Final Destination

'Just as Cyrus, the King of the ancient Persian empire, was the Divinely appointed facilitator for the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem after the first exile, the British Empire was entrusted by the God of History after the second exile to restore His ancient covenant people to the Land that He had promised to them as an everlasting inheritance.'

In The Destiny of Britain, a fascinating two part documentary produced by Hatikvah Trust, Australian author and historian Kelvin Crombie presents a comprehensive overview, from a Christian perspective, of the lead up to the Balfour Declaration and the beginning of British rule over the historic Land of Israel. The film focuses on the pivotal roles played by a number of prominent evangelical figures in Britain during the preceding few centuries, many of whom were motivated by a conviction that the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland was clearly foretold in the Bible. The documentary is very well produced and is brought to life through the input of a wide range of Israeli academics and British churchmen, and the use of well placed historical dramatizations.

The philosemitic motivations of men such as William Wilberforce, Lord Palmerston and Lord Shaftesbury, who encouraged the British government to actively support the restoration of Israel, alongside the convictions of 19th Century evangelical giants such as Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Charles Spurgeon and J.C. Ryle that the Jewish people would eventually be restored to their own homeland, are presented in an easily digestible format. This will help anyone with an interest in the Jewish people to better understand the British input in these matters. These and other significant figures of faith and state, who were driven by an evident love for the Jewish people, are profiled as the story unfolds.

Beginning with the expulsion from Jerusalem and subsequent dispersion of the Jewish people to different nations around the world, the film works its way through progressive points in their story leading up to the beginning of British rule of the land. The documentary points towards Britain being ‘the Cyrus nation in the sovereign purposes of God’ in terms of restoring the Jewish people to their homeland. Not only had British interest helped shape and steer missionary efforts during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but it ultimately resulted in the Jewish people seeking Britain’s help as they began looking to the restoration of their own state.

Regardless of how you view the Jewish people or your opinion on their restoration to the land of their forefathers, The Destiny of Britain provides a captivating glance into how Britain and Israel are inextricably linked as a direct result of the British nation’s rich Christian heritage. As such, this DVD presentation is highly recommended to anyone with an interest, particularly an evangelical one, in the history of the Jewish people and their return to the land of Israel.

This article first appeared in the Winter Herald 2012

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