For the past two months I have had Israel on my mind. Maybe I have been watching too much news with all the riots, but God has really placed them heavy on my heart.
It began with one song--"I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me." The text comes from Psalm 122. I kept singing it in my head over and over, especially the "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" part. Ok, so I got that message, God--pray.
A month later, my heart was lifted a bit with "Zion's Walls" from Tenderland by Copland.
Because one day, I will be within those walls singing the praises of Zion.
Come sisters and brothers,
Come join us in singing the praises of Zion.
O fathers, don't you feel determined
To meet within the walls of Zion?
We'll shout and go round
The walls of Zion.
Then, this week's BSF lesson was Isaiah 61-64. This contained Isaiah's prayer for Jerusalem and my lesson asked the question "Why do you think God has you studying these chapters at this time in your life?" It's obvious from Isaiah 62, the Lord wants me to pray for Jerusalem and not stop until His glory is shown--"until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch." Israel is surrounded by the chaos of the Middle East. It is so unstable in the region. But when Jesus returens, she will be the "City of God's Delight" the "Bride of God" and they will live in peace and righteousness.
Did I also happen to mention the gorgeous flower in the backyard called the Jerusalem Sage?
I dare say if you ask many Americans they would have to think twice about why we support Israel and why we are allies. (In fact, they probably know very little of Jewish faith or the Jewish history.) But, back to the problem at hand... The answer lies in Genesis beginning with chapter 12--God's covenant with Abraham. And, God continues to reiterate His promise throughout the entire Bible. God never gives up on Israel. He keeps His promises. Yes, a sinful people must be punished once in a while (Heb. 12:10), but in the end they are His people as well as the Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah (OT-Isaiah 56:7-8) and (NT-Eph. 3:6) and that he died a substitutionary death to save us from our sin.
Time after time, the Bible states that Jerusalem is "where it's at," but the most poignant place being Revelation 21-The New Jerusalem. One may say that we are in the Thousand Year Reign of Christ with the church, but obviously, we are not in that Milinnial Kingdom. There are still tears, death, sorrow, and pain. Nations are still at war. One day all that will cease and Jerusalem will be where the Lord will reign and all peoples and nations will stream there to worship. (Isaiah 2:1-4)
The point is that our nation should continue to support and fight for Israel. These are the "good guys" and it's not because we feel sorry for them about the Haloucost. We shouldn't support them for social justice and collective salvation. We should support them because they are God's chosen people.
I say "we" as an individual, however for salvation is not a collective doctrine. Our individual salvation DOES NOT depend on collective salvation. It is totally individual. You must make the choice yourself. Who's side are you on?
If you still aren't convinced, read In Defense of Israel by John Hagee.