WHY STAND WITH ISRAEL TODAY?
By Jack Hayford
Israel is a land about which God says – uniquely, prophetically, redemptively, and repeatedly in the Bible – “This is Mine.” God refers to Israel as He does to no other land on Earth. Israel was raised up to be a light to the Gentiles.
The Church at its inception was virtually entirely Jewish, and it remained so until the Gospel began to spread. Ultimately the Gospel spread to Antioch – where the first Gentile congregation began – the base from which the Gospel spread into all the world.
In the book of Romans, chapters 9 through 11, the Apostle Paul deals with the question of the Jews in God’s providence and purpose. These three chapters virtually stand alone, within the whole of the Bible, as an elaboration of the theology of God’s dealing with Jews. The Jews were the “firstfruit”…the “first people” (through Abraham) to understand a covenant God. They then relayed the riches of that truth to the world, and through their agency, the Messiah came into the world. The Word of God calls Jews the “root” and Gentiles the “branches.” We’re reminded that while “because of unbelief, some of them were broken off and you stand by faith,” we are not to become haughty but to fear: “For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.” When the fullness of the Gentiles is completed, “all Israel will be saved.” (v. 11:16-27)
We are living in a sobering moment in history that calls us, as believers in Jesus Christ, to take a stand with Israel. We could be people of the last hours. We are not to be passive in the face of prophecy; we are called to pray with passion, to intercede, and to minister according to the words of the Savior who said it is not our task to speculate when the end will be. It is our responsibility to do Kingdom business until He comes (Luke 19:13).
This is not about politics, this is about the Word of God…but the political ramifications are extremely dramatic. Scripture declares there will come a time when all the nations of the world will turn against Israel. It is so highly conceivable this could happen in our time that it is critical to outline: why we should stand with Israel today.
EIGHT REASONS FOR STANDING WITH ISRAEL
1) Every believer is charged to make the Jews a priority in their value system and to render thanksgiving from their hearts for God’s work via them as a people.
Understanding the basis of the attention that we give to the Jews has to do with understanding God’s divine order and things that God said. It involves a people and a land.
So Scripture speaks to us very clearly: we’re dealing with the roots of everything that has to do with the revelation of God to humankind. The proof of this is in the very existence of the Jews as a people and the fact that they’ve been recovered as a nation. Today the struggle is over Jerusalem, over Israel, and over the presence of Jews and their right to a have a land. There are few nations willing to make an abiding commitment to stand by the Jews and Israel, but the Bible says God will honor those who do.
2) Our place in God’s present order inextricably links us with the Jews as a people and thereby the land of Israel according to the Word.
When we put our faith in the Redeemer who came through the Jews, we enter into a line of those who have trusted God according to His revealed grace and redemptive purpose.
3) God has made unique declarations regarding the land of Israel which have never been rescinded:
When we talk about Israel, we are dealing with: 1) a piece of property that God has made pronouncements about and 2) God’s people to whom He’s given the land. It is a major issue with the Creator of all things, and it is non-negotiable. Things that God has said, uniquely, about Israel have never been rescinded.
· Not only does the land belong to God, but also God has committed the land to Abraham and his offspring via Isaac forever. (Genesis 17:7-8)
· “With a little wrath I hid My face from you…but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed…” (Isaiah 54:8-10)
· The loss of governance by Israel through sin and dispersion has not altered God’s announced commitment to make it theirs forever. (Read Ezekiel 37:1-28)
4) Israel’s present conflict is neither by their initiative nor perpetuated by expansionism on their part.
The general attitude of the world today regards the Palestinians as the underdog, but Israel is defending the land covenanted to them in 1917 and established by the United Nations Assembly in 1948. The Palestinian goal is not to secure a homeland but to drive Israel out altogether. For the sake of mounting public opinion against Israel, surrounding, well-resourced Arab nations have never offered refuge to the Palestinians. The majority of the world doesn’t know this, and nobody is bothering to tell them because sympathies are so overridden by other forces.
5) To stand with Israel is not to oppose Arab peoples as an entity or to oppose the rights of Arabs living in Israel to a peaceful, politically secure, and prosperous life.
God has no disposition against any human being, certainly not Arabs who are the offspring of Ishmael, the other son of His chosen leader Abraham. Standing for Israel doesn’t require an anti-Arab stance and doesn’t require us to be loveless toward other peoples.
6) The relentless animosities of sectors of the Arab world are not merely political causes but are driven by spiritual powers that will not be satisfied until Israel ceases to exist.
The forces opposed to Israel are not simply those of people who don’t like Jews. We are
Caught in the stream of spiritual forces greater than humanity, forces that cannot be overthrown politically or by the power of persuasion. These forces can only be broken by intercessory prayer where principalities and powers are cast down.
7) The same spirit driving these animosities is equally opposed to Christians as to Jews and in time will eventually bring persecution to both.
Just as Scripture states there are two witnesses that will be put to death in Jerusalem at the very end of time (Revelation 11), there have been two witnesses that have stood for God throughout history – the Jews and the Christians.
The hostilities and animosities are just as leveled at believers as they are at Israel, because there is a spirit in the world that is against all that is called God and everything about Him.
· God as Creator – to Whom we owe our worship.
· God as Judge – to Whom we owe our accountability.
· God as Redeemer – Who has shown Himself through His Son, Jesus.
· God as the moral Lawgiver of all humanity – to Whom we owe a responsibility in terms of our behavior.
8) A biblical assignment and a divine promise summon our stand in faith, our intercession with expectancy, and our support with promise.
We are called to stand with Israel today because we could be people of the last hour. The Lord has called us to be people with moral and biblical conviction, walking wisely and knowing His Word. He will honor those who make an abiding commitment to stand with the land He’s called uniquely His. (Psalm 122:6).
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO “STAND UP FOR ISRAEL.”
1) Equip yourself with reliable information, avoiding bigotry and disallowing “blind spots.” Recognize the disposition of the popular press. Assess reports cautiously but not with paranoia. Become familiar with the basics of history in the Middle East, and understand the past century.
2) Accept with continuing faithfulness the Bible’s call to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), and pray that our Nation will govern in the light of Genesis 12:1-3… ”I will bless those who bless you…”
3) Prayerfully consider visiting Israel as a point of practical support.
4) Show friendship toward Jewish friends. Affirm that you, as a believer, stand with Israel as a point of your Bible-based commitment to God.
5) While acknowledging the terrorist habits of radical Muslims, be gracious to others.
Take action because it’s such a pivotally important time. Today, the showdown that we face is so close to being the nations of the earth against Israel and whoever is left that stands with them.
The final issue will be “Who is for Christ and His way and who isn’t?” The Lord has called us to be a people who will touch people and will stand with moral and biblical convictions for critical issues…and this is one.