Every Christian should wholeheartedly support Israel and the Jewish people. There are many Biblical reasons for this support, but there is one that is highlighted in the pages of Scripture. The eternal promise of God is that those who are a blessing to the descendants of Abraham will be blessed by Him. Genesis 12:3 is not a conditional or limited promise; it is an everlasting promise that is still in effect today.
Because Isaac was the covenant child of Abraham and Sarah, the land was promised to him and his descendants rather than to Ishmael and his descendants. Because of that covenant, the blessing promised in Genesis 12:3 is especially meant for those who are a blessing to the Jewish people.
How can we bless the Jewish people? One of the most important ways in which we can be a blessing to them and secure God’s blessing on our lives and families is to support their God-given right to live in safety and security in the Promised Land of Israel and their eternal capital, the Holy City of Jerusalem. Many Christians today do not acknowledge this divine right. This unbiblical position and failure weakens their testimony, weakens the nation of Israel, weakens our nation, and in fact, places us in great jeopardy of God’s judgment.
The truth is that anyone who seeks the blessings of our Heavenly Father must make sure that this command is obeyed. This promise is not just for individuals. The same verse promises a blessing for “the families of the earth.” This is a generational and national promise as well as an individual one. There is nothing more important you can do for your children, your grandchildren, and your country than to secure the blessing for them by blessing Israel and the Jewish people.
One of the harsh realities of life for the Jewish people over the past 2,000 years has been severe and often violent discrimination and hatred. The awful historical record shows that Jews have been the targets of fierce discrimination and even persecution in “Christian lands” over the centuries. The Vatican-inspired Crusaders deliberately murdered Jewish people during the Middle Ages. The Roman Catholic Inquisitions were directed against the Jews in Spain and elsewhere, leaving many dead or in prison. The pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe forced Jews from their homes and left untold numbers dead.
As evil as these anti-Semitic assaults were, they all pale in comparison to the Holocaust of World War II. Some six million Jews perished in “Christian” Europe, at least one million of them children. They were the victims of a cruel regime that had sprung up in the very land where Martin Luther sparked the Protestant Reformation. A full one-third of the entire Jewish race was wiped off the face of God’s green earth by Hitler’s Nazi forces. The utter horror of the Holocaust, as revealed by the testimonies of death-camp survivors, cannot be overstressed.
Too late, many Germans recognized the blessings that the Jewish people brought to their society before Hitler’s tragic rise to power. Jewish composers, scientists, doctors, teachers, writers, and others contributed their significant talents and intelligence to the land of Luther and were repaid with Hitler’s death chambers.
The world did nothing as the evil leader carried out the plan he had outlined in detail even before taking power to provide the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish problem.” Of course, this is not to say that all the world hated the Jewish people. Instead, they were willing to allow Hitler to rise to power and then to carry out his diabolical plan. It simply wasn’t “worth it” to stand up for God’s Chosen People.
In every Jewish air force base today, there hangs an aerial picture of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The photo shows the railroads that entered the camp, taking tens of thousands of men, women, and children to their deaths. The reason these photos are there is as a reminder. During the war, the American pilots saw the camps and the train tracks and asked for permission to bomb the tracks to stop any more Jewish people from being carted to their deaths. President Roosevelt refused, stating that he needed the support of nations that hated the Jews to win the war. The carnage could have ended much sooner, but no one was willing to stand up and be counted to deliver the Jewish people from destruction.
Tragically, anti-Semitism—the hatred of Jewish people—did not perish with the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich. In fact, it is alive and well in our world today. If we do what the Church did during the Holocaust and remain silent and passive, history will tragically repeat itself. We must not allow that to happen!
There is a war going on in our world today between light and darkness that impacts the destiny of nations, just as there was in the days of Daniel. Daniel, who had been carried captive from Jerusalem to Babylon, turned to the Lord and repented for the sins of his nation, asked for forgiveness on their behalf, and prayed God’s Word and His will concerning them would be fulfilled.
Daniel was told in a vision that his prayer had been heard from the moment it was uttered, but the prince of Persia (a demonic being such as those mentioned in Ephesians 6:12) had been resisting Gabriel for 21 days, preventing Daniel from receiving the answer. This story is found in Daniel, Chapter 10. Daniel was told that Michael the archangel had joined Gabriel in battling this demonic power.
