My brother Jeff and I do not like to take tours. We love to rent a car and just see what we can see. On my first trip to Israel, I wanted to see the entire country because I never thought I’d ever get back again. So off we went. We put over 1,500 miles on that car! We went to Eliat, the southern-most point in Israel, all along the coast of Israel on the west, up the Jordan Valley to the east, and all the way to two northern points-Rosh Hanikra and Metula. While in Metula, we made our way through an apple orchard and came to a gate along the border fence that allowed the Israeli army to move across the border, as they were still involved in Southern Lebanon at the time.
Then a couple of years later we returned to the same area just to see it. This time we received quite a different reception. By this time, Israel had left Lebanon altogether. As we drove through a break in a road barrier, we drove on the border road between the apple orchard and the security fence. This time we didn’t stop for pictures. Instead we were stopped by an Israeli military patrol and were asked, “What in the world were you doing on the border?” We told them our story about wanting to come back to the place we had been 3 years earlier and how we got there. They obviously didn’t believe us because they told us that the road was blocked. We said it wasn’t, so they detained us in a park where my wife is seen standing (see at right picture-I had to show her where we had gone!). This patrol of soldiers later (about 2 hours) discovered what we had said was true and let us go. I’m sure someone got in trouble on that one!
While we were “detained”, we were able to have a great conversation with the soldiers on all kinds of topics. I think they just wanted to practice their English. But, once one of the soldiers found out that I was a pastor and a believer in Yeshua I was asked, “Why does the world hate us so much?” I replied, “Do you really want to know? I mean since we have nothing to do but wait here until your superiors check out our story, I’d be glad to tell you. But do you really want to know?” He said he did want to know, so I told him.
I think my answer both surprised him and sobered him as well. It was not your typical geo-political answer. In fact, it had nothing to do with justice or injustice at all or, to be quite frank, Israel herself. I am a Biblicist, which means that I try to live my life seeing all of life with and through a Biblical worldview or lens. I’ve discovered that this worldview is not only the only worldview that fits reality, but it also has proven itself quite effective at changing my life. The Bible holds the only promise of true freedom (see John 8).
Thus my answer to this soldier is based upon my understanding of Scripture, which tells me the when’s, the why’s and the what’s when it comes to Israel. The following information is simply the long version of what I told that soldier that day at the park in Metula, Israel.
The Answer Requires a Bigger Picture
In answering the question of why the world loves to hate Israel, one must first gain a larger perspective than just Israel. The Bible starts with the book of Genesis where, depending upon when you believe Satan fell, a created angel of the highest rank (cherub), Satan, is seen as an adversary of God by Chapter 3. The rebellion against God started in heaven and hits this planet from the first book of the Bible to the last book.1 There is a war on this planet between forces that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but can be seen through the events and actions they cause. In other words, the hatred, the illogical explanations, the hypocritical viewpoints given upon her actions is a spiritual issue that will not be solved until the Messiah comes to reign on this planet.
Regardless of when Satan fell God made mankind, Adam and Eve, to rule this planet and subdue it (Gen. 1:28). The word for “subdue” in this passage is interesting as it means: to subject, to keep under by force, bring into bondage, to make subservient, to dominate and tread down. Now if everything that God created was good, what needed to be brought back into line? In my understanding, the only entity that needed to be brought back in line was Satan. However, Adam lost this duel that deepened the rebellion of Satan as he now had a place to rule from, a base of operations.
Satan became the prince of this world.2 This is no casual thing. When Yeshua went into the wilderness for forty days, Satan tempted Yeshua by offering Him the kingdoms of the world if Yeshua would simply bow down and worship Satan.3 In order for this temptation to have been like ours, Satan’s offer had to have been real.4 And in order for it to be real, Satan must had to have some kind of control of this planet to make this kind of offer.
The truth in this concept can be understood in the Robin Hood story. King Richard was out town, which made his brother, Prince John, ruler in his place. As long as the King was gone, the Prince had control of the realm. And if the King could be killed, all the better for the Prince as he would become King. The Bible calls Satan a ruler or prince of this world. The only way he can become king is to knock off or keep the King from coming, which is what the Bible records has been Satan’s plan from the beginning of time to the end of the Book. Satan knocked off the first earthly king, Adam, who had the job of ruling this planet. Adam failed and mankind had a huge problem that he couldn’t solve-sin. But the Bible is not just a picture of God’s grace in overcoming sin, but it is also a picture of how God would also remove this prince and replace Him with the one true King-Yeshua the Messiah and King.
