Yahweh says, “Concerning all my evil neighbors, who touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them up from off their land, and will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. It will happen that after I have plucked them up, I will return and have compassion on them. I will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. It will happen, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As Yahweh lives;’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the middle of my people. But if they will not hear, then I will pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it,” says Yahweh.
Do you remember how many times we read that God would bless Israel, then they would go away from God and then He would punish them, then they would cry out to God and He would have mercy on them and save them? In this passage, God appears to be saying that this is how He works in the nations around Israel. If they “swear by” His name instead of by some other, then He would build them up. If not, He would tear them down too. That is very exciting to me because it shows us that God cares about Gentiles. It also tells us that He gave nations other than Israel their own place. We know that this is true because we read about that in the books of Moses. God even told Israel to not try to take the land of certain other nations because He had given it to them.
I believe that this passage may apply to nations other than those that are right around Israel. In a way, the United States is a neighbor to Israel today. I believe that God has already blessed our nation for acknowledging Israel’s God. Our money even declares our motto. Our nation intended to trust in the God of Israel and nothing else. We have been greatly blessed as a result. Notice, however, that if a nation “will not hear,” God will “pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it.” So we see that God does not want nations that boarder Israel to not believe in Him.
We know that, someday, the whole world will acknowledge that Jesus is the King of the earth. Even if these things don’t directly apply to nations that aren’t bordering Israel, we know that God works with Gentile nations too. God has a place for all of us and He is the God of the whole world, not just Israel.