STANDING WITH ISRAEL
A Biblical Mandate
Why did God Choose the Jews? God has a purpose and a plan for everything He creates. A purpose that is part of His master plan of redemption for the world.
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvations gospel, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” II Thess. 2:13-15 It is important that we all seek God to discover our part in God’s plan. God chose the Hebrew people to fulfill His special purposes. Through the Jews, He brought redemption and blessing to all mankind. What was god’s purpose for choosing Israel and how does this affect us today? “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 7:6 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. Within the whole of the Bible, these three chapters virtually stand alone 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.” (Romans 11:16-27) So why stand with Israel today? 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 hour. 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. -Every believer is charged to make Jews a priority in their value system because God has. -The Lord selected a people…He began by selecting a man named Abraham. The Lord said that through the seed of Abraham (in relationship with his wife, Sarah, giving birth to the promised child, Isaac) all the nations of the Earth will be blessed…every human being having access to the divine blessing of Almighty God. -In Genesis 12:3, the Lord says in the covenant He makes with Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” -This relates not only to a people (the Jews), but it also relates to a land (Israel). -God will judge nations and deal with them for their decisions, just as He does individuals. -The Lord chose them for purposes:
“…who are the Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” (Romans 9:4)
: God’s divine choice of the seed of Abraham as a people.
: the manifest presence of God revealing Himself.
: commitments that God makes:
–The Abrahamic Covenant: God says, “I will give you a people and a land, and through this seed the nations of the Earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 17)
–The Mosaic Covenant: The revelation of the law, given as a teaching means to lead us to Christ: redemption through the blood of the Lamb.
–The New Covenant: In Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God says in words almost parallel: “For the time will come that I will take My law and I will make a new covenant with you, and I will put My Spirit within you.”
The Greatest Gift: the wonder of the gift of Jesus to mankind. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” He gave Him through the Jews, and He came as a Jew. Jesus Himself, speaking to the woman of Samaria, said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” 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 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. -Scripture declares that, spiritually speaking, when you receive the Lord, you become a Jew (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:26-29). -If you are a believer, you cannot be consistent with the whole of Scripture and take a position that is passive toward the Jews and Israel.
3. God has made unique declarations regarding the land of Israel which have never been rescinded:
-Leviticus 25:23 – The land is the Lord’s land, and it is His to assign and dispose of: “
The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine…
-Deuteronomy 32:43 – “
Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people…He will provide atonement for His land and His people.
-2 Chronicles 7:20 – God says if the people violate Me “.
..I will uproot them from My land which I have given them…
-Psalm 85:1-2 – “
Lord, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin.
-Isaiah 8:8 – This land belongs to Father God and it is the land of His Messiah: “
…and the stretching out of his wings will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.
-Jeremiah 2:7 – The Lord tells the people why there will come the loss, the destruction of the city of Jerusalem.
“I brought you into a bountiful country…but when you entered, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.
– Ezekiel 38:16 – God is speaking to people in the end times who rise up against Israel. God is speaking of a confrontation that will take place in His land. “
You will come up against My people Israel…I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you..
– Joel 1:6, 2:18, 3:2 – Three times in this book, the land is referred to as belonging to the Lord. “
For a nation has come up against My land…” (1:6) “Then the Lord will be zealous for His land…” (2:18) “I will gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.
-Hosea 9:3 – This refers to the scattering of Israel: “
They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
-Zechariah 9:16 – “
The Lord their God will save them in that day, as the flock of His people, for they shall be like the jewels of a crown, lifted like a banner over His land…
” 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 or racism 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 nor 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, as a believer, you 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.
Why Stand with Israel – Jack Hayford
Why we stand with Israel very well could be described as, we start with one. There would be no book that reads to us, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” if we did not have Jews. There would not be the testimony of the father of faith, a testimony of Abraham, of whom it is said in the book of Romans, as New Testament believers, we are to walk in the footsteps of our father Abraham. We are to walk in faith believing in the God in whom he believed, who calls those things that are not as though they were, the God who brings life from death. This passage of scripture calls us to creative expectancy that points us to Abraham. We start with one.
The remarks I bring this evening essentially are not designed for this occasion. They were remarks that Robert, having heard, asked Pastor Jack, “Would you just relay those ideas at this event?” These, in fact, are in a recent edition of his magazine, Kairos. They have been released many ways.
For all 30 years of my service as senior pastor of Church on the Way, in Southern California, our church has centered around, among our fundamental values, the value of honoring Jews in general, and posturing ourselves in support of Israel, specifically. It was a basic tenant of our life practice, although it wasn’t something done for mere reasons of excitability. It was born out of Biblical convictions. Beneath the roots of all of us in this room, there is soil from which we draw on. There is a spiritual reality of the invisible, the living God, and the truth of His eternal Word. This Word may be studied objectively; but simply studied objectively, only becomes letters on pages. Those letters on pages were breathed by the Spirit of God, as we all are convinced. It is of that breath that we come together at once to say, “Spirit of God, what are you calling us to embrace,” not only with the passion of emotions, not only with the stir of our perspective on current events, but the clear eye vision of what the eternal Word says to us about this hour, and how we are to address it.
