God’s relationship with Israel is based on an eternal covenant (1 Chron. 16:15-22; 17:22; Ps. 89:30-34; 105:6-11; Jer. 31:3, 35-37). It includes a promise to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob of a land with specific borders, including Gaza (Josh. 15:1, 20, 47). The borders of Israel were even established long before the nation existed, before Abraham (Deut. 32:8).
The covenant came with stipulations of obedience, but Israel’s faltering did not cancel the covenant (Lev. 26:44-45; Jer. 51:5), a fact reiterated by Paul (Rom. 3:3). Having suffered doubly for its sins (Isai. 40:2), God nevertheless promised to bring Israel back to its own borders (Jer. 31:17).
God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace, as well as affirmation of the continuous validity of the covenant and His promises, are expressed repeatedly by the prophets in the Bible (Isai. 46:9-11; 49:14-16; 54: 7-10; 55:11). Jesus validated the prophecies and their fulfillment: “I have not come to destroy the Law or the prophets….Until heaven and earth pass away, no yod [the tiniest letter] or stroke will pass from the Law, until all will be fulfilled” (Mat. 5:17-18). Paul also confirmed this (Rom. 9:3-4; 11:2, 29). He called his “kinsmen according to the flesh,” that is the Jews, Israelites. Israel is Israel, not some replacement or Ersatz group.
Even if Israel would have been punished for its sins to the extent that it would be dispersed to the ends of the universe (“the outmost parts of heaven”), God would return the Jewish people to the land of their fathers and they would possess it, in other words own it (Deut. 30:4-5).
The nation of Israel is God’s creation and His possession (Isai. 43:1, 15). He chose it (Isai. 44:1-2).
Ponder this: If God’s covenant with Israel would end and the Jewish people would no longer be His Chosen People, human existence would end. The universe as we know it would end. The sun and moon would have to cease to exist if God would renege on His covenant with Israel (Jer. 31:35-37). Those celestial bodies are guarantors of Israel’s immutable status before God. Without the sun and moon, human existence is impossible. Without Israel, humankind ends. God’s terms. His conditions. No other nation has such a covenant with God.
“Comfort, comfort My People, says your God. Speak comfortingly to Jerusalem, and cry to her, that her servitude [exile] is finished” (Isai. 40:1-2). This passage is quoted often regarding the time of Israel’s regathering after millennia of suffering in the dispersion. It takes on added emphasis after the horrific massacre of civilians, elderly and babies, entire families, by Hamas terrorists who invaded communities in southern Israel on that Sabbath, October 7.
Comforting the grieving may take the form of words or other expressions of caring. It can take the form of financial or other support, acknowledging the spiritual blessings that Christians have received from the Jewish people, as Paul suggested (Rom. 15:27). Did not Jesus say, “Salvation is of the Jews” (Jn. 4:22)?
Many Christians feel obligated to pray for Jerusalem’s peace based on Psalm 122:6. But there is even more for the faithful Christian to do than offer prayer and financial support, both essential efforts. God expects everyone, the nations of the world, to be ambassadors on behalf of Israel, to declare that God has regathered the Jewish people in its own borders, as a shepherd gathers his flock (Jer. 31:10-11, 17).
Christians are often very open about their faith, sharing it with others at every opportunity. But how often do they speak with unbelieving friends about Israel’s return to its Holy Land? The rebuilding of the ruined cities? Settling all the land, especially the controversial areas that are specified in the ancient prophecies? Samaria and Judea (the West Bank)? That this is God’s doing, not just a secular enterprise? How many Christians realize that being an ambassador for Israel is actually a biblical obligation? Israel’s destiny is prophecy fulfillment, not mere politics.
The voices of the critics, of those who condemn Israel, are many and they are loud, whether from a parliamentary assembly, a news broadcast or a church pulpit. Should not Christians stand up to those voices and proclaim God’s truths about Israel as He commanded?
Included in the prophetic messages are humbling words for the nations. God does not take advice from the nations, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the inaptly named UN Human Rights Council, nor from any world leader or judge. They will ultimately all be humiliated. God regards them as vain, as nothing (Isai. 40:12-24). Indeed, all those who dare condemn Israel will, in fact, be found guilty, condemned by Israel (54:17).
When God regathers the Jewish people, a fulfillment in our days, He uses Israel as a “new sharp threshing instrument” to completely defeat those who attack it (41:8-16). Israel will destroy its oppressors (Jer. 30:16) according to God’s doing (“…all that prey upon you, I will give for a prey”). For their mishandling of Israel, God metes out punishments against nations, its oppressors, precisely according to their acts against Israel. Those who terrorize Israel, attempt to uproot the Israelis from their land, or divide Israel’s territory will experience exactly those consequences as their punishments.
Israel, more than any other nation, attempts to minimize civilian suffering in battle. Our sympathy for civilian suffering notwithstanding, according to the Bible, those who want to uproot Israel will be judged by God and find themselves uprooted. Those who support war and terror against Israel will experience war and terror.
A day of reckoning is coming for the nations who by force or otherwise supported the removal of the Jewish people from their God-given land (Joel 4:1-16; others 3:1-16). For the conquerors, ancient or modern, who divided that land among themselves or gave it away to others. For the global players, political or religious, who pressured Israel to relinquish its land. God calls that land “My land” (v. 2) and He will judge them all, roaring like a lion (v. 16). When they attempted to rob Israel of its land, they robbed God. He will turn their evil intentions for Israel back on themselves. They will be robbed of their land. As they sold Israel into slavery, they will be sold into slavery, reaping what they have sown.
Christians can do several things to bless Israel following biblical principles: Pray, comfort, support and speak up.
ˑ Pray for peace, security in Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, and in their communities worldwide;
ˑ Share words of encouragement and empathy with Jewish friends, their communities, and with Israeli diplomatic representatives in your nations;
ˑ Give to rebuild the lives of those who grieve, were injured or lost their homes due to the horrific terrorist attacks.
ˑ How to speak up? Join in solidarity demonstrations in support of Israel. Let your elected officials know your stand and urge them to side with Israel actively. Let the news media know your stand on Israel and press them to halt one-sided reporting. Speak with pastors and Christian friends, family members and others, and encourage them to take an active stand for Israel.
The enemies of Israel are hyper-active and well-organized to condemn Israel. If the news media and governments hear only condemnations, they will go in that direction as well. Do not let untruths go unchallenged. Complacency will not prevent the foretold judgments upon the nations. Involvement, on the other hand, can turn the tide and bring blessings.
Adhering to and declaring God’s truths is the path to peace and blessings.