How would God accomplish both tasks? The Bible gives us the answer the moment Adam and Eve lost their battle with Satan. God states that He was going to send “a seed” through the woman who would defeat Satan.5 This brings up another interesting thought, but we must take a small detour and talk about biology.
In order to create human life you need an egg and a seed. The woman provides the egg and the man provides the seed. The Bible records God as saying “the seed of the woman”. This is a biological impossibility as the seed comes from man not woman. At first glance, it appears to be a contradiction, which would mean that the Bible can’t be written by God as He can’t lie or make mistakes and thereby making the Bible untrustworthy.
But is it a contradiction? Could it be that God was telling us the methodology of how He was going to defeat Satan? Mankind couldn’t put Satan in his place, only God could. Yet it was mankind who messed up and needed rescuing as well as the planet. Mankind needed help and would need God to do it. How could this happen? The virgin birth provides the answer. Isaiah reveals that a child will be born, which means he is human, on whom the government shall rest on his shoulders, a king. This child who is born will also be called “Mighty God, Everlasting Father.” Isaiah goes onto say that this child will sit on David’s throne and there will be no end to his government.6
How can that happen? We know that humans die. We also know that kings die; and thus, their government will end with their death. But this child’s government will never end, how is it possible? We know David’s reign ended. Now, even if you take the extension of his reign through his “seed” or children who reigned after him, his government ended when the last Judean king was dethroned and Jerusalem destroyed.7 Since then, there has never been a son of David sitting on a Jewish throne in Jerusalem. Therefore, David’s government ended. How? He was human. The Isaiah passage, however, states this child’s government would never end. The only way this is possible is for the child to be God as well, which is exactly what Isaiah states. This child will be called “Mighty God.”
The Rightful King Must Be Born-Somewhere and to Someone
God will provide the solution to mankind’s sin problem and Satan’s rebellion in one stroke. God will put on humanity to do what mankind couldn’t do-defeat Satan. It’s not the purpose of this article to go deeper into this mystery, but the point that needs to be made is this-this child would have to be born to someone somewhere on this planet. This means that a real person, belonging to a real people living in a real country/nation would be needed for this child/God to be born.
Therefore, if Satan can keep this family from forming, or if it is formed, destroy it once it is, he wins. If this child isn’t born, Satan as the prince steps up to become king and game over. With this concept in mind, let’s explore Scripture to see if this belief is based in Scripture or is just something fanciful.
Three chapters later, in Genesis 6, Satan tries to wipe out the entire human race! Hey, if there are no humans around, then there can be no “seed” born. And if there is no “seed” born there is no Messiah King and no Savior; therefore, Satan wins. This is Satan’s thinking anyway. However, God does an end run on him. God finds one person He can use, Noah. Satan had to be ticked off. He had God boxed in and lost! God wins, the “seed” lives to see another day.
Satan wasted no time in continuing his rebellion. For right after the flood we have the story of him uniting mankind against God at Babel.8 Again, if no one wants to follow God, there would be no one for God to choose from in order to start a people to have a country where the “seed” could be born. Satan again thought he had God in a corner. Satan had the entire planet forming lines against God this time. Everyone. There were no Noah’s for God to use this time. If God was going to destroy the entire planet at the flood because “every inclination of his heart was only evil all the time”, wouldn’t He have to do it again here at Babel when the entire planet again lined up against Him?
You’ve got to love God. He is the original “out of the box” thinker. He had another plan in mind. In fact, He would take what Satan did and use it to fulfill His own purpose-creating a people for “seed” to be born. God scattered the people of this rebellion by changing their language. Then the people who spoke the same language would find each other and spread out over the planet. Viola, you have nations or people groups for the first time in history (Genesis 10, which names nations, is an overview of what happened next and Genesis 11 reveals how these nations came into existence). God simply used Satan’s strategy against him.
