285. The Times of the Gentiles

This issue looks at the Times of the Gentiles.
SINCE YOU ASKED
After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, Israel finally took possession of the “Promised Land.” While they enjoyed many great victories, they failed to drive out all the wicked inhabitants of the land as God had commanded. These remaining people influenced the children of Israel to the degree that they adopted many of their wicked practices. God sent prophets to warn his people, but they wouldn’t listen. God’s patience eventually ran out. The residents of Judah were hauled off into captivity in Babylon for a period of 70 years. This began what is known as “The Times of the Nations” or “The Times of the Gentiles,” when there would be no king from the line of David ruling over Israel. The line would continue, even though no one from this royal line would sit on the throne after Jeconiah, just prior to the first deportation in 605 B.C.
 
After the 70 years of captivity were over, the Persians, who now ruled the region, allowed the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem’s walls. The Persians eventually fell to the Greeks, who eventually gave way to the Romans. Under persecution, the Jews were dispersed abroad, eventually returning to Israel which became officially recognized in 1948. The “Times of the Gentiles” continues.

AS I SEE IT
So far, the term “Times of the Gentiles” simply gives us something to call the time when no king from the line of David ruled over Israel. It is here that God’s Covenant with David comes into play. God ensured him that the royal line of Israel would go through him, through one of his sons, and through his descendants. God also promised that David’s line would continue to exist throughout the rest of history. There would be times when there would be no member of this kingly line ruling over Israel, but the line would continue unbroken, until God’s final king would take the throne, ushering in the eternal kingdom.
 
Fast forward to today. The nation of Israel remains in unbelief. Her rulers are neither descendants of David nor divinely appointed. Since the Hall of Records was destroyed during the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., there is virtually no way of proving that anyone’s lineage can be traced back to the tribe of Judah and to David. The only verifiable heir to the throne would have to have been born before 70 A.D. with a proven connection to the tribe of Judah and to David. The only one filling this qualification is the Lord Jesus Christ-the only legitimate heir to Israel’s throne-the only one who can bring the “times of the Gentiles” to an end. In the meantime, God is faithful to His covenant promise. Despite the apparent chaos in the Middle East, from God’s point of view, everything is proceeding right according to schedule.

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