Why Should We Care About Israel?

Nestled on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is a nation with a rich and unique history. Covering an area of just under 8,000 square miles, Israel is one of the leading producers and exporters of citrus, and is a pioneer of agricultural and fishing technology. Throughout recorded human history, Israel remains unique among people-groups as the nation was founded directly upon the promises and provisions of God. But this tiny nation is also the focus of heated debate.

Israel’s position on the world stage is one of the hottest topics in the press today. With danger lying almost literally on its doorstep and tense relations with many of its neighbor nations, there is no end to the questions that arise concerning Israel’s future. In light of our commitment to Jesus Christ, however, we ask how we as Christians should support Israel in her political and economic dealings with those who may not be so favorably predisposed to see the nation remain a free and vibrant society. And how should America as a democratic nation stand with Israel?

To answer these questions, we will turn first to what God has said about Israel in the Bible and then consider Israel from the standpoint of democratic values. By considering what the Bible teaches about Israel, we can gain some perspective on God’s will for the nation of Israel.

A Biblical View of Israel
In Romans 9-11, the apostle Paul asserts in no uncertain terms that God is not through with the nation of Israel. Devoting some three chapters to the topic of God’s sovereign plans for all nations, Paul writes that Israel does have a future in God’s grand scheme of world history, ultimately based upon the installment of his Son, Jesus Christ, on the throne of his kingdom. Though Israel as a nation has, at this time, rejected Christ as her messiah, God will one day restore and redeem Israel. Speaking of Israel’s future redemption, Paul first says that Israel has not been rejected completely and utterly by God. In chapter 11, verse 1 he writes, “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has he? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendent of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (NASB). Clearly, if Paul, himself an Israelite, could be saved by Christ’s atoning death on the cross, then there is surely a future hope for other Israelites to be saved as well. Secondly, Paul writes that Israel’s temporary rejection of Christ as her messiah has actually brought about good, namely, the salvation of non-Israelites. In verse 11 he writes that “by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.” Finally, Paul tells us that, though Israel fell away from God for a time in world history, their return to God through Jesus Christ will be even greater! Paul says in verse 12 that “Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!”

Our Role as Believers in Israel’s Future
As believers, we should support Israel in at least three ways. First, we should pray for her safety and ultimate return to Jesus Christ. This point goes without saying, really, for those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. Why? Because what is important to God should be important to his people. Israel’s future, as we have seen, is clearly important to God. Second, we should support her democratically. In the very least, we can pray for and express support of our political leaders who support Israel’s future freedoms and sovereignty. In saying this, we must be clear that we need not condone individual decisions among some of her leaders which, incidentally, may not reflect fair democratic values. But we may support Israel nationally as a whole. Finally, we may support her people individually. We as believers should pray for and encourage those who call Israel their home.
God’s promises and will for Israel as a nation are yet to be fulfilled and will one day find their fruition in the return and reign of Jesus Christ. As believers in Jesus today, we may be assured that the Lord loves the nation of Israel and that we as his people should love them as well.

Allen can be reached at [email protected].

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