Now, right after Scripture mentions nations or people groups, it records God choosing one person to start a new nation. Understand that God could have chosen anyone, any group of people, to have sent the “seed” through. For the sake of familiarity, He could have chosen a Greek, an American, an Ethiopian, a Bolivian, an Indian, you name the country, He could have chosen any of them. Instead, He chose a Chaldean named Abram, whom He would later rename Abraham.9 Yes those countries didn’t exist back then, but the point is this, there were a lot of countries and a lot of people at the time God chose Abraham. Why did God choose Abraham? His grace and mercy chose to send the “seed” through the people of Abraham.
This selection put a target on Abraham and his descendants’ backs that Satan could forever zero in on. Who cares about the rest of the planet? He knows where to focus all his energies and efforts in keeping this “seed” from ever being born. Little did Abraham know, when he rejected the ‘gods’ of this world and chose to know and live for the God of the universe, the set of events that would harass him and his race for the rest of the Book and beyond.
Before one can understand where Satan would attack, one first must understand the three unconditional promises God made to Abraham. One, God promised Abraham that he would become a great nation, meaning that Abraham would have children who would eventually multiply into a people group. Two, all the world would be blessed through Abraham. And three, Abraham’s offspring or “seed” would own a piece of real estate in the Middle East today called Israel.10
The Harassment of the Jewish People Begins
This sovereign choice by God (though some Jewish people have asked, “God, why didn’t you chose someone else?”) of Abraham, the Hebrew11, started a harassment of one people group that has been unparalleled in human history. Why would one people, out of all the others, but so picked on as this one? It’s because Satan knows where and on whom to place all his efforts at derailing God’s plan of sending a “seed” that would defeat him-Abraham’s offspring, Israel.
In the following section of scripture, we discover a number of Satan’s strategies to derail God’s plan: famine (got Abraham out of the land),12 cultural assimilation (taking Hagar to produce children for Sarah)13 and fear (Abimelech could have impregnated Sarah).14 Yet in each of these cases, God’s grace and mercy are seen. Even though Satan got Abraham to slip up, God came to the rescue. The plan goes on-the “seed” will be born in Israel.
Now Satan increases the pressure on God’s plan. He now will use governmental policy to do his bidding (you thought Hitler was the first one?). Can Satan do that? The Tenach tells us that Satan can move nations to attack others. In the book of Job, Satan wants to pick on one person, Job, because he is a goody-two-shoes type of person. God allows Satan to test Job by taking everything away from Job except his health. How does Satan accomplish this task? He uses two groups of people-the Sabeans and the Chaldeans. He used nations, if you will, to accomplish his purposes.
And we see him using that same strategy when Abraham’s descendants move to Egypt to survive a famine. God puts them in a location where they can turn from a 70-person clan into a million-plus nation. It is here that Satan grabs a government to achieve his goal. He moves Pharaoh to kill every Hebrew male at birth.15 Satan couldn’t keep God from choosing a people group through which to bring the “seed”, but he could try to eliminate these people. If there are no males, the Hebrews would eventually die out; there would be no “seed” to come that would defeat him.
In this case, God used a group of midwives to thwart Satan. Then Satan tried another governmental policy to get the job done. He created a law where the Hebrew mothers had to throw every male child into the Nile. Again, through obedience to God, this plan was also stalled.
Eventually this nation is freed from bondage under Egypt to go home-back to Israel. Satan couldn’t get rid of the people, so now he takes a different tack. He tries to keep them from going to the place where God said the “seed” would be born-the land of Israel. He tried war (with Egypt16 and the Amalekties17), but those attempts failed as God intervened to defend the Israelites.
When that tactic failed, he tried intimidation. The same beings that were around at the flood, the Nephilim (whose belief it is of this author were half demonic “sons of God” and half human “daughters of men”), are found again, but this time in the Promised Land.18 When the Israelite spies saw these giants, they were afraid and wanted to return to Egypt. They didn’t want to enter the land of Israel, the location where the “seed” was to be born. Eventually they did enter the land under Joshua or Yehoshua (a type of the future King of Israel Yeshua) or “Jehovah is salvation”. Again, Satan looses. God’s promise of a “seed” being born in Israel lives on.
