Or should it be Israel at 4,000? Last week’s celebration of the founding of the State of Israel reminds us of the promise God made to Abraham to leave his father’s country and go to a land I will show you; Genesis Chapter 12. This “promised land” presented Abraham with some problems from the start but none were greater that the decision as to which of his two sons were to inherit it. Was it to be Ishmael, the son of Abraham’s disobedience or Isaac the son of promise? In the providence of God it was through Isaac that the blessing was to flow to the nations but Ishmael was also to be the founder of a great nation – the Arabs. The struggles to gain possession of the land ebbed and flowed according to their obedience or disobedience to God’s commands culminating in the exile when Judah went into captivity “away from their land”. All that they had left was the promise of a better day; “Once more a remnant of the house of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this”. That day came but was largely unrecognised. The remnant, now reduced to peasant stock, living under Roman occupation, prisoners in their own land, heard the voice of Jesus proclaiming a new type of kingdom; “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Misunderstood by his own people who thought of him as a deliverer from Rome he answered Pilate’s question with “My kingdom is not of this world”. Jesus rule was to be over the lives of those who, like those in the Church at Colosse, had put their faith in Jesus and entered his Kingdom as St Paul said, “For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”. This gospel has encircled the globe but what of God’s ancient people? The State of Israel is evidence that God is not finished with her yet. Her language restored, her territory re-established and the sons of Ishmael at the throats of the sons of Isaac, indicates the ongoing fulfillment of prophecy. St Paul’s prediction contained in Romans Chapter 12 will be completely fulfilled in that day when the promises are believed and “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”. Commit your life to Jesus and hasten that day.