Today, we’re going to talk about modern-day Israel. Of course, every Christian knows that we’ve got a Bible that’s full of references to Israel, and if you know anything at all about the history of Judaism, you know that God called Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and his twelve sons, and they comprise the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus was a descendant of Judah, and the Jewish heritage of Christianity is rich and long and deep. And so consequently, Christians feel an affinity with Jews because Christianity is really the fulfillment of Judaism. Jesus was Jewish, Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews and the early church was comprised of all Jewish believers in Jesus as their Messiah.
Christians’ Affinity with Israel
It wasn’t until some years after the church got going that Gentiles began to make their way into the kingdom of God through the discovery that the gospel included them as well. So all this to say, it’s not any surprise that Christians love the Jewish heritage that they do share with our Jewish brothers and sisters, because of that common history and identification and the roots of everything that we believe, praise the Lord.
So consequently, with that affinity, many Christians really feel a loyalty towards modern-day political Israel, which in itself, seems to be somewhat of a miraculous nation of sorts. The Jewish people didn’t have a homeland for so many centuries and then of course, after World War II, politically, a provision was made for them to carve out some space there in the land known historically as at least part of Israel and Jews began immigrating and living side by side with Arabs who also live there.
But as history has progressed, of course, Israel was granted national statehood in 1948 and since then, the population has swelled from one to eight million people from all over the world, Jews have immigrated to Israel and it’s a modern nation.
I’ve been there a number of times and blessed every time that I went there.
Should Christians Always Side with Modern Israel?
So the question today is, should Christians always side with modern-day Israel? Because we often hear that kind of opinion expressed within Christian circles that when it comes to the dispute in the Middle-East over who has a right to the land and the Palestinian territories and the West Bank and all the fighting that’s gone on there for many years.
Christians seem apt, evangelical Christians in particular, to side with modern-day Israel, and they seem to not even want to examine the evidence because they think, “Well, God’s on the side of modern-day Israel. He’s the God of the Jews, and He’s the one that established them there and He promised that He would bring them back to the land. One day, Jesus is going to come back there, so of course anyone who would be against Israel politically is God’s enemy and is our enemy.”
Well, may I submit to you that this deserves a little more thought?
A Closer Look – God is Not a Racist
And I hope you’ll bear with me as we do give it a little more thought. We want to be on God’s side, of course, but God is always on the side of those who are morally right. I hope I can get you to agree with me that should political Israel be guilty of any immoral action or unethical action that God would not be on their side?
Yes, God is the God of the Jews. He’s the God of the Jews, but God created everybody and God so loved the world. The world, the whole world. He gave His only son, Jesus died for Gentiles, just as He died for the Jews. Paul asked this rhetorical question in Romans 3:29, “Is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes!” He says resoundingly, “Of Gentiles also.”
So, you know, God is not a racist. Again, that’s expressed by the New Testament over and over again, we know that Jesus died for the sins of everyone and Gentiles, just like Jews, can receive all the blessings that have been provided through Jesus’ sacrificial death.
God is on the Side of Right
Alright, so God is on the side of right, and we want to be conscious in making the assumption that political Israel always does what is morally and ethically right, because for the most part, they’re not believers in Jesus. They have a degree of morality and ethic as do all people and all nations, generally speaking. But to say that their ethic is always right and always pure, and they’re always the good guys, you know, you’re really stretching the truth there.
I’ve been in the Palestinian territories within political Israel, of course, and spoken with brothers and sisters in Christ. Christian Arabs who love Jesus with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Converts from Islam in most cases, or converts from nominal Christian families, and they’re persecuted, first off, by their Muslim neighbors who all feel that they’re being persecuted by their Israeli neighbors.
So the Christians in the Palestinian territories feel kind of doubly persecuted, doubly cursed. Then, when they hear that evangelical Christians are siding with the folks who are persecuting them, under whom they suffer, how can they not feel badly about that? “Why are evangelical Christians of America supporting those who are oppressing me? I am a true believer in Jesus Christ. I’m their brother and sister in Christ, and they’re supporting Jews in the nation of Israel.”
Only about a small, I think 120th of 1%, are Christians, and by and large, have made a decision to reject Jesus Christ. I know, yes, Scripture speaks of a time when there will be a national renewal there. But it hasn’t happened yet. So, let’s be on the side of God. We know He’s on the moral side of those who do what is right. If modern-day political Israel or any person living in Israel doesn’t do what’s right, God’s not on their side, and we shouldn’t be on their side.
If they’re not loving their neighbor as themselves, if they’re not treating others like they want to be treated, we don’t want to be saying, “Rah-rah, go go!” Because then we’re on the wrong side.
I’ll have more to say about this, run out of time for now. Thanks for joining me. See you next time, God Bless.