Tuesday, March 20, 2012

As Goes Our Support of Israel, So Goes Our Nation

Much has been made in the news lately regarding our current president's shaky support of Israel.  So what is the big deal?  Why are we so concerned for this tiny state surrounded by powerful enemies?  Surely there is not much they can do for us as they do not produce anything we need, they have no oil, and they certainly do not make friends for us.  They are not in any position to help defend our national security interests and they take more money than they give.  So why is it so important that we support them?  Is it because of some love of Democracy or being loyal to our allies?  We have a long history of breaking both those principals when it supported our interests so that is not the reason.  The reason is simple.  It is about God.  All presidents like to say "God bless America," but the reason that even happens is only because of our support of Israel.
Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 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."  Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV
God made this promise to Abraham before he was even Abraham and it was an everlasting promise applying to his descendents for all time.  This promise is not conditional in that it has nothing to do with the behavior of Israel, just how we treat them. Many argue that Israel is about political Zionism and that many, if not most, in Israel are liberal Jews at best and atheistic ones at worst.  Whether or not that is true, it is meaningless to the promise.  God will handle Israel's sin as He has throughout history.  Others argue that Israel abuses the Palestinians and many innocents have died.  If that were true (which it is not as Palestinians have themselves to blame for their issues), once again God never makes that condition as part of His promise to Abraham.  Some bring up past bad acts even against the United States.  Once again, the promise has nothing to do with how Israel treats us. 

The fact is that if we bless Israel, God will bless us, and if we curse Israel, God will curse us.  This does not excuse their sin, but any punishment regarding their national sin is under God's jurisdiction and not ours.  We need to follow our own command to bless Israel and allow God to deal with any rebellion among His own people.  God has allowed other nations to overcome Israel throughout history as a punishment for their sin, but, in the end, it has never really worked out very well for those nations.  Have you seen a Babylonian lately?  How is the Third Reich doing?  Who is the current Emperor of the Roman Empire?  I am sure you get the point.  Unless we want to end up as a chapter in a history book, it will serve us right to bless and support Israel. 

So what of all this idea of coming to some kind of compromise.  Why not just give the Palestinians their own land and allow Israel and Palestine to live side-by-side in peace?  First of all, it never has worked and never will because the Palestinians have no interest in peace unless that peace means that Israel does not exist.  The other reason is that it is not our land to give away. 
On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates." Genesis 15:18 NKJV

"For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land." Joel 3:1-2 NKJV
This land was given by God to the Jewish nation and it was given in perpetuity.  We have no right to ask them to give up what God has given them.  In fact, they have no right to give up land God has given to not just them but their descendants.  In other words, even if Israel gave up land today, they are stealing from future generations to  whom God has given that land as an inheritance.  We also see in Joel that part of the judgement of the nations that scattered Israel abroad is for dividing the land.  We continue in that sin today when we insist Israel give up that land. 

It is rather evident that the land of Israel was given by God to the Jewish nation.  It is not for us or anyone else to usurp God's authority and insist that Israel give up part of that land.  We do so at our own peril.  Furthermore, we stand in peril each time we do not support Israel.  God has made the promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.  That promise is unconditional and it would serve us well to adhere to our policy of being a blessing to our friends in the Middle East.  The fact is that if we are Israel's friends, we are God's friends and that is a wonderful place to be.  If we become Israel's enemy, we become God's enemy and that is a horrifying place to be.  It is not for us to judge Israel's actions, that is God's prerogative and we would be wise to leave it with God.  So, Mr. President and all presidents that may follow, you all love to end each speech with "God bless America."  I think I clearly laid out how to make that a reality. 
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you." Psalm 122:6 NKJV

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