the two men visitors to come out and have sex with them.  They came to gang rape the visitors.  Lot pleaded with them not to do this wicked thing and offered his two daughters instead.  They didn’t want his daughters and tried to break down the door.  Lot was not a man of character and was focused on himself.  Hospitality was more sacred than sexual morality to him.  God condemns homosexuality.  “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have don what is detestable…” Lev. 20:13.  “Do not be deceived; Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”1 Cor. 6:9b-10.  .  Our attitude toward homosexuals should be that they are sinners in need of a savior, just like any lost person.

“God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen.  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even the women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  In the same the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion…..God have them over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done……… they not only continued to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Rom. 1:24-32This was the story of Sodom.

The two angels pulled Lot back and struck the men blind so they could not find the door. – Gen. 19:1-11.  The two angels told Lot of the coming of the city’s punishment and hurried Lot and his family safely out of the city.  They told Lot and his family to flee for their lives and not to look back. – Gen. 19:12-17.  Lot spoke to his sons-in-law to convince them to flee with him, but they thought he was joking.  Lot had no credibility with them and was not a good witness for God.  Lot hesitated – Gen 19:16.  Lot was literally dragged from the city by the angels, because his heart was in Sodom.

Do you have credibility with those around you?
What kind of witness are you in times of crisis?

God destroyed Sodom as an example of that happens to the ungodly.  “if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) – if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.”2 Peter 2:6-9.  God saved Lot, but he lost his friends, his property, his character and his life’s work.  He was saved because of Abraham interceded for him.  We are saved because of the One Who intercedes for us, Jesus Christ.  Lot did not deserve to be saved.  Neither do we.

Sodom was a city of great sin.  Homosexuality was their way of life.  God showed great mercy to Lot and his family and let them live because of Abraham’s prayer.  This shows that God can save others when we pray.  Lot was told to go to the mountains, but he wanted to go the city of Zoar.  Lot was selfish when he asked God to save Zoar thinking it would be a better place to live.  He wanted things his own way.  Lot’s wife didn’t obey the Lord.  She liked Sodom and didn’t want to leave so she looked back and was turned to salt. – Gen 19:18-26.

God let him live in Zoar, but Lot soon left Zoar even though God had promised to keep him safe there.  He did not trust God so he went to live in a cave with his daughters.  He lived the rest of his life scared to death. 

Lot’s daughters were not familiar with praying.  They wanted to preserve the family line so they got him drunk and lay with him.  Both became pregnant by their father.  They knew their actions were wrong.  They lacked trust and respect for their father.  Sex between close members in a family was wrong.  God did not punish Lot’s descendants because of this.  They became important nations, the Moabites and the Ammonites of today.  Jesus was a descendant of Ruth who was a Moabite.

We learn from these events that God doesn’t need our help and we should not try to manipulate people and events of the world.  There are similarities between Sodom and the world today.  Immorality and perversion are rampant.  Homosexuality is always considered sin the Bible – not an alternative lifestyle.

By grace, an abiding relationship with God makes life meaningful and eternally secure.

God will judge all the earth.  Faith is the only way to escape eternal death.  Abraham interceded for Lot and his prayers made a difference.

Who needs you to stand in the gap in prayer for them?
Are you willing to pray for them knowing your prayers matter?
Do you have an affair with the world?
Will God convict you of sin? 
Do you negotiate with Him?  

Lot is an example of one who accepts Jesus as Savior, but never makes Him Lord.
It’s not time to negotiate, but to recognize how much He loves you enough to warn you.  Lot missed out on fellowship with God and with others.  He had no influence on others.  He had many chances, but chose the world.  He wasted his life.

What will you do so you don’t waist the life you have been given?
Do you read this story and think you can’t be in it?  You can go to church weekly, but choose not to be in fellowship with God.  Redemption does not cure our sinful nature.  We need to stay close to God.  He reveals Himself in His Word.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Genesis 16 - 17

Genesis 16:1-6 – Sarai's Solution

God promised Abram a son, but so far after 10 years it did not happen.  Abram and Sarai became impatient waiting on God.  Sarai lived in pain and disgrace.  So after much frustration and the social stigma she took matters into her own hands.  She suggested to Abram that he sleep with her maidservant Hagar and maybe that way they could build a family through her. Gen. 16:1-4.  At that time Sarai’s suggestion was acceptable practice in society.  This was not God's plan.  God's plan was for monogamy.  "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." - Gen. 2:24.  Abram went along with this and Hagar became pregnant.  They were influenced by the world’s standards.  They did not seek God in their decision.  God was not consulted or His will sought.  God had told them several times that they would have a son, but it had been 10 years and time tests our faith.  True faith waits for God’s timing. 

