Consider why you should go and visit Israel. Going to Israel will be a life-changing experience you cannot have unless you leave YOUR footprints in the ground of Israel. Breathe the air, eat the food, drink the water, and see the places in the Bible we have read and studied.
Israel is a land about which God says – uniquely, prophetically, redemptively, and repeatedly in the Bible – This is Mine. God refers to Israel as He does to no other land on Earth. “For you [Israel] 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” (Deuteronomy 7:6).
Israel was raised to be a light to the Gentiles. “For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth'” (Acts 13:47).
The Church at its beginning was Jewish, and it remained so until the Gospel began to spread. Ultimately the Gospel spread to Antioch – where the first Gentile congregation began – from which the Gospel spread into all the world.
In the book of Romans, chapters 9 through 11, the Apostle Paul deals with the question of the Jews in God’s providence and purpose. These three chapters virtually stand-alone, within the Bible, as an elaboration of the theology of God’s dealing with Jews. The Jews were the “firstfruit” and the “first people” (through Abraham) to understand a covenant, God. They then relayed the truth to the world, and through their agency, the Messiah came. The Word of God calls Jews the “root” and Gentiles the “branches.” We’re reminded that while because of unbelief, some of them were broken off and you stand by faith, we are not to become haughty but to fear: “For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. When the fullness of the Gentiles is completed, all Israel will be saved” (Hebrews 11:16-27).
We are living in a critical time in history that calls us believers in Jesus Christ to take a stand with Israel. We could be people of the last days. We are not to be passive in the face of prophecy; we are called to pray with passion, intercede, and minister according to the words of the Savior, who said it is not our task to speculate when the end will be. Our responsibility is to do Kingdom business until He comes (Luke 19:13).
This is not about politics; this is about the Word of God, but the political ramifications are extremely dramatic. Scripture declares there will come a time when all the world nations will turn against Israel. It is so highly conceivable this could happen in our time that it is critical to understand why we should visit and stand with Israel.
REASONS FOR GOING AND STANDING WITH ISRAEL
Every believer is charged by His Word to make the Jews a priority and to give thanksgiving from their hearts for God’s work via them as a people.
In Genesis 12:3 the Lord says in the covenant He makes with Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you, and in you, all the families of the Earth shall be blessed.”
The Abrahamic Covenant…God says I will give you a people and land, and through this seed, the nations of the Earth will be blessed. (Genesis 17). The Mosaic Covenant…the revelation of the law, given as a teaching means to lead us to Christ: redemption through the blood of the Lamb. The New Covenant…In Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God says in words almost parallel: “For the time will come that I will take My law and I will make a new covenant with you, and I will put My Spirit within you.” Out of Israel, we received the greatest Gift: “God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son” … He gave Him through the Jews, and He came as a Jew. Jesus Himself, speaking to the woman of Samaria, said, “Salvation is of the Jews.”
Here are some of the unique declarations by the Lord regarding the land of Israel which have never been rescinded:
Leviticus 25:23, “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine.”
Deuteronomy 32:43, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people… He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
Psalm 85:1-2, “Lord, you have been favorable to Your land, You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin.”
Isaiah 8:8, This land belongs to Father God, and it is the land of His Messiah: “and the stretching out of his wings will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.”
In Ezekiel 38:16 God is speaking to people in the end times who revolt against Israel. “You will come up against My people Israel…I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am hallowed in you.”
Joel 1:6, 2:18, 3:2, “For a nation has come up against My land… (1:6) Then the Lord will be zealous for His land… (2:18) I will gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.” (3:2)
Zechariah 9:16, “The Lord their God will save them in that day, as the flock of His people, for they shall be like the jewels of a crown, lifted like a banner over His land.”
Israel’s present conflict is not because of their initiative, nor is it furthered by expansionism on their part. The general attitude of the world today regards the Palestinians as the underdog. Still, Israel is defending the land covenanted to them in 1917 and established by the United Nations Assembly in 1948. The Palestinian goal is not to secure a homeland but to drive Israel out altogether. For the sake of mounting public opinion against Israel, surrounding, well-resourced Arab nations have never offered refuge to the Palestinians. Most of the world doesn’t know this, and nobody is bothering to tell them because other forces override sympathies.
To stand with Israel is not to oppose Arab peoples as an entity or to oppose the rights of Arabs living in Israel to a peaceful, politically secure, and prosperous life. God has nothing against any human being, certainly not Arabs who are the offspring of Ishmael, the other son of His chosen leader Abraham. Going and standing for Israel doesn’t require an anti-Arab stance and doesn’t require us to be loveless toward other people.
The same evil spirit driving these hatreds is equally opposed to Christians as to Jews and, in time, will eventually bring persecution to both. The hostilities and animosities are leveled at believers as they are at Israel because there is an evil spirit in the world that is against all that is called God and everything about Him.
We, by divine promise, stand in faith, and our intercession and our support with promise. Equip yourself with reliable information, avoid bigotry, and disallow “blind spots.” Become familiar with the basics of history in the Middle East and understand the past century. Accept with continuing faithfulness the Bible’s call to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), and pray that our Nation will govern in the light of Genesis 12:1-3 I will bless those who bless you…
Going to Israel is an opportunity to learn, grow, and meet the land and its people brought together by the Lord.
Will you prayerfully consider visiting Israel?