Why I am not worried about the UN’s hatred of Israel

United Nations General Assembly hall in New York City. (Photo: Patrick Gruban/Wikimedia Commons)

My dear Auntie M (full name withheld because she values her privacy) lives in New Jersey. My parents raised me in a different state and M never came to visit us so I had never met her when, all of a sudden, I got an email in the spring of 2005 saying she was going to be in Jerusalem visiting friends who used to live in her old neighborhood but who had retired here and she naturally wanted to meet me too.

The day came and we were soon sitting at a restaurant trying to jam a lifetime worth of conversations into the few hours we were to have together. M is as Ultra-Orthodox as it’s possible to be, but she had taught at a school in NYC that had a student body which was almost entirely Puerto Rican and Catholic, so she thought she knew what Christianity was all about.

The subject was impossible to avoid, so she finally asked me (far too casually) where I “attend Mass” to which I replied with a chuckle “Nowhere. I’m not Catholic.”

She looked at me with an expression of utter bafflement.

She had a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and had spent her entire life in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, but somehow she’d managed to never discover the fact that not all Christians follow the Pope.

So I explained to her all about the difference between Catholics and Protestants (leaving aside the Eastern Orthodox denominations because it would only add unnecessary confusion) and at some point she asked me “well, what do you think about Israel? Do you believe it belongs to the Jews”?

My answer to her question, which came out of my mouth and surprised me almost as much as it surprised her, went something like this (although I don’t remember precisely what I said.)

I said “M, I studied civics and political science in college. I know how a country is supposed to work, and what will make a country fail. Israel breaks all the rules. So, my semi-professional opinion, as a student of civic government and political science, is that every single day this country continues to exist is a miracle, and miracles don’t happen unless God wants them to happen. So yes, I believe Israel belongs to the Jews and I believe God has His hand on this country and I also believe He has plans for this country and the Jewish people, otherwise the people and the country would have both disappeared a long time ago.”

I would add for the sake of any skeptics reading this that if there is no God, miracles don’t happen at all.

Every single day that we’re here in a country called “Israel” is testament to the existence of a God who is actively interested and involved in the affairs of the human race.

And so, with that in mind, I submit to anyone reading this that the UN and the Obama Administration in the US and anyone else can say what they want. Despite what they desperately want to believe, they’re not the ones directing this movie.

We know how the movie ends and we’ve been told what part we’re supposed to play in it, so although we must react to the raging against this country at the UN, etc. reacting in fear, anger or despair is un-Biblical and also a waste of time. It’s much better to react by praying in confidence of the outcome and, as difficult as it might be sometimes, praying for God to have mercy on those who are railing against His plans for this country. Pray that God would have mercy on them and open their eyes to their need to repent and change course.

Another takeaway from this story is that many Jewish people are like my Aunt and don’t know much about Christianity and just assume that the Pope is the leader of all Christians everywhere.

Over the years I’ve lived in Jerusalem I’ve been asked many times by my Jewish friends about this or that thing the Pope did or said. At first I was annoyed and frustrated by these questions but I’ve come to see them as opportunities to share the Gospel, because if people ask a question like that it’s often only the first of many questions they have. It’s important to be prepared, “in season and out” to take advantage of the opportunities these kinds of questions have to share our testimony.