Hagar probably considered it a privilege to carry Abram’s son, but resented Sarai because she had to submit to her.  Sarai was jealous of her being pregnant.  Hagar despised Sarai.  Sarai blamed Abram.  Abram refused to intervene.  Sari mistreated Hagar.  Hagar fled into the desert.  Abram was the one who was really at fault in all this.  He was a passive husband and not a loving leader.  He followed the instructions of his wife and did what she told him.  Instead he should have shown Sarai understanding, security and leadership for her heartache.  He should have gone to God along with Sarai to ask for strength and patience.  Plans without prayer produce problems.

Trying to accomplish God’s purposes our own way leads to trouble.

What way do we fail our spouses?
Is there some kind of pain in your life that puts you in the planning mode?
Are you suggesting something to someone that might be a sin?
How can you glorify God while you are waiting for God’s promise?

Genesis 16:7-16 – Hagar’s Help

Hagar was prideful and angry.  She was so unhappy that she ran away.  She was God’s child and He loved her as He loves us.  God chased after her just as He chases after us.  The angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar.  It was God Himself appeared to her.  “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”Gen. 16:8.  By Him addressing her as “servant of Sarai” showed that this marriage was outside God’s law and was wrong and sinful.  Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman.  He appeared 3 times, which shows He cared for her.  He told her to go back and submit to Sarai, that she was to have a son and his name would be Ishmael, that he would have lots of descendants but also lots of hostility.  She needed confidence from God that everything would be alright.  God’s promise to have many descendants would encourage her.  Hagar gives to Lord a name, “the God who sees me”. 

God meets us where we are to lead us where we need to be.

Hagar gave birth to a son and Abram named him Ishmael.  Abram was 86 years old when he was born.  There were consequences because of the decision that Abram and Sarai made.  Hagar’s descendants would become some of the Arab nations of today.  There was hostility between Hagar and Sarai and it continues today between Arabs and Jews.

Are you struggling and think you need to get your act together before God helps you?  Hagar was a mess and went on the run.  Are you on the run?  When you meet with God, it can be hard.  Hagar was told to go back and submit to Sarai.  If you are running away, God is watching and will meet you where you are.  Just trust and submit to Him.

Genesis 17 – God’s Covenant and Command

Abram knew he messed up.  He had not heard from God in 13 years.  He was probably saying, “Will God forgive me?  Has He forgotten me?”  Then God appeared to Abram.  “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless.  I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”Gen 17:1-2.  Abram was so overjoyed that he fell facedown before God.  What a moment of grace!  This covenant is still in place today.  God doesn’t go back on His Word.  God gave them a new beginning by giving them a new name.  Abram’s name became Abraham and Sarai’s name became Sarah. 

God confirms His covenant again to Abram:  Abraham will be the father of many nations; He will make him very fruitful; He will make nations of him and kings will come to you; God will make an everlasting covenant with him and his descendants; God will be his God and God of our descendant; He will give Abraham and his descendants the whole land of Canaan forever. 

Do you feel God has been quiet in your life?
Go you think, “Is He going to talk to me”?
Is God there?
What life habit is God asking you to remove to be closer to Him?

God also told Abraham to circumcise every male and that any uncircumcised male will not be part of the covenant.  God also told Abraham that Sarah would have a son and to call him Isaac.  God would also bless Ishmael and make him fruitful as well as Isaac.  Abraham obeyed God.

Abram was righteous before he was circumcised.  Circumcision was just a reminder and a physical sign that set apart Abraham and his descendants from those who did not know God.  Circumcision is also a spiritual sign that sin is not a part of our lives and enables us to live a life of purity.   Circumcision is all about the heart. 

“The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”Deu. 30:6. 
“A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly. Nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the spirit, not by the written code.  Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.” Rom. 30:28-29.

Christians today receive circumcision of the heart when they accept Jesus by faith - that He died for our sins and when He died, our sins were buried with Him and we are raised with Him anew through our faith.

We walk blamelessly before God when we trust and obey His Word.

Trust God when you do not understand.  His character is worthy of our submission.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Genesis 15

Genesis 15:1 – The Promised Shield and Reward 

God knew Abram was shaky and needed assurance.  It had been a very intense time for Abram.  He had refused the most powerful king of the land in the previous chapter.  The king could come back for revenge against Abram.  Abram was discouraged.  Gen. 15:1“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward.’ ”.  God wanted to reassure him that He was his protector.  We should not look at our circumstances, but look to God who is in control.  There is no need to fear the future.  We need to rely on God and He will calm our fears.

God is a shield and reward to those who trust in Him.