Okay, Satan couldn’t keep them from getting into the land, so he tries another tactic-religion. In this situation, it’s false religion. His thinking here is this: if he can get the Israelites to worship him rather than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God would have to remove them from this land. God is called the Father of Israel19 and is seen as Israel’s Husband.20 As her Father, wouldn’t he have to discipline her? He did this constantly in the book of Judges. As her Husband, wouldn’t he have to divorce her by removing her from His home? This is exactly what happened in the books of I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles and recorded in Jeremiah 3 (cf. vs. 6-8). The northern tribes lasted only 250 years in the land before God used Assyria to remove them while the southern tribes made it a little longer. They lasted 370 years before Babylon took them out. Keep in mind that this removal process was not pretty. The Assyrians used assimilation to get the job done (the Samaritan race starts here). While the Babylonians used extermination as the Judeans would not surrender like the prophet Jeremiah encouraged them too. Both inflicted plenty of pain and suffering on the Jewish people.
Satan had to be howling! He must have thought he was winning this game. The people are out of the land; therefore the “seed” that would defeat him couldn’t be born in Israel. God is a liar and he wins.
Nope, Satan loses. God is true to His word and will remain faithful even when His people are faithless. Yes, God said He would remove Israel from the land if they served other gods.21 And God kept this promise. However, God snuck in a zinger. He also had Jeremiah write that He would bring His people back home in seventy years!22 God even told us the name of the person He would use to do it-Cyrus.23 And just as God promised through Isaiah, Cyrus did allow the Israelites to return home to Israel.24
The Battle over the “Seed” Continues
Satan had to be scowling now. He had to be saying, “I can’t win! Just when I’m about to win, you pull some off-the-wall trick and defeat me. Just you wait, God. I’ll try again.” And try again he did. This time Satan used a centuries-old grudge to move his player into position. God gave King Saul an important mission-completely destroy the Amalekites for what they had done to Israel when they came out of Egypt.25 Saul didn’t fulfill this mission and it came back to haunt the Israelites hundreds of years later in the person of Haman the Agagite. You can read about this guy in the book of Esther. Satan used Haman to create a governmental policy to exterminate the entire Jewish race. If this plan succeeds, Satan wins as there is no people for the “seed” to come through, no people to return home to the place where this “seed” would be born.
In thwarting this plan, God put a Jewish woman on the Persian throne! Think about it. One day in the distant past Iran had a Jewish Queen. If life there were not so crazy right now, this ironic twist would be funny. Through her uncle’s persuasion, “Who knows that you have come to this royal position for such a time as this,” she risks her life to save her people. She does and the people roll on and Purim is celebrated today over the entire Jewish world.
After this attempt through Haman failed, the Bible is silent as to Satan’s attacks on the people who would produce the “seed”. Keep in mind however, Satan can read the Bible too. He knew where the “seed” would be born-in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) of Judah (Gen. 49:8-12) and when this “seed” would be born (Daniel 9:25-26). We know Satan knew this because a group of Magi came from the east and knew when to come looking for the child.26 Furthermore, both secular and biblical history record Satan’s attempts to throw the people off about the Messiah as he sent at least two false Messiahs prior to Yeshua’s birth.27
Satan tried to do everything within his power to keep the “seed” from coming; and yet, God stopped him every time. Now the child is born in Bethlehem. I wonder at times if Satan was behind the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. Everyone had to return home. He might have been trying to make his job easier as every person of David’s house had to return to Bethlehem to register for this census.28 I can’t prove it, but I wouldn’t put it past him either.
This child had to be born in Bethlehem and Satan would want to make sure that the child got to Bethlehem because he had another tool just waiting to use-Herod the Great.
Herod the Great was known for killing anyone and everyone who might challenge his authority as King of Israel. Herod even killed his own sons and wife to keep him securely on the throne. Caesar is reported to have said, “It is safer to be a pig in Israel than a son of Herod.” Satan had a willing instrument in Herod.