The key lesson for us is found in the persistence of Daniel. His prayers were powerful because he did not give up when the answer was delayed. What was the result of Daniel’s steadfastness in prayer? Deliverance! Daniel realized that his most important assignment from God was prayer. The message Daniel received from the angel confirmed to him that he had a vital role to play in the battle in the heavenlies between demons and angels, between good and evil.
If Daniel could pray and mighty angels be sent to do battle against demonic spirits, so can we. It is quite possible that the “prince of Persia” Daniel fought through prayer is the same evil spirit behind the rulers of Iran today. But whether it is the same demon or not, the clarion call goes out to you and me today just as it did to Daniel—man the battle stations and fight this urgent spiritual battle through prayer.
Darkness flees when we pray! Demons tremble when we pray. Heaven moves and angels receive assignments when we pray. Prayer affects both heaven and earth, the seen and the unseen. Without our prayers, demonic forces rule and operate uncontested. We must choose the same course Daniel did and faithfully and fervently pray without ceasing, not allowing ourselves to be discouraged or turned aside, until the victory is won.
(I wrote these words while in Israel during the fighting there a few years ago. They are on my heart and mind today because Israel is once again on the brink of war, and I believe they convey a sense of what the Jewish people are facing.)
I’m in northern Israel, which is under a rocket attack by the Hezbollah terrorists of southern Lebanon on this bright summer day. A few days ago, armed Iranian militants staged a raid into northern Israel, ambushing an Israeli Defense Forces patrol, killing three soldiers and abducting two as hostages for ransom. When Israel sent in an armored column to rescue its soldiers, Hezbollah unleashed a pre-planned missile attack across the entire northern border. At the moment I write this, more than a million Israelis are in bomb shelters, driven there by more than 2,000 missile strikes.
I am looking across a deserted intersection in the normally bustling seaside town of Nahariya, home to one of the soldiers taken hostage. I traveled here to bring comfort the Goldwasser family. Ehud’s wife showed me her wedding album. They had been married just nine months. My heart broke, and I wept with this brave man’s family. [Ehud Goldwasser was killed by the terrorist kidnappers and his body would not be returned to his family for more than two years.]
We left Nahariya and rode for some 20 minutes toward the northern front, passing the hulks of two crashed helicopters and glimpsing fires on the distant hills from artillery strikes. We decide the safest place to spend the night is in Haifa. This beautiful city was Hezbollah’s prime target, not because of its industry, but because its mixed Jewish and Arab population has made it a symbol of coexistence. Civilians from both groups are among the victims.
As darkness falls, I stand with the earth shaking beneath my feet from the guns pounding and think how ironic it is that the peaceful Galilee of the Scripture has been brought to the brink of Armageddon.
Christian Zionists are men and women who simply believe the Bible regarding the covenant God made with Abraham some 4,000 years ago. Through the reading of the Scriptures, these men and women were persuaded to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Some have given their lives, others have invested their time and funds to help God’s Chosen People return, rebuild, and restore the Holy Land, and still more have prayed and interceded for the Jewish people and stood in the gap for Israel.
Across the eons of time, Gentiles have helped the Jews: the daughter of Pharaoh saved Moses, Rahab helped the spies escape from Jericho, King Cyrus freed the Israelites from captivity and allowed them to return and rebuild the walls and Temple in Jerusalem, King Ahasuerus granted Esther the right to save her people from slaughter by the wicked Haman. There was a multitude—those we call “righteous Gentiles”—who saved lives during the Holocaust and still others today who see and meet the needs of the Jewish people in Israel.
But because of centuries of suffering and persecution at the hands of those who claimed to be Believers, many Jewish people believe that Christians do not care about them—or worse. When a Jewish member of the Knesset destroyed a New Testament publicly, he said it was a book that led to mass murder. Of course, we know that the Bible teaches no such thing, but it has been used as an excuse for great atrocities against the Jewish people.
I remember so well my mother walking into the room where I was watching Dr. Billy Graham on the television. She turned it off and said, “Jesus is dead. Don’t dig him up. Christians hate Jews. Christians kill Jews.” Her grandfather was burned to death inside his synagogue in Russia by a mob shouting “Christ killers!” Many members of her family perished during the Holocaust. These bitter experiences colored her thinking—not to mention the regular physical abuse she suffered at the hands of my church-going father.
There must be a different message sent to the Jewish people—a message of love and understanding from Christians—and that is what the Jerusalem Prayer Team is doing every day. Through the Friends of Zion Museum, through our humanitarian outreach to poor Holocaust survivors, and so much more, we’re showing true Christian love in action.