January 2, 2017
Israel & The U.S.: Will We Be Blessed or Cursed?
There is a very real and stark reality that this modern world does not comprehend, and it goes back all the way to the Tower of Babel. Remember that in Genesis, Chapter 11, God was displeased that the peoples of the earth had come together to build a city and a tower, "with its top in the heavens". The Bible then tells us, So the Lord dispersed them from there [Babel/Babylon] over the face of all the earth. But that's not the end of the story! Deuteronomy 32 gives us a fuller picture: Remember the days of old .... When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He divided mankind, He fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God (elohim, lesser gods). But the Lord's portion (share) is His people, Jacob (Israel) His allotted heritage.
Here's the picture we need to see: God was so angry with His creation, mankind, at the building of the Tower of Babel, that He, in essence, divided them into nations to be ruled by lesser gods. But He kept a portion for Himself. That allotment He called Israel -- before the nation of Israel even existed! This is long before He calls Abraham out of the world, and before He establishes Jacob and his offspring as a nation unto themselves. It has alway been His plan that there would be a nation Israel that He called His own!
At this point, I want to make it clear that I do not think that the modern state of Israel completely fulfills the description of the people that YHWH plans to restore at the end of this Age. But they are the Diaspora returned to their original homeland; God's Holy Land that He has determined will be restored to the remnant of Judah. There are many Believing Jews living in Israel right now, and I do believe Jerusalem is the eternal capital of His chosen people. I believe the Bible when it says there will be a restoration of Israel and physical and spiritual salvation of God's people. One can learn a lot of how God feels about this nation and this people if only one would read His Word!
So, that is why I was dumbfounded when I heard Secretary Kerry say Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic. That's how God established them in the Bible, and that's why they can still be both today. There is a fascinating book, written by Robert Kimball Shinkoskey, titled Democracy and the Ten Commandments: The Politics of Limited Government in the Bible. The author does a great job of explaining how God guided Moses to set up a democratic government within the twelve tribes of Israel... "It is telling that God's first commandment to Moses, 'Go and gather the elders of Israel together', later inspired the first commandment given to the entire nation at Sinai (You shall have no other gods before Me). The priority and content of the first constitutional article was to define and empower a legislative body to rule in Israel. The God of Israel was the originator and protector of this national legislature.
Now, I understand that modern secularist politicians probably don't care what the Bible has to say about ancient Israel or any implications that may pertain to the current state of Israel. But they do that at their own peril -- and ours! God has made it clear throughout history that those who bless His inheritance, Israel, will be blessed, and those who come against her will be cursed.
Being at the center of regional conflict is nothing new for Israel. Throughout her history, the nation of Israel has been the target of its neighbors' hatred for God's chosen people. This has been Israel's fate from the ancient Canaanite kings, to the Syrian/Egyptian/Greek wars, to Roman occupation, to the Jewish–Roman wars of 66–136 AD, during which the Romans expelled most of the Jews from the area and replaced the nation of Israel with the Roman province of Palestine, beginning the Jewish Diaspora. And along with all of Israel's previous enemies, the Roman Empire was doomed to fail! And for nearly 1850 years, the Jewish people were separated from their God-designated homeland.
Was God's Hand involved with the re-establishment of a homeland for the world's Jews in 1948? The fact that they are back in the land that God established for His people gives us pause to consider how we treat this nation. Have they, as a nation, confessed "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord"? Only a minority in the modern state of Israel have made that declaration and see Jesus as their Messiah. So, in that sense, they are still rebellious in their denial of Christ.
But the world should not forget that YHWH made this declaration in Ezekiel 28:25-26: "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel will again live in their own land, the land I gave my servant Jacob. For I will gather them from the distant lands where I have scattered them. I will reveal to the nations of the world my holiness among my people. They will live safely in Israel and build their homes and plant their vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God."
So, as soon as I heard the discouraging words coming out of John Kerry's mouth, I said the following prayer: Please, God, do not judge those of us who love Israel because of the words of our leaders! Do not hold us accountable for their actions! We recognize that Your Word says You will gather Israel and once again do a work in them that will bring them into their fulness. We recognize that means the full number of Jews who will see Salvation in Jesus; that they will operate in their full power as a Godly nation; that they will operate in their full character as a righteous people; and that they will enter into their full purpose of world leadership.
We acknowledge that hasn't happened yet, and that it will occur in your timing, and only after Israel has repented for her sins and rebellion against You. But, Father, until that glorious day, we stand by Your chosen people, Israel, as we pledge to fulfill our purpose, which is to witness to all the nations. Lord, forgive our transgressions as a nation, and turn the hearts of our leaders back to Israel. We pledge our loyalty and allegiance to You and Your people. And we look forward to the day You return to Jerusalem to dwell among men as you did before sin entered this world. I ask for Your blessing, Father, for this nation of Believers and for those in Israel, who know the risen Christ. Amen.
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!