ISRAEL: THE APPLE OF GOD’S EYE

Israel_the_apple_of_God's_eye 

Zechariah 2:8-10 For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. 9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me. 10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord.  

God’s eye is always on Israel. Israel can fit into Lake Michigan and sink beneath the waves. It is a little speck on the map but has occupied the attention, the emotions, the passions, and the beliefs of humanity for 4,000 years of recorded human history. It is a country that today more than ever before finds itself under attack, reviled, abused, living under a threat to its very existence, surrounded by neighbors who have committed themselves to destroying this country, and who say so regularly and constantly.

The Jewish people are a people who have come back and are coming back home; a people who are walking where their forefathers walked thousands of years ago. A people who want only to be left in peace to develop that home and worship God as they live their lives. They are a people who live, surrounded by a vast ocean of anger, hatred and hostility. Israeli’s understand the world of terrorism, anger and hatred. They have lived like this for more than 60 years. They have lived on the edge of the sword, waiting for the violence, the attack, the suicide bombings, the attempts to kill people. They know of no other existence. 

Israel needs friends, support, love, and champions. There has never been a more urgent time for Christians to stand with her. She is indeed struggling for her very right to exist against enemies sworn to her complete destruction. At the same time, Jewish people in many parts of the world face increasing hostility and threats to their well-being. In these troubled days, God’s ancient people need friends to step boldly forward and help. Just as Queen Esther was used by God to save the Jews from destruction, so Israel needs Christian friends in churches who truly understand that they have also been raised up “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Yes, there are differences between Christians and Jews but the bedrock that unites our faith communities is that our feet stand firmly planted in our belief in the Bible, the heart and core and center of everything we are and everything that we believe. It is a remarkable bond.

 

Everything Christians do should be based upon the Biblical text. Here are seven solid Bible reasons why Christians should support Israel.

 

  1. Genesis 12:3 “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.” Point: God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.

 

  1. Paul recorded in Romans 15:27 “For if the Gentiles have shared in the (the Jews) spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.”

 

Christians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the Jewish people for their contributions that gave birth to the Christian faith. Jesus Christ, a prominent Rabbi from Nazareth said, “Salvation is of the Jews!” (John 4:22) Consider what the Jewish people have given to Christianity: the sacred Scripture; the Prophets; the Patriarchs; Mary, Joseph, and Jesus of Nazareth; the 12 Apostles.

 

It is not possible to say, “I am a Christian” and not love the Jewish people. The Bible teaches that love is not what you say, but what you do. (I John 3:18) A bell is not a bell until you ring it; a song is not a song until you sing it; love is not love until you share it.

 

  1. While some Christians try to deny the connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the Jews of the world, Jesus never denied his Jewishness. He was born Jewish. He was circumcised on the eighth day in keeping with Jewish tradition. He had his Bar Mitzvah on his 13th birthday. He kept the Law of Moses. He wore the prayer shawl Moses commanded all Jewish men to wear. He died on a cross with an inscription over His head, “King of the Jews!”

 

Jesus considered the Jewish people His family. Jesus said (Matthew 25:40) “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (The Jewish people…Gentiles were never called His brethren.)

 

  1. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psalm 122:6) the scriptural principle of prosperity is tied to blessing Israel and the city of Jerusalem. And biblical prosperity is God giving you just what you need to accomplish His will in your life.

 

As people that cherish the word of God and His plan for His world, it is important that we pray for the nation of Israel.   As Christians, we must take an interest in the events in the land of Israel. It is the responsibility of every believer to pray for the crisis in Israel. Scripture admonishes us to be prayer warriors. (Isa. 62:6-7)

 

  1. Praying for Israel invites the blessing of God. God makes it clear that he will bless those that bless the nation of Israel. (Gen. 12:3) We should not be selfish in our motives but we should desire to be a part of the plan of God.

 

  1. Praying for Israel is an act of obedience. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

 

Not only are we to be involved in personal prayer but as intercessors for leaders, governments, and culture. As we pray for the world, we are specifically commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Psalm 122:6

 

Paul says that we are to “Pray without ceasing.” I Thess. 5:17.

 

  1. Praying for Israel demonstrates the character of Christ. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:6) 1:79 says that He came “to guide our feet into the path of peace.” The peace that is spoken of here is a spiritual peace (Rom. 5:1) but a result of receiving that peace is to become people of peace. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.” Matt. 5:9

 

The world continues to focus on the nation of Israel. In the midst of tremendous suffering and turmoil, there is a constant discussion of peace but there is no peace. Yet, as believers we have hope through the power of prayer. We must be found faithful.

 

  1. Why did Jesus Christ go to the Gentile house in Capernaum and heal the servant who was ready to die? What logic did the Jewish elders use with Jesus to convince Him to come into the house of a Gentile and perform a miracle? Luke 7:5 “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.” The message? This Gentile deserves the blessing of God because he loves our nation and has done something practical to bless the Jewish people.

 

  1. Why did God the Father select the house of Cornelius in Caesarea (Acts Chapter 10) to be the first Gentile house in Israel to receive the Gospel? The answer is given repeatedly.

 

Acts 10:2 “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” Who were the people to whom Cornelius gave these alms? They were the Jews!

 

Acts 10:4 “And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.””

 

Acts 10:31 “and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.’”

 

The point is made three times: a godly Gentile who expressed his unconditional love for the Jewish people in a practical manner was divinely selected by heaven to be the first Gentile house to receive the Gospel and the first to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

 

These combined Scriptures verify that prosperity (Genesis 12:3 and Psalm 122:6), healing (Luke 7:1-5), and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit came first to Gentiles that blessed the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in a practical manner.

 

  1. We support Israel because all other nations were created by an act of man, but Israel was created by an act of God! The royal land grant that was given to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob was an everlasting and unconditional covenant. (Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-18, 15:1-21, 17:4-8, 22:15-18, 26:1-5 and Psalm 89:28-37.) It still stands!

 

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