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Mary Pinkney Parnell
Why Christians Need to Support Israel
Christians owe a great debt to the Jews. I am not speaking of their contribution to science, physics, art, philosophy, music, and literature, which have been enormous, but we owe Israel for our very identity. Without Jews there would be no Christians. The Jews gave us the prophets, the Bible, our moral compass, but most importantly, our Messiah Jesus who was born of a Jewish Mother in a Jewish nation. He chose to be born into a lineage that can be traced to his ancestor King David and to the first man, Adam. He is not just the New Covenant Savior but also the Old Covenant Messiah, pictured in types and foretold in prophecy. This Jesus brought us grace, truth and deliverance from sin.
Yeshua Jesus told the woman at Jacob's well, "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4). Many Christians have discovered their savior, Jesus, but have discarded his Jewishness. They do not connect him to the obedience of Abraham who fathered a nation so singular that they retained their uniqueness for 4000 years in the face of persecution and scattering.
Their peculiarity came from their covenant with JHVH. Their adherence to the Mosaic law allowed for the birth of the Messiah. Their emphasis on family unity and their covenant of separation from their neighbors kept their beliefs inviolable which otherwise would have been paganized. Jesus could not be born into a pagan family.
Our Messiah, Jesus, is revealed to us through faith. It was also Father Abraham who knew that his covenant was one of faith, "And Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Gen.15.6). Of all the ancient peoples, how unique is Abraham who learned that faith and trust is the one requirement needed to please God. Abraham truly knew the creator of the universe. Our creator revealed himself to Abraham, a man who believed God for the impossible.
The Messiah could only come to a nation who knew God. For instance, can you imagine a Norwegian Messiah living among those who drank blood, worshiped Thor and sailed on Viking Ships? All other nations, Goyim in Hebrew, were pagan Gentiles. They worshiped a pantheon of gods. Many gods were blood thirsty demanding child sacrifice; many gods were full of lust demanding consorting with temple prostitutes for the growth of crops. Even among the brightest intellectuals, the Greeks, who gave us Socrates, Plato, and the logic of Aristotle, pagan worship was the norm. The Greeks tried to understand the caprices of their gods. They willingly submitted to the fates that were decreed. All of the knowledge of the Greeks did not bring them truth. Paul, no mean intellectual himself, said, " . . . the world through wisdom did not know God (1Cor.1.21). So, not only is salvation of the Jews, but wisdom is of the Jews.
Only through the Jews did wisdom come into the world: "The law came by Moses but grace and truth by Messiah Jesus" (John 1.17). In effect, the Jews brought us God, up close and personal. All a Christian needs to do is to open the Bible and God can speak into his life something personal and up-to-date wrapped in a package of historical accuracy. Only through the Bible can one look backwards into time and forwards into the future, sometimes simultaneously.
Christians often lose sight of their Jewish roots because they do not see the types of Jesus in the Old Covenant text. Furthermore, paganism did much to obscure Hebraism. One of the best works on this subject is C.S Lewis's The Discarded Image. Lewis traces the pagan practices that gradually entered the church over the years.
For example, Christians often do not connect Easter with Passover. Passover has become obscured by a devilish little goddess named Astarte who slipped into our traditions and brought us lent and Easter. Easter comes from the goddess Astarte derived from the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. The worship of Ishtar was called an abomination by the prophet Samuel (1 Sam.7.3; Jer.44.18). So the Jewishness of Easter (really Passover) has been obscured.
During Passover the children of Israel sacrificed a perfect lamb, poured the blood into a basin and with hyssop put this blood on the door posts and lintels of their homes. When the Angel of Death saw the blood, it would pass over and destroy only the Egyptians. Jesus is the Passover lamb who takes away the sins of the world (John 1). Today, if we believe in that sacrifice, we are saved from death. It is Passover, a Jewish feast, that God said to commemorate forever (Exodus 12.14). It is on Passover that Messiah Yeshua shed his blood for our sins, healing, and deliverance from death and evil. This is the feast to be commemorated forever, not a feast honoring Astarte, a Greek goddess.
