The rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and America is both alarming and predictable. Jews have regularly suffered pogroms, forced conversion or assimilation, and verbal backlash for many failed national policies – ‘blame the Jews’! In similar fashion, the Jewish state of Israel is unfairly blamed for the Palestinian state of affairs.
Allow me to share three reasons why, as a biblical Christian, I unequivocally support Israel as a Jewish state, their right to exist, and their right to defend themselves against aggression. Please forgive the brevity of my argument; this is not an exhaustive list.
I believe in the authority of sacred scripture. It is the inerrant and infallible word of God.
Abraham received an unconditional covenant that the land of Israel would be an everlasting possession for his ethnic descendants through Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 13:15, 17:7,8). God guaranteed the perfection and eternality of this covenant by performing the covenant “cutting” and oath with Himself. Abraham was only a lethargic witness (Gen 15).
Furthermore, God promised Isaiah that He would gather the Jewish people from all the nations a second time (Isaiah 11:11). The first regathering happened in 435 BC following seventy years of captivity. Five hundred years later, in 70 AD, the Romans besieged Jerusalem and dispersed the Jewish people. A more permanent and devastating experience happened in 135 AD when the Emperor Hadrian drove the Jews from the surrounding region and renamed it Syria-Palaestina. The descendants of the first regathered exiles in 435 BC were uprooted, though a remnant always had a presence in the land for two thousand years. Yet, God told the prophet Amos that a returning exile generation would never be uprooted again (Amos 9:15). Unmistakably, there is a second regathering of Jews (Isaiah 11:11) that will never be uprooted (Amos 9:15). This is the current state of Israel. A modern miracle at its inception and throughout its continuation.
God linked the holiness of His name to this unconditional everlasting promise to the people of Israel. Therefore, He promised to vindicate His name (Ezek 36) by regathering the Jewish people a second time. Could this be the reason why the nations rage against the Jewish State? Could it be that the anti-covenant spirit would love to defile, dishonor, and desecrate the holy name of God by removing the Jewish people from the land God promised them?
Poisonous lies, unrelenting violence, and biased anti-Semitic criticism is a common experience for the Israeli people and government. The United Nations holds Israel to a standard no other nation is held to. Israel, unlike some of the twenty-two official Islamic states, does not hang homosexuals, persecute religious minorities, or threaten genocide against its Muslim neighbors. Tragically, the UN routinely passes condemning resolutions against the one Jewish state which offers full rights to all citizens despite religious or ethnic identity. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinians, recently described terrorists at the UN General Assembly in Oct 2018 as courageous, honorable, and heroic. Instead of swift and overwhelming condemnation from international leaders, the response was morally appalling neutrality.
To add to this blatant Jewish hatred, there is an anti-biblical false narrative waged against Judaism and Jewish history. These gross, distorted lies include teachings such as Jesus was not Jewish, the Jews never lived in the land of Israel (Judea/Samaria, Syria-Palaestina), and there was never a Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Such falsehoods are a complete assault against the authority and inerrancy of scripture. Why do many Christians stay silent and not defend the biblical, historical, and legal right of the Jews to the land?
Christians are being martyred in record numbers. Numerous countries throughout North Africa and the Middle East are some of the most dangerous places for Christians to live. However, on the shores of the great Mediterranean Sea is an oasis of religious liberty and long-term safety and security – the state of Israel. A fellow evangelical pastor from Bethlehem acknowledges, “A safer Israel is a safer church”.
Finally, as Americans, we cannot overlook the evil regime of Iran. To be clear, it is not the Iranian people, but their radical Islamic leaders who oppress and impoverish them, who need to be held accountable. When we stand with Israel against the tyrannical state of Iran, we are standing with Western Civilization and the American Dream.
Israel has many enemies, few friends, one God, and no choice. Israel must survive.