God in His sovereignty has chosen to partner with man in the execution of His will. What a humbling and convicting thought that is. He is certainly not limited by man and can execute His will quite on His own, yet He has elected to work through and in partnership with us.
C.S. Lewis once wrote concerning this partnership with God: “For He seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to His creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what He could do perfectly and in the twinkling of an eye.”
This helps to explain why the nation of Israel was formed and chosen, in order to partner with God in His plan of world redemption. The Church was then birthed and commissioned to go to all the peoples of the world to deliver, in the power of His Spirit, the good news of this great redemption that had been bought on their behalf.
Whatever one’s calling, and whatever one’s sphere of influence, God is seeking a people He can use to fulfill His plan. This is particularly the case regarding the Jewish people. God has regathered His people back to their ancient homeland, as the Hebrew prophets foretold. As a result, they have found themselves on the front lines of a battle to physically destroy them and a spiritual battle that the Church needs to wage on their behalf.
Partnering in prayer
Isaiah 62 is clear that this battle is the Lord’s, and He will surely complete what He has begun. Nevertheless, He has placed watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem to intercede continually before Him. Nowhere in scripture does one find a better example of partnering with God in prayer than Isaiah’s description of watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.
“O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually.
Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7 NLT).
God is also seeking those He can use to comfort His people, Israel. Only when one learns that for centuries Christians despised and persecuted the Jewish people, does one understand the importance of the ministry of Christian comfort to them.
In Isaiah 66:13 the Lord says He will comfort Jerusalem “as a mother comforts her child.” In chapter 40 He calls others to partner with Him: “ ‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your God. ‘Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned’ ” (Isaiah 40:1-2). The Bible tells of other ways Christians can partner with the Lord on behalf of His people.
A familiar passage to many is Genesis 12, in which God promises Abraham that He will bless him and will bless anyone else who blesses him. Likewise, those who curse Abraham would be cursed. Unfortunately, this verse is often quoted so glibly it sounds as though the emphasis is on the return blessing for the one who blesses.
Instead, the point is that God Himself was blessing Abraham; therefore, a person’s participation in this blessing demonstrated they were siding with God’s choice of Abraham and His plan of world redemption. To oppose, or curse Abraham was to oppose God himself. All mankind is invited to partner with God by blessing the descendants of Abraham and God’s plan to use them to “bless all the families of the earth” (Genesis 12:3 NLT).
Providing practical assistance
God is also inviting Christians to provide practical assistance to the people of Israel. The scriptures indicate that gentiles will help in the regathering of His people to their homeland (Isaiah 49:22), will join in building up Zion (Isaiah 60:10), and will bring the wealth of the nations to His people (Isaiah 60:11).
The scriptures could not be clearer: God is seeking a people who will partner with Him in prayer, interceding that His purposes in Israel and the earth be fulfilled. He is also beckoning those who will comfort His people Israel, pray for them, bless them and practically assist them. What a privilege to be partnering with God.
Susan Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org, which has been blessing and standing with Israel for 35 years.