Abraham's Land Promise

by David Padfield

Premillennialism is a doctrine taught by many religious groups in our day. This theory teaches Jesus will return to this earth and set up a literal, earthly kingdom for a 1,000 years. Proponents claim that prior to His return there will be a period of tribulation for seven years (some same three and a half years). Then, according to their speculations, the Lord will reign in Jerusalem (like David and Solomon) and the Jews will receive the land God promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:7.

In 1970 Hal Lindsey wrote a best selling book, The Late Great Planet Earth. He said, "For God unconditionally promised Abraham's descendants a literal world-wide kingdom over which they would rule through their Messiah who would reign upon King David's throne. The Jews who believe in the Messiah will also possess the land which is bordered on the east by the Euphrates River, and on the west by the Nile."

Many of Lindsey's other predictions have already failed. He claimed the Soviet Union was going to invade Israel and start World War III. Well, the Soviet Union is now out of business, but Hal Lindesy is still out on the lecture circuit. If Lindesy had any integrity, he would issue an apology for his book and offer a refund to all who purchased it.

Lindesy's book, along with many others, denies God has ever made good on His promises to Abraham. Let us to examine the promises and see if He has kept His word.

When God called Abraham to leave the Ur of the Chaldees, He said, "Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:1-3). Notice the three promises:

Abraham would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 12:2; 22:17). This promise was fulfilled in Exodus 1:7-15. A new king ascended to the throne in Egypt and saw the descendants of Abraham outnumbered the Egyptians. In Deuteronomy 1:10, prior to the Israelites entering the promised land, Moses said, "The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of the heaven in multitude."

Through Abraham's seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 22:18). This promise was fulfilled by the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross. In Peter's sermon on Solomon's porch, he said, "You are the sons of the prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth will be blessed.' To you first God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities" (Acts 3:25,26). The apostle Paul taught the same thing in Galatians 3:9 when he said, "those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham".

The third promise was the land of Canaan itself. God told Abraham, "Unto thy seed will I give this land" (Genesis 12:7). In Genesis 13:12 we find Abraham was dwelling in that land. God commanded Abraham to "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 forever" (Genesis 13:14,15).

God made good on this promise when Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Canaan. "And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he swore to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it and dwelt therein There failed not ought of any good fling which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass" (Joshua 21:43,45).

Retention of the land was conditional. Israel had a choice between being blessed or cursed by God. If they would "harken diligently" unto the Lord, they would dwell in the land and be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). However, if they turned aside from the law of God, they would be cursed and driven out of the land (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).

Joshua promised them, "When ye have transgressed die covenant of the Lord then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he has given unto you" (Joshua 23:16).

These people later rejected the Lord were sent into Babylonian captivity. God kept His word, even though they didn't keep theirs.

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