What does it mean – to call Israel God’s covenanted land? How did it become “covenanted” and how do we know that this arrangement still stands all these millennia later?
First of all, by covenanted we mean the land was deeded in a contractual agreement. Contracts involve the participation of two or more parties, and this was true in this case. God offered Abraham the land of Israel in perpetuity (eternally) as homeland for his and Sarah’s as yet unborn descendants. Abraham accepted the offer.
Where this contract becomes unusual and special is in the application of its provisions to only one of the two parties – to God. All Abraham had to do was believe in Him.
For the LORD did not attach any strings to this covenant. There was no small print, no hidden clause. God didn’t so much as hint at anything that Abraham or his children would have to do to ensure that the contract would remain binding. In this way, God actually made the covenant with Himself, and He is thus quite unable to break it, even if He should ever wish to, which of course we know He won’t. He always keeps His word and His commitments, and both His gifts and His callings are irrevocable.
So, we see that the land was covenanted, irrevocably, to the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. That covenant remains in place at the dawn of the third millennium of the common era. Nothing Israel has done or can do, nothing the world powers can do, nothing Islam can do, can even minutely alter this fact. Regarding this, the LORD is unmistakeable in His assurances.
And just in case there were any (as indeed there are, many) who would question whether it really was a covenant agreement “as such”, the LORD spells it out in the Psalms, where He calls it His “covenant forever,” His word “commanded for a thousand generations,” “the covenant He made with Abraham,” “His oath to Isaac,” which He confirmed “to Jacob for a statute,” and “to Israel as an everlasting covenant.”
It could not be put any more clearly than that!