When the Magi showed up asking where the “King of the Jews” was born, the Bible experts of the day knew exactly where, Bethlehem. So what does Herod do to this threat to his throne? He killed every male child within the Bethlehem area two-years old and younger. He wanted to make sure this “seed” never lived past 2. Again Satan has no qualms about getting governments to do some awful things to accomplish his goal of keeping the “seed” from being born and trying to kill the child once He came. And guess who got caught in the middle? Hundreds, if not thousands, of Jewish babies. Satan doesn’t care about any life, let alone Jewish life. He is out to win and win at all costs is his approach.
The “Seed” Came-What’s Satan up to Now?
Since the “seed” has come, what now? Why is Israel still being treated differently than all the other nations? Why are they still being picked on? The story is not over. God made a number of promises that are yet to be fulfilled. One of those promises was that a descendant of David would sit on David’s throne forever.29 This promise was passed on to the child that was born to Mary (and whose father was not Joseph) that He would sit on His Father David’s throne-forever.30 While it is not the purpose of this article to go into the Biblical teaching of the “seed”/King/Messiah coming twice, though this concept of a Mashiach ben Joseph, the Suffering Messiah, and a Mashiach ben David, the Kingly Messiah, was a tenant of Judaism until the 12th century when Rashi (a famous Jewish Rabbi) greatly modified it, it is important to our current discussion. In Hosea 5:15, God says that He will come and judge Israel. He then will “go back to my place until they admit their guilt.” To “go back” implies that He first had to come. It is interesting that Yeshua says basically the same thing just before He dies and rises again. Matthew 23:39 records, “You will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He comes in the name of the Lord.'” “See Me again” means that Yeshua had to come once, go away, and then will return once more.
The “seed” did come, but not to reign. He came to suffer, die and rise again the first time. Satan tried to stop this and couldn’t, though many Jewish people died in the process. The “seed” will also come again when “they will look on me, the one they have pierced.”31 And because this hasn’t happened yet, we now have Satan’s strategy from here on out-destroy the Jewish race. If he can accomplish this, the King can’t return as there would not be a people left to admit their guilt and say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Here is the point I was making to that soldier in the park. Why does the world love to hate Israel? It is not a geo-political problem. It is not a logical or rational issue. It really is not about land. It is a spiritual problem-Satan vs. God. We know who wins. But this doesn’t matter to Satan. He will continue to try and destroy the Jewish people no matter where they live. If Satan can get rid of the entire Jewish race, there is no reason for Yeshua to come back!
This is exactly what we have seen down through the centuries since Yeshua went “back to his place”. And before I go one word further, I must say two things. One, I can prove what the Church did to the Jewish people throughout the ages had nothing to do with the Jesus I know and love. What was done was all about politics-government policies (sound familiar?), not Jesus. Irregardless of this fact, Jesus is seen as the bad guy, which leads to my second statement. I humbly apologize to and ask forgiveness from every Jewish person on this planet, past, present and future for what has been done to you and to your people in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach. What was done is not what the Bible teaches nor what Yeshua Himself taught-win hearts through love, not the sword. Please forgive me and us.
Satan’s Tactics Against the Jewish People Today
Satan’s tactics from the first century to now are no different than the ones he used in the past-assimilation, expulsion and extermination. The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian Pogroms, the German Holocaust, and now the Muslims haven’t done anything new. Satan’s tactics are simply being repeated over and over again.
Ever wonder why the current President of Iran and other Arab leaders want to “wipe Israel off the map”? Ever wonder why there is so much fighting over a city that has no natural resources nor has any strategic value? It’s because the Messiah will reign from Jerusalem, Israel. And Satan will keep up the pressure well into the future as well. The Bible records in Ezekiel 38 and 39 that when Israel is finally “a peaceful and unsuspecting people-all of them living without gates and bars” she will be attacked by a world coalition. The Bible further records that this will happen again!32
Satan wants to destroy Israel and the Jewish people no matter where they live. Is it any wonder then that when it comes to Israel the world goes brain dead? That all of a sudden sound logic goes out the window? That reasonable people stop being reasonable?
I quote the following writer, because I want you to understand the situation. Not to agree with all that Israel does, not to keep quiet when you want to protest against her actions, not to always side with her, merely to understand what is happening to the Jewish people.
