It was on this day, in 1492, that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain signed a decree expelling all Jews from Spain. This expulsion culminated on August 2nd of that same year, which was the 9th of Av on the Hebrew calendar. It just so happened that the Jewish expulsion coincided with the preferred date of departure by a certain mariner named Christobal Colon, or as we know him, Christopher Columbus, on his expedition to the Indies. Finding the port clogged with fleeing Jewish refugees, Colon delayed his departure by one day.
It’s fascinating that the year and personalities that we associate with the discovery of the New World and the eventual establishment of the United States are linked to the forced evacuation of Jews from Spain. From our perspective so many years later, it’s as if someone was working behind the scenes orchestrating these historical events. It’s long been my position that Columbus’ journey was ordained, not just so that America could be established, but that prophecies concerning the regathering of His people, Israel, would occur. Once such prophecy is found in Isaiah 11:
“It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:11-12)
The edict of expulsion in 1492 is another example of how God’s people have, so often, been forced out of countries they had settled in. However, there’s really only one homeland for His people, and the reason that they have not lived there over the centuries is because they (we) have not been obedient to His Word.
With all my heart, I believe that the day is fast approaching when all of His people are going to be regathered to His land, which means that His people will come to understand that it’s because of our disobedience that we haven’t lived there. But His people will turn back to Him and will be brought back into the land which He promised to Abraham and to his seed. The prophets continually speak of this issue:
“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:24-27)
This prophecy is very clear on some points: the first one is that the God of Israel will be faithful to His promise to gather all of His people into the land of promise. But notice, even as He is regathering them, He still considers them as unclean, which suggests that they will continue in the struggle to walk in obedience. That point leads to this one: only by His Spirit can we truly hope to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him. So that we may walk upright before Him, let’s commit ourselves to being led by His Spirit. When we empty ourselves of our will and desires, His Spirit can guide us and we can truly walk in compliance to His instructions. As more of us do that, at some point in the future, He gather us all into the land of promise to rule and reign with Him.