And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees. When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Does history must always repeat itself (Ecclesiastes 1:9)? Let’s hope it does!
When Abraham arrived in the Land with his family he was unpleasantly surprised by its Canaanite inhabitants. Even though divinely promised to him, Abraham could not possess the Land without warfare. Later, due to a famine the patriarch left for Egypt where after the captivity of his wife he returned to the land with great wealth. The text doesn’t reveal it to us, but since the Canaanite still lived in the Land, they might have made a compromise with Abraham. Maybe the fact that Abraham was now a wealthy and powerful enough to defeat five Amorite kings could have something to do with it (Genesis 13).
Our father Jacob also left the Land for a long exile at Laban’s house. When he returned with his big family, his brother who had adopted a Canaanite way of life only had evil intentions towards his returning wealthy and blessed brother Jacob. Esau intended to kill Jacob as soon as they meet. Before the fatal show down, Jacob has a surprise encounter with the Messiah against whom he is not able to prevail. The Messiah blesses Jacob and gives him a new name: Israel. The patriarch is now able to use the wisdom and humility he acquired during his long exile to win his brother’s heart who then kisses him and allows him to come to settle again in his homeland.
When Moses, following in footsteps of Abraham and Jacob led the children of Israel from Egypt towards Canaan, the Amalekites pursued them from the rear (Exodus 17:8) and later in Kadesh Barneah Edom would not allow passage through his lands (Numbers 20:14-18). Eventually, each time God’s plan succeeded and Israel settled in Canaan. Like Abraham, Jacob, and the Children of Israel in the desert, from around the world the Jewish people are now returning to the Land from where they have been exiled. Again, Esau the Canaanite (also Amalekite and Edomite) who is fully knowledgeable of Jacob’s inheritance (even the Koran mentions that this Land belongs to the Jewish people) lays in wait for his brother to do him arm. Thank God that we know the end from the beginning: Jacob does settle in the Land.
We must only pray now that God’s will be done. Only we must pray that Hashem gives ‘Jacob’ the wisdom that comes from the Messiah and His Word which ‘Esau’ will not be able to resist. In the mean time, we learn from history that the soul of the Jewish people is like that of a homing pigeon. From wherever he is in the world, through hell and high water, he returns home to his ‘ground zero’, to the Land. So it is with the soul of man, the soul of all humanity. In the end, it must return to its Creator. Like a verse in a song I heard puts it, "the soul of man is like a waiting falcon; when it’s released, it’s destined for the sky."