“Often, nowadays, it seems as if all history is being rewritten when it comes to Israel. In World War II, Allied air forces carpet-bombed cities, even though there were no military bases in civilian areas. In France alone, tens of thousands of civilians were killed by Allied bombs that fell on their intended targets.
“Even the Nazis didn’t put ammunition dumps in houses and use human shields. And up until now the blame for doing so would fall on those who deliberately and cynically sought to create civilian casualties in order to gain support for themselves.
“Up until now, a country whose neighbor fired across the border at its people and even staged cross-border raids had the right of self-defense.
“Up until now, there has been a capability of understanding which group is inciting hatred, trying to turn children into robotic terrorists, calling for the extermination of another people, and committing aggression. Many people, many journalists, many governments, and even many intellectuals still understand the most basic principles of right and wrong, as well as of the real world. Unfortunately, too many still don’t – or at least don’t when Israel is the target.”33
Another writer put it this way, “It is common wisdom in Israel that the Israeli Left is capable of limiting the level of hostility directed against Israel from the US and Europe. Livni exploited this popular belief during the electoral campaign when she warned that a rightist government would destroy Israel’s relations with Washington. Apparently convinced by her warnings, some voices in the Likud argue that with Livni and Kadima in the government, the US and the EU will think twice before adopting openly hostile policies.
“Unfortunately, this view is demonstrably false. As foreign minister in Ariel Sharon’s government during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, Shimon Peres did not prevent the international Left in Europe and the US from accusing Israel of committing war crimes. The Kadima-led leftist government was unable to secure European support for Israel in the Second Lebanon War. The fact that Israel was led by the leftist Kadima-Labor government during the wars in Lebanon and Gaza did not improve the West’s negative reaction to the fighting.
“The generally ignored truth is that international hostility toward Israel is driven by factors extraneous to Israel. Consequently, Israel’s governments have little ability to influence how foreign governments treat it, regardless of who forms those governments.”34
What are those “extraneous” factors? The spiritual battle going on between God and Satan. Hopefully I have shown that it is Satan’s strategy to keep the “seed” who would defeat him from coming either the first or second time, which meant destroying Israel by causing nations to come against her. This will not stop until he is ultimately defeated by the “seed”/Messiah at the end of the Messiah’s earthly reign.35
What Should Be Done-As Human Beings
What should be done about this? First, as human beings, we must continue to stand up for the truth. Don’t buy into any media source that all of a sudden loses their brains when it comes to reporting about Israel.36 Get the facts. Read about how the nation of Israel came into being. Discover all the promises that have been made to the Jewish people going as far back as the early 1900’s, which if kept would have diverted the Holocaust. Learn about the land that was promised the Jewish people and then what they actually agree to take. Learn about how all the countries of the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq [who in their right mind would put three people groups together who hate each other!]) were formed by the World’s powers after WW I and II.
Learn about what happened when the world finally kept her promise to Israel. You guessed it, war. Did Israel ever call for any of the wars against her? Nope. Did she legally gain every inch of what is called Israel? Yes.37 Discover for yourself what Israel (built a prosperous and emerging nation) and what the Palestinians (kept her people in squalor and discontent as to keep up the fight) have done with billions of dollars in aid they received from the world. This author has personally done this and has taken pictures to prove it.
Israel as a nation is not perfect. She has made her share of mistakes, but what nation hasn’t? We should not seek to glorify Israel, but we should seek to be fair and just with her. Whatever standard of behavior other nations are held accountable to, should be applied to Israel as well.
Second, stand up for Israel’s right to exist and defend herself. This doesn’t mean you must agree with every governmental decision. Israel’s leaders are just people who can make mistakes; but in general, it is our moral obligation to stand behind her right to exist and defend herself like any other country. Russia recently entered Georgia because she was “provoked” to do so and the world did relatively nothing. Why then is Israel ostracized for defending herself when she is provoked through constant rocket attacks from Gaza?
Three, go to Israel yourself! Find a group, such as Hope for Israel, where you can experience Israel, not just visit the holy sites. Go and meet all kinds of Israelis-Jewish, Bedouin, Druze, Arab, religious, and secular. See with your own eyes what the media fails to report-the fence, the closeness of the borders (it’s less than 40 miles from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea-the distance from the Bronx to Manhattan), the life and rights of minorities, the safeguarding of religious sites regardless of one’s faith or non-faith and the rule of law, even when it comes to her military.
