Why should Christians support Israel?
I’d like to offer eight reasons. This is not political argument. It has everything to do with biblical literacy.
Let’s start with reason number one.
It’s the right thing to do. It’s the ethical thing to honor one’s parents.
The Jewish people are our elders, our parents in the faith. Israel is the root that supports every genuine Christian. The New Testament teaches we are unnatural branches in God’s olive tree. The Jewish patriarchs are our foundational root, the trunk in God’s family tree. It is the sensible thing to support the root that supports you, not to bite the hand that feeds you.
One of the great scandals of our time is the boycotting of Israel by mainline churches. Throughout church history, clergy sought to divorce themselves from our Jewish patriarchs and to live in a separate stream. This error brought terrible consequences and prepared the Holocaust. Because of replacement theology and unfaithful churchmen who despised the Jews, the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection became in many ways a pagan holiday called “Easter" named after a fertility goddess.
Remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus was not held in synch with the Jewish Passover, when Jesus died sacrificially as the Lamb of God. The deliberate separation of the Lord’s Passion from Passover has brought great confusion to the world.
Israel and the Jewish people gave us the Bible.
We owe them a debt that we could never repay for being the nation that God entrusted to be his guardians and scribes to record his immutable laws and then to bequeath the holy Scriptures to us. Without the Jewish people, there would be no church, no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no Bible, no Savior. We owe it all to God and to his chosen scribes, the Jewish people.
Reason number two for supporting Israel:
In John 4: 22, Jesus said “salvation is of the Jews."
The context of this verse— Jesus was talking theology remarkably with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
Why would Jesus complicate things by saying to the woman at the well that salvation is of the Jews? Do we have to convert to Judaism to be saved? No, that’s not what Jesus was saying.
He was explaining that salvation didn’t spring out of thin air but that it proceeds from the Jews, that God had laid all the groundwork for salvation through Jewish history. We owe the Jewish people a debt because they gave us the savior of the lineage of King David. Jesus gave us a charge that as we treat the least of his brethren the Jews, we have done it unto him. Think about this: at the Cross Jesus entrusted his closest of kin, his mother, to his most trusted disciple, John. Today Jesus entrusts his family, the Jews, to the spiritual guardianship of believers because Jesus knows all too well that satanic forces aim to destroy them (but will never succeed).
Reason three to support Israel:
Psalm 122 commands me to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. It is the capital of no other nation. Jesus prophesied in Luke 21: 24 that Jerusalem will be in Jewish hands in the End Times. In his Olivet Discourse his disciples asked Jesus 2,000 years ago, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
At that time Israel was under Roman occupation. But Jesus answered that when the times of the gentile nations are fulfilled, then Jerusalem will no longer be trodden down by the gentiles. Every time we pray for the peace of Jerusalem as the Bible commands, we are praying for the return of Messiah and we are praying for the shalom of Israel’s capital.
Shalom means wholeness, complete, undivided. The nations want to divide Jerusalem, but God’s will is to keep Jerusalem whole and unfractured under Jewish sovereignty.
Reason 4 to support Israel and the Jews:
The New Testament teaches in Romans 15: 27 that if we have received spiritual benefits from the Jewish people, we should also bless them with our material benefits.
Moreover, it is not merely a debt of love that these gentiles owe, it is a debt of justice and equity. We received inestimable values by Jewish means: Messiah himself was Jewish. The oracles of the Hebrew Bible were committed to the Jewish people and were faithfully preserved by Jewish scribes.
Jesus and the apostles were all Jews, the Gospel was first preached in Jerusalem and from Jerusalem was spread to the gentile world and paid for by the treasury in Jerusalem. Because of the Romans 15:27 principle to return material blessings to the Jews, I have no problem giving offerings to rabbis, helping with their food and clothing, whether or not they believe in Jesus, because we are debtors to the Jews in general. According to the law of charity in Romans 13: 8, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
And don’t forget the universal law of gratitude; if we have received spiritual riches from the Jewish people, we are surely obliged by some means to make returns to them.
I hate ingratitude, don’t you? By acts of mercy and generosity we demonstrate gratitude. Otherwise, we are mere ingrates. If you lived in somebody’s house, ate all their food, used their utilities and never repaid them for their hospitality, what kind of ingrate would you be? Yet all the covenants and promises that God made to the Jewish people have been shared with Christians when by faith we were grafted into the commonwealth of God’s Israel, as the Apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians 2: 12 and Romans 11.
Reason 5 for supporting Israel is very practical:
It’s safe to be on the right side of history.
