As a bible based community, we are aware of the importance of Israel today and through the ages. We appreciate from reading God’s word that He had a special relationship with Israel. The Bible is God’s history book, and the Jews are His people. God’s plan of salvation is centered on the Jews, though it extends to all nations. There are two very specific bible quotes that tell us that Israel is special to God. These are Zechariah chapter 2 verse 8: For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye and Jeremiah chapter 30 verse 22 – “‘So you will be my people,and I will be your God.’”
It is not surprising, then that history in the Bible is chiefly concerned with the Jews. About 2000 years before Jesus was born, there lived a man named Abram, who is spoken of in the Bible as the friend of God – see Isaiah chapter 41 verse 8. He lived in the town of Ur, which was in the land we now call Iraq, about 800 miles to the east of the land of Israel. The people of Ur knew nothing of the true God. They worshipped many false gods, chief of which was the moon.
One day Abram received a message from God. We can read this message in Genesis chapter 12 verse 1: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from my father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” He was told to leave his own land, and his own people, and travel to a country that God would show him. When He told Abram to do this, God also told him: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shaft be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” – Genesis chapter 18 verse 18.
We read that Jerusalem was the capital city of the great king David and his son Solomon, who reigned over God’s people, Israel in Old Testament times. In fact, it was the LORD that chose Jerusalem as the city for the throne. However, I (the LORD) will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen – see 1 Kings chapter 11 verse 13. There are many passages in the Old Testament that predict the coming of a saviour to rescue Israel and throughout history we have seen these promises made in the Bible being fulfilled and bible prophecy unfolding in front of our eyes. For example:
1.The Jews will return to the land of Israel – this happened in 1948
2. Israel will become a nation again – Jerusalem is now the capital city of the Jews since 1967.
3. Jerusalem will be freed from its enemies – in May 1967, the Jews fought the six-day war, and freed Jerusalem from its enemies. The city is no longer “trodden down of the Gentiles” but is in the hands of the Jews.
The time is coming when all nations will be gathered against Israel. Just when everything seems hopeless for Israel a wonderful thing will happen. Zechariah chapter 14 verse 3 says: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.” The next verse shows us how God will help them – He will send Jesus back! “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives….”
So, the promises made to Abraham – that he would live forever in the land of Israel and be a blessing to all nations, were also promises made to the Lord Jesus Christ. When he comes again to rule from Jerusalem, we shall see these promises fulfilled. We, too, may share the promises If we believe in Jesus, and do what he asks us. For if we belong to Christ, we too are Abraham’s seed. We read in the last verse of Galatians chapter 3: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Jesus will come back to this earth to restore peace and set up his kingdom in Jerusalem. There are many verses in the bible that point to this as being true. One of the big signs before he returns is that the world will be in turmoil. We believe that as it states in the book of Matthew ‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet’. However, this does not mean that we glory in all that is happening. We are so sad that innocent people are being put through so much distress and our hearts and prayers go out to them. We do feel that we are witnessing the signs of the times and that bible prophecy is rolling out in front of our eyes.
It does not mean that we think Jesus will return today as we are not told specifically of a time or date but to me the world is heading in the right direction for his return. It is difficult to know sometimes where to strike a balance. We are told to be ready at any time, but we know not for sure whether that time to be ready is today, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. We are told simply to watch. What is happening currently in Ukraine is a pointer to what will happen one day in the Middle East. Whilst many folks are surprised that these disasters are unfolding, we have seen that these things were predicted long ago in the Bible.
The coming of Jesus will be the most remarkable thing that has ever happened. The Bible clearly speaks of Jerusalem as a city with a remarkable past, a tumultuous present and a glorious future. That future will be when Jesus returns; and this is why we believe that Israel is so important and has been important since the beginning of time. After the Jews have repented, Jesus will reign from Jerusalem. When Jesus is King and God’s laws are in the earth, it will be a different world. Do not forget the Kingdom is not just for the people of Israel. Gentiles (non-Jews) can also have a place in that Kingdom, by God’s grace, if they accept Jesus and follow in his footsteps. This is why as a community we look to Israel.
There are various blogs on this website discussing in more depth some of the topics touched on in this article.