Are facing and “after this” in life?  Is your “after this” after a cancel treatment, bankruptcy, loss of a loved some, etc.?  Are you sacrificially commented to living God’s Word?  He assures us with His protection as He did Abram.  He will protect us, but that does not mean we will not have times of trouble.

What do you need to trust God? 
How is God asking you to fearless obey Him?
Are you willing to place your faith and trust in God?
What makes you afraid?  Failure, death.  There are over 200 verses in the Bible about “fear not” to reassure us when we are afraid. 

God said He would be Abram’s shield.  God is our shield by protecting, deflecting and absorbing the arrows and darts from the enemy, Satan.

God said He is Abram’s very great reward.  He is our very great reward when we place our faith in Him.  We get a relationship with Him for all eternity.

If God said to you “I am your very great reward”, what would this mean to you?  Abram had no children, but he had faith that God would keep His promise and give him a son.  Gen. 15:6“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”  Rom. 1:16-17 tells us that the righteousness will live by faith. 

Are you living by faith? 
Do trust God to do what He says He will do? 
What does it mean to have faith? – To have faith is to trust God completely and by having faith in Jesus that He died to make us perfect in God’s sight.
What does it mean to be righteousness? – To be righteous mean you must live a perfect life, but we can’t do that without Jesus.

Genesis 15:2-6 – The Promised Seed

Abram was struggling with doubt.  Probably 10 years had passed since God made the promise to him.  Abram questioned God in Gen. 15:2-6.  He was questing God because he knew he didn’t have the ability at his age to have a son.  He probably wondered if he even heard God right. He wanted very much to do his part in fulfilling God’s promise.  He probably was wondering how this would happen.  There was no disapproval from God.  God just said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars…. So shall your offspring be.”Gen. 15:5.  Abram’s offspring today are all those who believe in Christ Jesus.  See Rom. 4:16. Gal. 3:7, 29.

Doubt is different than unbelief.  Doubt is the natural journey of faith.  Are you doubting?  Are you open to dialog with God?  God is where we go when afraid and doubting.  We all need assurance from God.  To us, God’s timing seems so off.  God showed Abram the stars to assure him that God was capable of fulfilling His promise.  Abram was led to focus on God and what God could do.  Abram took God at His Word and believed God.  “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”Gen. 15:6.

God credits faith in His promises as righteousness.

Do you have “but God” feelings like Abram?
What is the tough question you need to ask God?
What disappointment are you living with that leads you to unbelief?
Are you willing to trust God with your tears?

Genesis 15:7-21 – The Promised Land

God had promised that Abram would possess the land.  Abram asked, “How can I know that I will gain possession of it?”Gen 15:8.   So God entered into a covenant with Abram in Gen 15:8-11.   God was personally and deeply committed to make a covenant with Abram.  With this covenant Abram was guaranteed God’s promise.  This was a custom for sealing contracts between two parties.  If we believe, God promises us that we are saved and that our salvation is secure.  It is not secure based on you obeying, but on the Jesus’ work on the cross.  Don’t live life afraid you are not good enough, because you are not.

God’s grace is sufficient while we wait for His promises to be fulfilled.

Are you waiting for God to fulfill a promise?
What are you focusing on, your circumstances or God?  He will fulfill His promises at the perfect time.
How will you live while waiting?
How will you protect your mind and heart?  He is committed to anyone who is committed by faith to Him.

Gen. 15:12-17 – Abram fell asleep and God revealed to him His future plans.  God’s plans for Abram’s descendants were good, but there would be many terrible troubles.  God told Abram that his descendants would be slaves in Egypt for 400 years.  We learn in the book of Exodus that all these things happened as God said.  After the 400 years God used Moses to free the people and God let them back to the country called Canaan.  God makes something good out of something horrible.  He freed them from Egypt.  God did not enslave Israel.  It was man’s free will that did that.  Today God assures us that trouble will come, but He is our very present help in time of trouble.

Israel is the most disputed piece of real estate on the earth.  Israel today is one of the tiniest nations on the earth.  It’s only 260 miles at its longest point.  Israel would fit into the United States 768 times.  Israel is a democratic nation, but is surrounded by 22 hostile Arab/Islamic nations.  These Arab countries are 640 times larger than Israel.  They want Israel to turn over all the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the Golan Heights and half of Jerusalem.  Islam’s Koran commands Muslims force the entire planet to submit to its control, yet Israel is viewed as an aggressor.  Israel fights only defensive wars, because it resists total destruction from its enemies.     
Even though it’s a tiny nation, God continues to protect Israel to this day. God promised Abram and his descendants the land of Israel, which includes from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. Abram believed God and entered into a covenant with Him. “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates…’.” – Gen. 15:18. This is their Promised Land.