Whoever and wherever you are, what does Israel mean for you as a Christian?
As we follow Jesus we center ourselves on loving God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength and then loving our neighbor as ourselves. These two foundational life commandments are founded on the reality that we are grafted into the great promise of salvation made first to the people of Israel (Romans 11).
How then does the calling on Israel and the Jewish people relate to you following Jesus in such a way as a Christian? Why is it important? And how do you make yourself a part of it?
Here are some central foundational truths to hold onto as you walk in your role as a Christian in God’s great plan for Israel and the world.
Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed.
While seemingly the most basic, this passage from Genesis 12 is also the first time the concept of blessing Israel is referenced. In fact, this blessing for others is connected to the Father of the Jewish people. When the calling on the seed of Abraham came forth, God also included the promise of a blessing for those who bless them!
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:2-3
God folds into his promise for Abraham the blessing of all people of the earth. By committing your life to bless Israel as a nation, as a people, you become part of the promise God made to Abraham.
God is a faithful God. It’s been proven!
You believe He’s faithful. You trust Him and even hold fast for the not yet fulfilled promises to be one day realized. But if you ever had any doubt, a real tangible example of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling what he promised is ISRAEL. That is, His restoration of the people of Israel to the Land of Israel. Gathering them from the four corners of the earth. The establishment of the state only happened a generation and a half ago – 1948. If you needed to prove that God is real today, you can point to one of the greatest fulfillments of numerous biblical prophesies. And, it occurred in the modern day!
“and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.” – Amos 9:14-16
If He can be faithful to the people of Israel, even in their unbelief, by gathering them back to their land after being scattered for 2000 years, He can be faithful to you.
Riches today and even greater riches to come!
“Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” (Romans 11:12).
Their transgressions, their failure – in other words them not accepting their Messiah and not turning to God in righteousness just as prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 29; 53). And even in that, the nations have received riches – meaning salvation and life abundantly. Imagine then, what will their fulfillment mean – greater riches for the world.
“For if their rejection is reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11: 15)
As a committed follower of Jesus, you have received and will continue to receive riches through God’s promise for the Jewish people and their coming salvation. As the Jewish people are restored and begin recognizing their Messiah (it’s already happening!), we will come into even greater abundance and see life from the dead. And, as discussed in Romans, this awakening happens amongst His covenant people (the Jews) through YOU! “Salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.” (Romans 11:11)
– You have received these riches (abundant life!) because of their rejection
– And with their salvation you will receive even greater riches, even life from the dead
– They will be provoked to jealousy — through you following God wholly, acknowledging God’s unwavering promises for Israel, and committing your life to follow God and love His people “to make Israel envious”
– Next, is the salvation of Israel and the whole world
– “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest,
– and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” – Isaiah 62: 6 & 7
1. Read and meditate on Genesis 12 and receive God’s blessing as one who blesses Israel and a recipient of His promises.
2. Have you seen God be faithful in your own life? When?
3. We’ve all experienced disappointment and unfulfilled expectations even when we’ve trusted God. Are you currently wrestling with promises yet to be realized? Remember His faithfulness by acknowledging his fulfilled promises to a people who rejected Him, and hold onto it as a tangible example of God’s huge love for humanity, and His commitment to do what He says He’ll do.
4. Read Romans 11 anew and this time with a perspective of understanding and receiving the promise of greater riches (life abundance, blessing on you and your household) as you support Israel first in the heart and then through prayer and any God inspired action.
5. Pray for the awakening of the Jewish people both in Israel and around the world (as often as you can!).
6. Ask God for a revelation of how you can be a watchman on the wall for Jerusalem and Israel as expressed through Isaiah.
This article originally appeared on FIRM, November 11, 2019, and reposted with permission.