What Should Be Done-As Believers in Yeshua, Jewish Messiah and Savior of Mankind
What should believers in Yeshua do? They should pray for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem.38 The only reason the Jewish people in general and Israel in specific are “loved to be hated” is because Satan wants to wipe them off the map so he can win. As Gentile believers in Yeshua, we have a Savior and a relationship with the Living God because a certain people were chosen through whom our Savior would come-Israel. And because they were chosen, Satan hates them with such intense hatred that he desires to completely annihilate them. For this reason, they don’t deserve our pity, but our prayer support. They are being blasted so we can share in the blessing given to Abraham.39 We have a common enemy with the Jewish people. His name is called Satan. It is a spiritual battle, not a geo-political one. This is not a democratic or republican, West vs. East, problem. It is about lives being lost all because Satan wants to win. So let’s get on our knees and pray our adversary is defeated.
Another thing believers should do is to let the Bible be their guide. Allow me to give you two passages on which to meditate. The first passage is Romans 15:27. In this verse Paul states that since we share in Israel’s spiritual blessing, we should also share with them our material blessing. In the context of Romans, the Jewish people living in Jerusalem were under famine conditions and Paul was taking up a collection to help fellow believers living in Judea.40 I’ll touch more upon this in a minute, but we should find ways to share our material blessings with the Jewish people, especially believers.
The second passage to meditate upon is Acts 1:8. In this passage, Yeshua gives us the where of His Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Yeshua told His men to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. As a believer in Yeshua and as a pastor I have heard and taught that the city where my church exists is Jerusalem and Acts 1:8 extends from there.
Is this so? A few years back the Lord called me up short on this. He asked me, “Are you a Biblicist?” “Yes, Lord, I am.” “Do you believe that I want My Book interpreted literally?” After much re-studying of my position on this to insure it lined up with Scripture and a year’s reading of the Bible asking that same question, I came back and answered, “Yes, Lord I believe Your Word tells me I must take it literally.” Then came the big question, “Then why do you throw out the literal-grammatical-historical method that I desire when it comes to Acts 1:8?” I had to stop and think about that for a second. Had I really done that? In all honestly, I had to admit that I had. Interpretation must not be confused with application. One must first understand what God meant by what He wrote in any given passage. After discerning this, we then and only then seek ways to apply that truth.
Acts 1:8 commands us to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Jesus was standing on the Mount of Olives with Jerusalem in sight when He gave that command. He meant the Jerusalem in Israel when He gave that command. The Judea and Samaria of Israel is demanded of Acts 1:8. Thus, the interpretation must be that He desires us to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in the country of Israel. The application is how to be witnesses of our hope to the people who live in those areas, not that our hometown is Jerusalem, our state is Judea, our country is Samaria (which would encompass all Israel as a nation) and the rest of the world as the ends of the earth. No, the application is how do I become a witness in Jerusalem? Do I go to Judea? Do I support people who live in Samaria? If not, how do I make that happen?
I am not saying that we shouldn’t support efforts to bring the good news to the world, we must. Yeshua said to go to the ends of the earth, so we must obey His command. But what He didn’t say was to neglect Israel. Again let’s be biblical. Paul, who was the apostle to the Gentiles, had a strategy as he spread out from Jerusalem-to the Jew first and then to the Gentile-even while he was taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. When he came to a city he started in the synagogue, or where Jews gathered if there wasn’t one, and then went to places where Gentiles gathered.41 The point is this-let’s not forget Jerusalem and those who live there! True peace will not come until Jew and Gentile put their faith in Yeshua HaMashiach-Jesus Christ-our Lord and Savior.
