James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. – James 1:1
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.
2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.
3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
4 So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed . . ..
5 He took his wife, Sarai . . . and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan,
7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
49 The LORD will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand,
52 They will attack your cities until all the fortified walls in your land – the walls you trusted to protect you – are knocked down. They will attack all the towns in the land the LORD your God has given you.
62 Though you become as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the LORD your God.
64 For the LORD will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone!
65 There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the LORD will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair.
66 Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive.
67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were night!” And in the evening you will say, “If only it were morning!” For you will be terrified by the awful horrors you see around you.
In California, about 25 miles southwest of Los Angeles, there is a city called Manhattan Beach. It is an oceanside community on the Pacific Ocean. An idyllic plot of land referred to as a black family-owned Bruce’s Beach. Simply because of racial prejudice, the land was condemned. The city took control of the property through eminent domain. The city officials offered the couple $14,500 and claimed they needed the land for a public park. In 1927, the family moved out of Bruce’s Beach, and the city demolished the buildings two years later. For generations, the family asked, Where is My Land?
The descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce sought restitution for nearly a century. The question on their minds was simple: Where is My Land? In September 2021, a bill was signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, allowing the beach to be transferred back to the descendants. Newsom said, “I want to apologize to the Bruce family for the injustice that was done to them. We haven’t always had a proud past.” The Bruce’s great-grandsons decided to sell the property back to the county for close to $20 million.
REFLECT & PRAY
2 Timothy 2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.
Father thank you for keeping your promises. Even when we become faithless, You remain faithful.
During the time of the writing of the New Testament, the term dispersion (Greek diaspora) was a common Jewish expression to refer to Jewish people scattered throughout the Roman Empire not living in Palestine. The dispersion began with the Assyrian’s destruction of the Northern Kingdom in 722. People of Israel were deported and forced to live in various locations with the Assyrian empire. In 586, the two Southern Tribes of Judah were exiled to Babylon. In 70 A.D., when the Romans defeated the last remnants of the Jewish army at Masada, a worldwide dispersion began. With the Jewish people out of the land of Israel, other people moved in and took possession of the land the Lord had promised the nation of Israel.
Isaiah 66:8 Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment?
For some 2000 years, the Jewish people have asked: Where is My Land? In 1948, an answer came, and the modern nation of Israel was born in one day, May 14, 1948. The Father’s promise was finally fulfilled. Yet, the majority of the Jewish people are in the diaspora, scattered around the world.
Ezekiel 37:21 Thus says the Lord GOD, I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered.
“The day of Israel’s restoration will be a time of great rejoicing in Jerusalem. All . . . who love her and who have wept with her will share in the ecstasy and jubilation of that moment. Enriched by the glory of the Gentiles, she in turn will give prosperity, nourishment, comfort, and rejuvenation to all who come to her. Then it will be obvious to all that Jehovah is committed to the welfare of His own and the punishment of His enemies” (MacDonald).
9 “Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it?” asks the LORD. “No! I would never keep this nation from being born,” says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem! Be glad with her, all you who love her and all you who mourn for her.”
11 “Drink deeply of her glory even as an infant drinks at its mother’s comforting breasts.”
12 This is what the LORD says: “I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity. The wealth of the nations will flow to her. Her children will be nursed at her breasts, carried in her arms, and held on her lap.”
13 “I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.”
14 When you see these things, your heart will rejoice. You will flourish like the grass! Everyone will see the LORD’s hand of blessing on his servants – and his anger against his enemies.
Isaiah 66:8 Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? But Jerusalem’s children will be born before the birth pains begin.
Look carefully at what this verse says, the mother in view (the nation of Israel) gives birth to a child effortlessly without effort before labor pains even begin. “This event is unusual both with respect to the speed of the delivery and the total absence of any pain” (Gary Smith). This is a remarkable birth, a miracle. This predicts that the Father God will do something clearly impossible. Because what God has promised and he will do.
© Dr. H 2023