Israel is scheduled on God’s timeline, and I hope sooner rather than later, to prove the identity of the real God. We’re waiting for God to stand up again as in days of old. Satan, God’s enemy, has always wanted to destroy them. But the existence of the Jewish people proves that there is a God and, in the end, their presence in the Holy Land will prove that the God of Israel is the true God.
The inordinate amount of antisemitism throughout history is out of proportion compared to persecution of other people groups. Why have they been so hated? The story is told that one day England’s Queen Victoria asked Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli what evidence he could give for the existence of God. Disraeli thought for a moment and then replied succinctly, "The Jew."
According to Ezekiel 38 and 39, a showdown between the God of Israel and the god of Islam will happen upon the mountains of Israel. Israel will win this contest because God has determined they will win, not for their sake, but for the sake of his great name. So, watch this space and be sure you’re rooting for the right side. Don’t be politically correct, be biblically correct. In the end, it will be safe to stand with Israel.
Reason 6 to stand with Israel is because Israel is on the frontlines of freedom.
Israel is an island of democracy and individual freedoms, in the midst of a sea of dictators and repressive regimes, where fanatical religion would impose the Sharia law of 8th Century Arabia. One of the great ironies of our day is that one of the smallest nations in the world, Israel, is guarding large nations like America and European countries. A T-shirt for sale in Israel features a picture of a fighter jet with the words, “America, don’t worry, Israel is behind you.”
This is no longer a joke. It is reality!
Reason 7: Evangelicals must support Israel because, to use an expression, Israel is real.
According to Bible prophecy, Israel must be in place as a reality. In one of our ministry’s many prayer convocations in Jerusalem, we repented for the countless times that the prophetic communities have sought knowledge about the End Times apart from caring about a relationship with the Jewish people. But our God has a permanent covenant relationship with Israel, so why shouldn’t we?
One of our speakers said Evangelicals have reduced Israel to a checkbox on a prophetic scorecard. We tick the boxes of things that must happen before the Lord can return. We asked God to forgive us for merely calling Israel “God’s timepiece.” Nevertheless, the Creator is speaking to this world and especially to the church, through the sign of the re-emergence of the nation of Israel.
If we Evangelicals have reduced Israel to a clock, we have done so to try to explain to others that it is God's time to favor Zion as Psalm 102: 13 declares: “You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.”
I stand with Israel because God personally commanded me to stand with Israel when all the nations of the world turn against Israel.
I have always loved the Jewish people because of my upbringing and because of the spirit of revelation upon my life. When I was a young girl, I watched a movie about the life of Jesus and afterwards I was in tears. I asked my father, of blessed memory, a minister and moderator in the Presbyterian church, “Daddy, what will happen to the Jews for rejecting Jesus?”
I was fearful for the Jews who were my Bible heroes. The people of the Bible were my family from my cradle. I first met Abraham through my ABC Bible picture book. King David was also my childhood hero for slaying the giant. I’ll never forget my father’s wise answer to my question about the destiny of the Jews. “They are the Lord’s special people,” he said— and quoting Abraham, “Will not the Judge of the whole earth do right?”
Years later, during a period of fasting and prayer, I experienced an epic dream. I was standing on Mt. Zion, and I saw angry nations advancing because the Jews were again in possession of Jerusalem and the Promised Land. The nations were shaking their fists. In the dream suddenly from heaven I saw the Shekinah glory of God and I heard the Lord say that I must stand with the persecuted people of God when all nations turn against Israel. In the dream I also saw a word —hegemony—sitting on top of a huge pillar.
I didn’t know its meaning so I looked up hegemony in the dictionary. It means control, dominion, sovereignty, describing the territorial spirit that covets and usurps the Holy Land that was given specifically to Israel by God. It is a hegemonic spirit. It claims all of the Promised Land for itself. Maps in Palestinian textbooks pretend that Israel doesn’t exist. What God said to me he wants all Bible-believing Christians to do, and that is, to stand with Israel when all nations turn against Israel.
God refers to Israel in Zechariah 2: 8 as the apple of his eye. For this is what the Lord Almighty says: "For whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye.”
To hate Israel and to deny Israel her place in the sun is to hate Israel’s God and to poke him in the eye. You can’t despise God’s people and claim to worship God.
Here’s the bottom line: Do you really understand what the Bible teaches about Israel, or have you been misguided by biblically illiterate churchmen or politicians? Do you lean towards Rome or are you looking for redemption coming again to Jerusalem? The Bible teaches that nations and individuals who have hated Israel will be cursed and separated by Messiah. When the Good Shepherd returns, he will separate sheep nations from goat nations. This is according to the rule of Genesis 12: 3, “I will bless those who bless the Jewish people, and I will curse him down to the individual who curses Israel.”
Christine Darg can be contacted at JerusalemChannel.TV