We are currently in Jerusalem for the Seeds of Faith Israel 2019 Tour. One of the things that we have learned here is that some of the prophecies in the Bible were fulfilled only in the last 200 years.
The prophecy written in Zechariah 2:1-2 says, “Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
Scholars believe that this prophecy in Zechariah was fulfilled by Charles Warren, the father of Jerusalem Biblical archeology who came to Israel in 1867. He was the one who measured Jerusalem and found the ancient city.
The prophecy was fulfilled. You only measure land when you want to buy it or return to it. This event set the stage for the Jubilee — the time when the land will be returned to Israel.
What happened in Bethlehem, specifically in the Church of Nativity, was crucial in that fulfillment. Why? There was a conflict that started in the Church of Nativity about a missing star. The clergy of different Christian denominations quarreled.
The Russian government sided with the Orthodox clergy, while the Ottoman Empire, along with France, Britain, and Sardinia, sided with the Latin clergy. The conflict was the starting point that would lead to the Crimean War. The war became a turning point for the Ottoman Empire. The war happened from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain, and Sardinia.
It led the Ottoman Empire to borrow money from Europe, and eventually, it led them to sell their lands. So they sold portions of Palestine. The Jews secretly bought lands starting in 1867.
Charles Warren in that time also wrote what is considered the first detailed vision and plan for the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel.
The events unfurled towards the fulfillment of another prophecy. During this time there were persecutions towards the Jews. This led them to go to Palestine. They began occupying and buying lands in their ancient home place. And the prophecy of Jeremiah 32:44 was fulfilled.
The prophecy says, “Men will buy fields for money, sign deeds and seal them . . . In the viilages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah . . . I will cause their captives to return,’ says the LORD.”
Indeed, God works throughout all the ages and is faithful in fulfilling the prophecies that are in the Bible.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on