Standing with Israel

by Pastor Dan
Sometimes life brings about situations that we need to have a response to.  The challenge is to have a God response, not a human response.  It is also hard in our response to know whether it is something personal or corporate, in other words, for the Church.  Now, I am sure you are already wondering what I am talking about.  The situation on my mind today is the conflict in Israel.  This is one conflict that we truly do need a Biblical viewpoint rather than a natural one.  I am not going to enter a conversation here about how the media reports this but rather how a believer in Jesus Christ can respond.  My personal response is three-fold: how God is speaking to Israel, what is my role, and a little bit of a reality check.
I love the response of the writer of Psalms:  “O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption.  And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities,” Psalms 130:7-8.  We need to be reminded that God loves Israel and desires a relationship with them as much as us, so my response leads me with compassion to pray for them.  Regardless of how we feel or what we think, God has chosen to bless and keep His eyes on Israel, first as a people and second as a people in a geographical area.  I understand that someone might read this and say that they do not believe in the Bible, but just because you do not believe does not make it false.  Some will read this and appreciate what Israel stands for, and others will not, but I believe the Bible is the truth of God’s Word, and the Word is saying that Israel is chosen by God, and it accounts for the land they now defend.  It is also clear that Israel has its enemies who are and who will seek to destroy Israel.  God still loves Israel and desires that they choose to have a personal relationship with Jeus Christ, who they rejected and crucified, and God raised Jesus Christ back to life.
My prayer is contained in the verses just before that say:  “I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.”  Psalm 130:5-6.  I am reminded of what the angels told the disciples when Jeus ascended into heaven in Acts Chapter 1.  Why are you standing gazing into the sky?  Jesus will come the same way He left (my paraphrase).  The disciples then realized that they needed to share Jesus with anyone who will listen.  Yes, I do have my thoughts and beliefs about what is happening today in and surrounding Israel; however, my best response is to pray that God would be revealed into the lives of the people I meet, to share the joy and the hope that Jesus Christ brings to those who accept Him and desire to serve Him through a life filled by the Holy Spirit.  I think that this focus of sharing Jesus Christ through my life is just as important in times of uncertainty as it is in times of peace.
I have shared briefly about God speaking to Israel and my response to what is happening now, but what about a bit of reality?  In Romans Chapter 11, the writer says something particularly important to the believers of that day, which is relevant also for us today.  It was through Israel’s disbelief in Jesus Christ that I was given the opportunity to receive Jesus into my heart.  My heart hurts that they denied Jesus but grateful they made that mistake because it was for my benefit.  In this passage, we are then warned not to bring judgment on them for that decision but to pray and seek forgiveness for them.  Because if God allowed that to happen for my benefit, He can take that benefit away from me and give it back to Israel.  That is the reality of my response in support of Israel as a people, God’s chosen people.  Can I find joy in knowing this?  Yes, I can because I have read the Bible and I know how this story comes to completion.  I look forward to and long for the day that I will be praising Jesus Christ together in the presence of a people from all different nations and languages which includes the Jews, a people loved by God.  Revelation 7:9-10.
Be encouraged that God sees and knows all of what is happening and will guide us through this for His glory.  Be Blessed.