This is Jerusalem: I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her - Ezekiel 5:5, NIV
Why did God ask Abraham to uproot his family and move all the way to Canaan? Why did the Lord need him to move from one end of the fertile crescent to the other? The answer is simple: strategy. Missiologists have long pointed to the strategic importance of that narrow piece of real estate which Christians today often call The Holy Land.
The Promised Land of Canaan -- now frequently called Palestine -- is only 60 miles wide in places. At its western edge is the Mediterranean Sea. To the east is impassable desert. Its location makes it a land bridge between three continents. Africas only land link to Europe and to Asia runs through what is today modern Israel. If God wanted to make Himself known throughout the ancient world, this would have been the ideal place to do it from.
To establish and maintain a nation on this busy bridge would be a superhuman feat. But this is exactly what the puny little nation of Israel did (with some brief gaps) for nearly 1,300 years. Was it a a mere coincidence that God placed His people on this bridge between continents? Unlikely. He seems to have done so on purpose so that His name would be proclaimed in all nations.
Map idea taken from Bible Mapbook by Simon Jenkins, published by Lion Publishing, and reproduced by permission.
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