NAILED TO THE MAST
I’m a sinner saved by grace (Hebrew chesed – the unmerited favor of the Lord).
The Bible – the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament – is the inerrant, living and eternal Word of God. It is the foundation upon which I seek to build my life.
My God is the God of the Bible, YHWH, the Creator of heaven and earth. He is my Rock and my Fortress, my Savior, my Deliverer, my Father. I trust in Him and I am learning to trust Him, completely.
My heart believes, and with my breath I confess, that Jesus of Nazareth, of the New Testament, is the promised Messiah. Through my faith in His life, ministry, death and resurrection, I have been given the power to be called a son of God. I live with the hope of eternal life and I try stay ready to give a defense to any who ask my reason for this hope.
My faith is a daily walk in a living relationship with God. God’s Spirit lives in me. He has known me from before the foundation of the world and He has always had a purpose for my existence.
I want to uplift His name, to point to Him that men may praise Him. Nothing can be more worthwhile.
The People of Israel
Today’s Jews are the descendants and surviving remnant of the Biblical nation of Israel. They are God’s “holy” and “Chosen People” (Deuteronomy 7:6), His “special treasure” (Deuteronomy 14:2), the “apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). They comprise the nation that would be the channel through which God pledged and determined to provide redemption for mankind and for all of creation. This promise – tied to this nation – stands as long as the sun, moon and stars hang in the sky (Jeremiah 31:34-36).
They remain God’s Chosen People – the designation He attached to them when He made His everlasting covenant with Abraham. Being ‘chosen’ does not mean being superior or favorite. It means being consecrated, set apart for a special purpose.
The LORD declared Himself to be Israel’s Husband (Jeremiah 31:32). He made her His wife (Ezekiel 16:8-9).
Because of Israel’s unfaithfulness (she played the harlot with other gods – 1 Chronicles 5:25) Assyria and Babylon were allowed to conquer and vanquish the land, Jerusalem and the Temple. Judah’s exile was followed by return, but the restored nation was not able to rise to her former glory as a direct and ongoing consequence of her adultery. Even so, this rejection never meant that Israel forfeited her place in God’s love, purposes or plan.
After Rome’s suppression of the Jewish revolts of AD 67 and 132, some Jews would remain in the Land of Israel, but the majority of the survivors would live in what the Bible calls “captivity,” dispersed among the Gentile nations for close to 2000 years.
As Paul teaches, the unbelieving “natural branches” were broken off the olive tree that is Israel, and “wild branches” – believing Gentiles – were grafted in to become children of Abraham by faith, part of the “Israel of God,” the “Commonwealth of Israel.” HOWEVER the Church never replaced Israel as God’s Chosen People. Furthermore, the LORD says that He can, and He will, graft the broken off branches back into their own tree again.
Wherever it occurred through the centuries, and whatever its purported cause or reason, Christian persecution of Jews was never justifiable. It was always wicked, always evil, always wrong. Antisemitism is a terrible sin against man and against God.
It has always been in the foreknown purposes of God to eventually restore the Jews physically and nationally. It has also always been part of His plan to draw and turn this physically reconstituted nation back to Himself – to reunite Himself with His once wayward wife, His once estranged brothers.
The mass immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel that began in 1882 and led up to the rebirth of the Jewish national home in 1948, and the ongoing aliyah of Jews to Israel, has been – and continues to be – the prophesied physical reconstitution of this nation. God is restoring them physically despite their spiritual condition. This is precisely how He foretold He would do it.
As assuredly as He is overseeing and directing their world-impacting national physical restoration, He will ensure and bring about their glorious and earth-shaking national spiritual restoration.
The Evil One has repeatedly sought to thwart God’s redemption plan by trying to annihilate His people. Efforts to destroy the Jews did not end with the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust of World War Two. Today’s Islamic-Arab desire to wipe out Israel is only this hellish hatred’s latest manifestation. The international community’s incessant pressure on Israel to surrender the strategic half of its biblical homeland to the Palestinian Arabs works in collusion with the Arab intent.
The God of Israel is calling humble and true Believers to stand unconditionally, totally and sacrificially with the physically restored nation of Israel until the day she is restored in her relationship with her Husband and her God. Christians who take this stand alongside the Jewish people in their land are being, and will be, persecuted. Some, perhaps many, may have to be willing to lay down their lives for Israel’s sake.
The Land of Israel
God calls the Land of Israel, once known as the land of Canaan, His Land. It includes the Gaza Strip, Judea, Samaria, parts of modern-day Jordan, modern-day Lebanon, the Golan Heights and modern-day Syria, and all of the city of Jerusalem.
The Bible says He gave this land – in unbreakable covenant, exclusively and forever – as an inheritance to the nation that descended from Jacob/Israel, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.
Neither Hashemite, Palestinian nor any other Arabs have national rights to any part of this land.
Neither the United States, the United Nations, the European Union nor any other political entity has the right to pressure Israel to surrender this land.
God promised that, after their long period of captivity in the Diaspora, He would return them to this land, which He describes as “your own” (Jeremiah 42:12). He said He will “settle” them in this land (Isaiah 14:1); that He will plant them in this land with all His heart and with all His soul; that He will rejoice over them to do them good in this land (Jeremiah 32:41); that no longer will they be pulled up from the land that He has given them (Amos 9:15); that He will keep them in this land as a Shepherd keeps his sheep (Jeremiah 31:10).
It is when they are back in their land and back in Jerusalem, even back into temple worship, that He will restore their relationship with them.
Albeit permitted by God, every military, religious, political or diplomatic effort to uproot the Jews from their land is a manifestation of Satan’s efforts to prevent the outworking of Heaven’s prophesied purposes for this nation and for mankind.
All God-fearing Christians are called to stand with the LORD’s restoration purposes with Israel as foretold in the Bible. For Zion’s sake, and for the sake of our own nations, we should oppose in prayer, word and deed the policies and efforts of our own countries and political leaders to work against those purposes. The Lord will enter into judgment against every gentile nation that has put its hand to the scattering of His people and the dividing up of His land (Joel 3).
When it comes to Israel the question facing Christians is not whose side is God on, Arabs’ or Jews’? Confronting Christians, rather, is the challenge: Who is on GOD’S side?