Switzerland is one of the rare nations in the world whose Constitution (1291) is based on an invocation to God Almighty as a request for blessings and protection; many still think today, and I include myself, that this country and its people have long benefited from special blessings due to the stance these Swiss founding fathers took.
Nevertheless, there is much more here than a tiny European country! Think of it; it is one thing to have a people call on God for protection and prosperity and even make an alliance in the highest name there is, but it is quite another thing altogether to have a nation with whom God Almighty personally chose sovereignly and unilaterally to make several covenants with it, not just one !
What concerns us here is a true wonder of the world; greater than the seven wonders of the ancient world; I will call it the eighth wonder (8th), the Jewish people, the nation of Israel and its capital city, Jerusalem called by none other than Jesus Christ, the Messiah himself, “the city of the great King”.
But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
Recalling some elements of Israel’s calling and inheritance:
…the Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises…
No other nation on earth can claim such things; this is the wonder and the separating factor between the people of Israel and all the other nations of the earth.
For those who think Jews have an unfair advantage on other peoples groups, remember also that to whom much is given much will be required. In a world where rebelling and contesting the proper order of things is rampant, this next text should help us to come to terms with God’s sovereign plan. For He said regarding Israel:
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
It is impossible to consider the geopolitical set up in the Middle East only from a secular viewpoint, leaving aside all the historical, cultural and spiritual heritage of the region and thus hope to make good, sound and lasting decisions on the topic of Israel as a nation.
David Ben-Gurion proclaims the birth of the State of IsraelMay 14, 1948 finally marked the recognition of the Jewish state in the land of Israel by the nations of the world. A definite and important step toward justice and rights for self-determination of a so far, much despised and oppressed people.
This does not deny the rights of the Palestinian people to exist and prosper alongside Israel; but, remember that first of all they have been, for a good part, let down by their Arab sister nations in the region and just used to fuel the fires of indignation for decades; whereas to this very day Israel has done as much good to them as they could, given the overall context of serious opposition in which they found themselves.
It is high time for Christians, ministers worldwide and the Church at large:
1) to get back to the basics of the Gospel message and remember that it was brought to us and heralded by Jesus the Christ, Messiah (anointed one), a Jew; if ever there were a blessing for all peoples on earth through Israel, this is it ! (Gen. 12/3)
You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.
2) to remember and be grateful for the fact that , through faith in Christ, our condition has been definitely changed from that of poor, lost and destitute pagans to the so much more desirable one of co-heirs with Christ:
Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
For before we were separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth/citizenship of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. This is where we all come from; but Christ the Jew changed it all for whoever believes:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
3) to renew our support of Israel, of the Jewish people and of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel in light of the Holy Scriptures; by doing so, confirm the right of Israel to keep on existing and prospering and thus enable them to enter their destiny as God’s chosen people, which is also to be a blessing to the rest of the world.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
4) to confirm this support wholeheartedly; to do so one should read Roman 11 again in order to understand better God’s overall plan for Israel as well as for the Church, because the destiny of both is definitely and intricately related.
Romans 11:1, 7, 11-12, 17-25:
I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means!
What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.”
Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
In a world of increasing complexity and opposition, it is high time that we return to the basic elements which form the matrix of the history of the chosen people and of their land; this in turn will give us a sound biblical and theological world-view and then through those proper lenses we will be able to read the history of the world, no more, no less.
Returning to the basics means to choose to bless, support and encourage Israel to endorse its peaceful calling in an often disruptive region. In addition it would mean not running the risk of having worked against her and the sovereign plans of her Maker who, let no man forget, rules over the destiny of each individual and of all the nations of the world. That’s the bottom line.
Psalm 122 6-9:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity