As Christians we are directed in Psalm 122:6-8 to:
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels. For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’”
This tiny nation of Israel, no bigger than New Jersey, is the focal point of the whole world. Yet, most people believe the world’s focal point might be America or China or perhaps Russia, North Korea or a combination of these nations. Certainly these nations grab daily headline news. These nations are large in area, densely populated and strong militarily. But it is the tiny nation of Israel that God watches over.
God has made Israel, the apple of His eye, both extremely prosperous and successful. Even though Israel is the 100th smallest country in the world:
- It has the second highest ratio of college-educated residents in the world.
- It is only one of nine countries that can launch its own satellites into space.
- Motorola developed most of the cellphone technology in Israel.
- It is on the forefront of important breakthroughs in treating heart disease and cancer.
- It is a world leader in computer technology, business and agriculture.
Israel has made important advancements in medicine, business, technology and agriculture that has enhanced the lives of many around the world. Yet, most of the “civilized” world is against Israel and their right to exist as a nation.
Issues Israel Battles
Daily the citizens of Israel face potential destruction of life and property from “the rockets’ red glare,” car bombings and other terrorist activities. For most of 4,000 years, Israel has fought enemies from the surrounding nations on the battlefield.
The BDS Movement
Recently, the battles facing Israel are not only military in nature, but also battles related to business and trade. One such insidious movement is known as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions). The proponents of this movement have as their end-goal agenda the complete dissolution of the Jewish state.
The BDS movement began in 2005 as a trickle. The [B] (Boycott) movement was in full swing by 2009. That year, the British government issued recommendations to business owners, asking that Israeli products be labeled as such to make it easier for consumers to boycott Israeli products. In 2012, Denmark got on board with this labeling system. That same year, a large Swiss grocery chain followed suit. By 2015, the entire European Union adopted this labeling system.
Consequently, products from certain regions of Israel sat on the shelf. Because of this boycott, Israeli business owners and their employees had a difficult time making ends meet.
The next part of this movement [D] is divestment. Investment means to put money into something to gain a profit. It follows then that divestment means to sell off or stop putting money in a company or business. Banks, pension funds, and corporations are being pressured NOT to invest in companies they think promote Israeli or Jewish interests. This pressure that is applied is not because the investments are unsound or illegal; it is because of religious and ethnic bigotry. This part of the movement also stunts economic growth in Israel.
The [S] of the BDS means sanctions. This is the most crippling part of the movement. Sanctions include import or export duties on goods, quotas limiting amounts of goods that can be traded between countries, and embargos that prevent goods and services from being supplied from country to country. Sanctions ensure that necessary goods coming into a country are in short supply, and business owners and farmers selling products leaving the country are prevented from making a profit to further their businesses and pay the bills. Sanctions can affect essentials such as food, energy and military parts.
The second battle Israel faces is within the church itself. This second battle is found in the idea of “Replacement Theology.” Many within “Christian” circles believe the Christian church has replaced national Israel regarding the plan, purpose and promise of God. These people believe the Christian church now are God’s chosen people instead of the Jews.
Replacement theology seeks to remove Israel from a national destiny in the land of Canaan because of the rejection of Jesus as Messiah. Replacement Theology rests on the assumption that the Abrahamic Covenant that promises Israel eternal ownership of the land of Canaan has been abolished. Once this promise has been negated, restoration of present-day Israel means nothing, and the only hope lies in the church. If this theology is correct, God is not true to His Word.
Israel is the only nation in history that God promised a piece of land to its inhabitants forever. In Genesis 13:14-15:
“The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, ‘Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.’”
The promise God made to Abram didn’t stop there. In Genesis 15:8, Abram wondered how this promised possession would come to pass:
“But Abram said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it.’”
God directed Abram to bring a heifer, goat and ram each three years old along with a dove and a pigeon. The large animals were to be cut in half and the halves arranged opposite each other. The birds were not cut in half. All day Abram waited for the covenant ceremony with God. Finally, as the sun began to set, Abram fell into a deep sleep.
When the sun set, God, with a smoking firepot and blazing torch, passed between the halves of the animals, showing that if He broke the covenant the same fate as the animals would befall God Himself. In Genesis 15:18, God declared:
“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.’”
This covenant was recognized as a formal life agreement. It could not be broken during the life of either party. God, on that day, swore by Himself that the covenant will last as long as God’s life, who is eternal.
A New Day Dawning
Many issues threaten the peace, safety and well-being of the people of Israel. But, a new day is dawning for the Jews of the tiny nation of Israel. Against all odds, Donald Trump, a real estate mogul, was elected president of the United States in November of 2016.
Finally, President Donald Trump lived up to the commitment made by Congress in 1995:
The U.S. Embassy would be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On Monday, May 14, 2018, America honored that pledge after 23 years. By doing this, America was recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Like it or not, the world will have to deal with a Jewish Jerusalem.
The biggest issue facing Israel is land: who owns it and how far do the boundaries extend. Very shortly, President Donald Trump, real estate developer, will present a Middle East peace plan. Will that plan divide the land? Will it bring peace or more war? The time is now for the Third Temple to be rebuilt. Will President Trump help in the building process?
A new day is dawning for Israel. Will all this help usher in the return of the Messiah? Only time will tell.
A new day is dawning also for America and those who stand with Israel. Let us pray for Israel as scripture directs in Psalm 122:6 and 9:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.’”
“For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.”