The on again, off again, war for survival that Israel has to wage against its surrounding Muslim enemies will never end this side of Christ’s Second Coming. There are many who are indifferent to this struggle. Others, including those within the church, actively oppose the Jewish nation, calling for boycotts and divestment from any and all things Israeli. Then there’s the rampant anti-Semitism that’s once again on the rise globally. Should Christians care or take a stand on any of this? Does anything happening in that tiny nation so far away have anything to do with the rest of the world?
In order, yes we should and yes it does.
The Jewish people are God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel being the homeland that God Himself gave to them.
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
Abram, later to be known as Abraham, is the father of the Jewish people through his son, Isaac. These are the chosen of God’s promise. Rest assured, when God makes a promise, He keeps it. God will bless nations that bless the Jewish people/Israel and curses those who curse them. Through the Jews came the blessing to all families of the Earth; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, Israel holds a special standing with God.
“For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you (Israel) toucheth the apple of his eye.” (Zechariah 2:8)
Never forget this. But Abraham also is the father Ishmael through which the Arab peoples are descended.
“And the angel of the Lord said unto her (Hagar), Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:11-12)
This prophecy perfectly describes Arabic history and is codified by Islam, a satanically inspired false religion originating from Mohammed, he of the lineage of Ishmael.
Despite God’s promises there are those who claim Israel is irrelevant, that God has rejected disobedient Israel and the Jewish people, replacing them instead with the Christian church. This theory is known as Replacement Theology, an idea nowhere indicated or even hinted at in the Bible. It’s not hard to understand where such thinking originates. Satan hates the Jews. His imprint is on everything and everyone who seek their destruction through whatever lie or means. Along those lines, some try to dismiss the modern Jewish state of Israel as being comprised of imposter Zionists, not “real” Jews. This implies either God doesn’t know what He’s doing or has somehow been fooled. The ancient people of Israel, displaced from their homeland in 70AD by the Romans, were dispersed abroad in what’s become known as the diaspora. On May 14, 1948, they were declared a nation again, reborn in a single day just as prophesied in the Old Testament.
“Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Or shall a nation be brought forth in a moment? For as soon as Zion (Israel) was in labor, she brought forth her children.” (Isaiah 66:8) AMPC
Throughout world history, no ancient nation has ever been reestablished as Israel has from a people that miraculously kept their history and customs intact even though scattered into multiple cultures. Once again we see that God keeps His promises with whom He covenants. A few things to emphasize here. We gentile Christians, non-Jews, are joined via faith in Jesus into becoming heirs to God’s coming future kingdom as described in Romans Chapter 11. Even so, we don’t replace God’s chosen people.
Israel today, like the United States, is a predominantly secular nation. They are in rebellion to the Holy One of Israel just as we are. The United States will not be saved, Israel will. God’s overarching plan in human history, coming to final fruition in these latter days, is the redemption of the Jewish people. Through trial and tribulation, they will come to accept Messiah Jesus, He whom they initially rejected and still currently deny en masse. To properly understand eschatology, End Times events, is to comprehend that days we live in focus on Israel and the final salvation of God’s chosen people. The rest of us are along for the ride. The repercussions are and will be worldwide.
Significant prophetic events, as of yet unfulfilled, focus on Israel. The Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 name the specific nations that will soon come against Israel in war; Russia, Turkey and Iran chief amongst them. Of interest, all three have military forces operating in Syria right now, on Israel’s northern border.
In the prophetic book of Daniel, Israel is mentioned at the end of days. As example:
“And at that time (of the end) shall Michael (the Archangel) stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people (Jews/Israel): and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Daniel 12:1)
The covenant that the Antichrist will affirm, (Daniel 9:27) will be with and about Israel.
Jesus in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) speaks of the last days focusing on Israel’s prominent place in them.
The biblical book of Revelation centers on Israel and the Jewish people. In total, it’s a foolish proposition to ignore Israel and the Jewish peoples’ significance throughout the Bible, claiming that God has now forsaken them in favor of the New Testament church.
Let me be clear here. Being Jewish does not automatically confer salvation on that person. Getting saved comes through faith in Christ alone.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus said no man, he didn’t limit it to no gentile. Jews are a favored people but they are not by that virtue gifted eternal life. They must come to the same realization of the Gospel (good news) that we as Christians have. Our job is to proclaim it to them and our fellow unsaved gentiles.
One last point. There are false teachers who support Israel and the Jewish people yet espouse unbiblical notions about the same. For instance:
“The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews.” – John Hagee, “In Defense of Israel”, page 140
Hagee’s support of Israel doesn’t redeem his errant theology. Jesus was and is the promised Messiah. There is no other. The Jews rejection of their Christ served to extend that offer to the rest of humanity. Jesus became not just the savior of the Jews, but of the whole world. He came to die for all of our sins. We should be profoundly thankful for that.
A person’s view of Israel speaks much to their understanding of the Bible. Or their rejection of it. God’s enemies hate Israel. How about you?