And then we have the debt incurred by our ancestors who had so little understanding that instead of honoring Jews for their gifts to the world, pushed them into shettles and pogroms, and killed them in the Crusades. The crusaders, with crosses emblazoned on their shoulders, murdered without conscience and became the very infidel they hunted. The First Crusade murdered 30,000 Jews and 10,000 Christians before they got to their destination. Christians with turbans and beards were slaughtered along with the rest. When they got to the Holy Land entire villages of Jews, Christians, Arabs, as well as Turks were killed. One can surely understand how the symbol of the cross is an anathema to Jews. The Inquisition, birthed out of the crusades, tortured and murdered thousands of Jews. The flames of the Holocaust destroyed millions.
Today there is no more virulent spirit than the spirit of anti-Semitism, really the spirit of the Antichrist. Many news talking-heads deny Israel the right to self-defense. We have a United Nations that would rather drink hemlock then condemn a terrorist, yet they condemn Israel again and again. We have a state department that hedges its support for our one ally in the Middle East. And, as country we have a history of perfidy against the Jews, not as serious as that of Great Britain, but still requiring forgiveness.
Then if Christians believe the Bible, we need to take seriously what the Word of God has to say about our relationship to Israel. It may come as a shock but Paul says that all of Israel will be saved. That promise is not made to any other nation, certainly not the United States. Paul said, "Has God cast away his people? God forbid . . .God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew" (Romans11. Then he says, "do not be wise in your own [Christian] conceits" their blindness is just temporary (26) "And so all Israel shall be saved as it is written ‘There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them . . ."(26-27).
So Christians need to respect God's covenant with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. Many Jews have come to believe in Yeshua as their Messiah, others have not. But Israel is God's business. God has a separate covenant with Israel. There are certain things that destiny requires them to do: return to their land, cause the desert to bloom, settle the Mountains of Israel, rebuild the temple, etc. etc. Their destiny ultimately affects the return of Messiah. Their destiny affects Christian destiny. We are linked to Israel in the natural and in the spiritual. It is the very force of God which has caused them to return to their land. If they were all converted Christians, God's last day plans would be thwarted.
One of the earliest admonitions in the Bible is given by Abraham in Genesis 12: "Now the LORD said to Abram," . . . 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." This covenant promise is given again to Isaac and Jacob, but not to Ishmael. How are all the families of the earth blessed because of Abraham? Because through Abraham, Jesus would come.
This curse may be observed by looking at those nations who came against the Jews. They were totally eradicated. Prophecies describe the fate of those today who are killing Jews and trying to destroy Israel. The fate of the Arab nations is vividly described in Amos 1 and in other places. God loves the Muslim people very much. They need to choose Jesus who teaches love, not death. There awaits a fate for those who hate Israel. Looking into the past, there is no more Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonia, Persian, Greek or Roman Empire. And in recent years, the British Empire has collapsed. During the British Mandate, the Brits armed the Arabs, prevented the Jews from arming, and prevented ships carrying Holocaust victims from landing in Israel. We can only hope that God has mercy on the United States.
Stronger still the Lord says, "Let all those who hate Zion be
put to shame and turned back. Let them be as the grass on the housetops,
which withers before it grows up, with which the reaper does not fill
his hand, nor he who binds the sheaves his arms"
Then we have the judgment of Jesus concerning the end days, called the sheep and goats judgment (Matt.25). It is a judgment against nations who have come against his brothers, the Jews. In this prophecy Jesus is echoing an earlier prophecy from the prophet Joel: "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 2) I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and parted my land" (Joel 3). Jesus is referencing this prophet in Matthew 25. Which ends "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern [the Jews] ye have done it unto me" (40). Both Joel and Jesus prophesy of this end time judgment of the nations. Anti-Semitism will be harshly judged at that time.
Finally, we are instructed to pray for and comfort Israel. Who, just radicals who have the special unction? No! Isaiah says: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak comfortably to Jerusalem and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins"(40.1).
"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall
never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD,
keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he
make Jerusalem a praise in the earth"
Christians need to know that they owe their very existence to the Jews including their salvation, their abundant life, and their eternal life. We must always remember to pray for the Jews and for Israel and to bless them spiritually and materially.
Now pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122.6)"Sha alu shalom Y'rushalyim!"
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