In applying the truths found in these two passages, if the Lord doesn’t call you personally to Israel, then find a ministry in Israel to support like Hope for Israel that will help our brothers and sisters in the Land share the love of Yeshua with those around them. In this regard, I must make one very important point. Make sure the money you give helps, not hinders, fellow believers in the Land! There are Christian organizations that give money to Jewish organizations that do a lot of good, like bringing Jewish people back to their ancestral homeland. I am all for that cause. Yet some of these same organizations take money given to them by believers in Jesus and give it to other organizations that persecute our brothers and sisters in the Land. This can’t be so! Remember, we are at war with the enemy, Satan. So let’s not give him any help. Check out any organization to whom you give money. Make sure they are helping the people they say they are and not hurting the cause of Yeshua.
Lastly, as believers in Yeshua, we must pray for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. Notice I didn’t say just Israel. Our brothers and sisters throughout the Middle East are being persecuted – Jews, Palestinians and Arabs alike. This is not a fight for a piece of land, but people’s hearts-their very souls. Pray like the early church prayed, “Lord, consider their threats and enable Your servants to speak Your word with great boldness. Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Yeshua.”42
May this be every believer’s prayer, “Lord use us in the battle with the real enemy of mankind, the one who drives the world to love to hate Israel and the Jewish people. Use us to knock down the gates of hell and reap a harvest in Your fields.”
Author: Chris Suitt
Chris Suitt is married and has two teenage children. He and his family currently reside in Southern California where he has pastored for over twenty years. His congregation shares a facility and ministers with a Messianic Congregation. He has written and taught about how the Jewishness of the Bible affects the believer’s life today, including “The 7 Jewish Feasts of Leviticus 23: Their Past, Present and Future Applications” and “Passover or Good Friday, Which Is It?” He currently serves on the Board of Hope for Israel and serves as Tour Coordinator for the Hope for Israel Experience Israel Tour, which takes a group to Israel each year to experience the people, the land, the culture of Israel as well as walk in the footsteps of our Savior and Messiah. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected].
1. Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 12:3-17; 20:7-15.
2. Ephesians 2:2.
3. Matthew 4:1-11.
4. Hebrews 4:15.
5. Genesis 3:16.
6. Isaiah 9:6-7, see Jeremiah 23:3-6 where LORD or Jehovah (Exodus 3:14 – the Holy Name of God) is used by two persons, the one speaking and the one being spoken about.
7. 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36.
8. Genesis 11.
9. Genesis 11:27-12:5; 17:5; Acts 7:1-5; Romans 9:15-18.
10. Genesis 12:1-7; Romans 9:4-5.
11. Genesis 14:13.
12. Genesis 12:10-20.
13. Genesis 16.
14. Genesis 20.
15. Exodus 2.
16. Exodus 13.
17. Exodus 17:8-16.
18. Numbers 13:33.
19. Deuteronomy 32:6.
20. Hosea 2.
21. Deuteronomy 11:16-17.
22. Jeremiah 29:10.
23. Isaiah 44:24-45:13.
24. Ezra 1.
25. 1 Samuel 15.
26. Matthew 2:1-12.
27. Acts 5:33-39; “The Jews Against Rome,” p. 28, Susan Sorek, Continuum Publishing 2008.
28. Luke 2:1-7.
29. 1 Chronicles 17:10-14; Jeremiah 23:3-6; Daniel 7:13.
30. Matthew 1:16-25; Luke 1:29-33 9 (cf. Genesis 3:16; Isaiah 7:14).
31. Zechariah 12:10.
32. Zechariah 13:8-9 (“two-thirds will be struck down” of those living in the Land – Holocaust II?); Revelation 12; 16:16; 19:11-21.
33. Barry Rubin, “On the Ground in Gaza”, Arutz Sheva, Published: 01/06/09, 12:28 AM, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8488.
34. Caroline Glick, “Enter the Netanyahu Government”, Jerusalem Post, February 13, 2009 https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2009/02/13/enter-the-netanyahu-government-2/
35. Revelation 20:7-10.
36. “Why TIME is Right… and Wrong: How the Jews can win when we can’t win,” by Sara Yoheved Rigler, http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/jewishsociety/Why_TIME_is_Right7._and_Wrong.asp
37. see The Case for Israel, by Alan Dershowitz, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Publishers, 2003.
38. Psalms 122:6.
39. Galatians 3:14.
40. Acts 11:27-30.
41. Romans 1:16; Acts 13:5,13-14, 14:1; 16:13-15.
42. Acts 4:23-31.