Today, Israel is a small, middle eastern country located off the Mediterranean, Red and Dead Seas. It is the home to almost 9 million people with two major cities; one is the Holy City of Jerusalem and the other, a bustling business hub called Tel-Aviv. Israel is a Jewish state where Jews, Muslims and Christians dwell together. Even though she is small, Israel's contribution to the international community, far outweighs her size.
Israel has a long history and it is very significant to the Judeo-Christian faith. In Genesis 15:18, God said to Abraham, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates’. The Jewish people were given this land as a promise from God and it has also been home to the first and second Temple, which were both built in Jerusalem.
After many Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust (Shoah) in 1948, after 2000 years of being dispersed throughout the nations, it was declared that the state of Israel is officially a Jewish state. The portion of land known as Eretz Israel (land of Israel) is only a fraction of the size that was promised to God’s chosen people. The rest of the Promised Land is occupied by the Palestinians (West Bank and Gaza), as well as some being claimed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and all of Jordan.
am yisrael chai
What does this have to do with me?
Well, some in the church today are unaware of the fact that Jesus was a Jew. He was and is the Messiah of the Jewish people, even today. The New Testament was written by Jews and the Gospel was taken out from Jerusalem and into the world by, you guessed it, Jews.
Apostle Paul was a Jewish Rabbi and he explained in Romans 11 that God has not rejected His Jewish people like some may think (Romans 11:1), but in fact, all Israel will be saved (Romans 1:26-27). Sadly, many within the Christian church do not understand that God will fulfill His promise to save His covenant people, when He ‘takes away their sins’. The Christian church is reminded by Paul not to become arrogant towards the Jewish people. ‘… Do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you’ (Romans 11:18).
The Gentile church has been given the Gospel of Messiah Jesus by Jews who sacrificed a lot to spread the Good News. Today, the Christian church can serve God by praying for the Jewish people and standing shoulder to shoulder with one another. God loves His Jewish people, and so the church ought to love what God loves. If you have trouble in understanding the relevance of the Jewish people, then ask God that He would uncover your eyes and soften your heart so that you may see and know that He is not finished with Israel.
Israel is surrounded by hostile neighbours and therefore needs our prayers. Jerusalem is at the centre of end time events so keep your eye on her and keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).