I am particularly impressed with at least a half a dozen reasons why we ought to stand with Israel today. Every believer, on any terms, and I am addressing Christian believers, ought to stand with Israel today because we are all charged in the Word of God to make Jews a priority in our value system. The scripture says they are to be a priority in our value system, first and foremost, because we derive our root system from them. We are non-existent apart from that background. We don’t have a redeemer apart from the gift of God’s Son via those chosen people. And centerpiece I think, with no intention of casting any aspersion upon any Jew anywhere, but for the sake of any who would wonder, for whatever reasons they have been sold, by reason of human imperfection manifest through that particular ethnic group, make clear in your mind God never did address the Jews as having chosen them because there was anything preferred by them among the people of the earth. God said, “I did not chose you for your righteousness,” the Torah Deuteronomy 9. “I did not choose you because of your righteousness.” In those words God said, “I chose you because I chose you.” On those grounds alone, you and I as believers are removed from any capacity to ever pass any judgment on any Jewish activity that would cause us to feel reticent to stand in support. I would not whitewash any human imperfection on the face of the planet, in any ethnic group; but if any believer was tempted to say, well sometimes I don’t like what happens in Israel because of this, or Jews I’ve seen that do this, it legitimizes nothing. In terms of us as believers, not backing away from recognizing God has made a sovereign choice, and it begins there.
The second thing about that is that God, having made that sovereign choice, goes further to underscore that our place in His divine sequence of redemptive operations inextricably links us with them as a people. I mention the scripture says, don’t ever boast yourself against that root system lest you loose your place. I have a place of linkage with every Jew. I have a place of linkage, of course, with every human being. There is nothing in my heart that feels any disposition to disown any part of the human race; but there is, as a believer in Christ, a call to make a distinct acknowledgment of that. So on the spiritual grounds of the eternal Word of God, which is there with its intellectual revelation, as well as its inspirational revelation, that stirs my juices at every dimension. In my mind of understanding, in my soul of conviction, I have a place of assignment, a priority assignment.
Thirdly, God has made unique declarations regarding the land of Israel, so that we are not simply talking about an ethnic group. We are talking about their homeland. To make a study of the history in this century, just past of the withdrawal of original designs of that homeland and the reductions that are being further negotiated even now, are things that would concern any thoughtful person. Bottom-line, God has said some very clear things. First and foremost, He has said this is His land. I have not numbered all of them. I have at list of at least ten for anyone who wanted more evidence. I am sure you could find it. In my devotional reading the other day, I came upon yet another. One would expect to find more as I watch just for this. Over ten times in the scriptures God has said this land, specifically Israel, is Mine. He has not left it up to the negotiations of human politics. He has said, “It is mine.” That means I, as a believer, have to endorse that priority.
His disposal of it through His providences, His disposal of it through His sovereign actions, and His sovereign allowances are not mine to always understand; but it is mine to always stand in the conviction it is His land. And with that declaration He has made, He has uniquely said that it shall forever be the enfranchisement of His people via Abraham, via Isaac, the Jews. Notice I said via Isaac and not via Ishmael. This is a significant issue of the Lord’s address and of His underscoring His forever commitment. I was so moved by re-reading just this day in my room, Isaiah 54: 6-11. There are words that I think hold forth not only such a statement of God’s commitment to keep His covenant with Israel, that the land would be theirs and that we should stand by them unto that end. Words to also address the horrendous history of pain that those people have gone through and now returning to their heritage are still facing further struggle that calls for friends of believers in Jesus Messiah.
Who would say, we will stand by you, for reasons we are iterating right now? This word from Isaiah, “For the Lord has called you,” He says to Israel, His people. ‘Like a woman forsaken grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,’ says your God, ‘for a mere moment I have forsaken you. But with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.’”
He continues speaking to Israel, from whom by all appearances history for a little while His face was turned. And we cannot look at that season without the deepest compassion, as well as the deepest shame, for the part that people of our own heritage in Christ contributed to manifesting expression of that wrath that came upon them, and speaking abject apologies and humble repentances in that regard for that history that we are inextricably a part of. But beyond that, the Lord speaks these words with regard to the timeless commitment to the covenant that the land shall be theirs:
“For this is like the waters of Noah to me says the Lord. For I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall never cover the earth again. So I have sworn I will not be angry with you nor rebuke you for the mountain shall depart and the hills shall be removed, but my kindness shall not depart nor my covenant of peace be removed says the Lord who has mercy upon you.”
The beauty of those words of God toward His ancient people call us to stand by them as God, Himself, has said. “I will not break covenant with you.” Let us stand beside the living God in that covenant, that we will stand beside them as well
I finalize with this summary. Israel’s present conflict is neither by their initiative, nor perpetuated by expansionism or racism on their part. The stand with Israel is not to oppose Arab people as an entity, or to oppose the rights of Arabs living in Israel to a peaceful, politically secure, and prosperous life. Let no one ever make the mistake that our standing with Israel is an ethnic judgment against Arabs or Palestinians living in the land. It isn’t. It is a stand that is rooted in the values that God always places on humankind in general, but affirming those distinct values that have to do with Israel, and her destiny in the land and her place as the people. Because of the relentless animosities of sectors of the Arab world today are more than political causes, and are clearly driven by spiritual powers that will not be citified until Israel ceases to exist, it is essential that we stand with Israel today. We must stand with Israel today because the same spirit driving those animosities is equally opposed to Christians as to Jews. It is anti Christ as well as anti Jew, and in time will eventually bring persecution to both.
Finally, this evening as we take our posture on spiritual grounds, Biblical grounds, clear political grounds, and clearly thought-out intellectual reasoning, we say we stand with Israel today because a Biblical assignment and a divine promise summons us to do so. Therefore, our intercessions with expectancy, and our support with hope in the promises of eventually the peace of Jerusalem, call us to take that position.