Is God Finished with the Jewish People? (Part 1)
What does it mean for us as Christians to be sons of Issachar in this century? Certainly we must understand God’s heart for our own country in the days ahead. Only then will we know how to pray and what to do. The American Church and the American nation are at a crossroads. How we respond is crucial.
Yet to be sons of Issachar, we must also look beyond our borders to see what God is doing in the rest of the world today. In the last few decades we have witnessed a resurgent Israel as well as a revival of fundamentalist Islam. The Arab nations of the Middle East and the Jewish state of Israel seem to be on a collision course.
Fundamentalist Muslims will not rest until Israel, the “Little Satan,” is destroyed. The United States, termed the “Big Satan” by Islamic extremists, stands in the way. Usama bin Laden has said two reasons for the September 11th attacks were the U.S. military presence in the Gulf and U.S. support for Israel.
Understanding Our Times
To be sons of Issachar in our generation, we must have a better understanding of these issues. What is the significance of the rebirth of the modern state of Israel? How do we understand the renascence of Islam in this hour? Clearly, a spiritual battle is raging in the heavenly places, and we must understand it in order to pray effectively.
How important is it that the United States support Israel? Is there any Biblical significance to the reestablishment of the state of Israel or is its reemergence a mere coincidence? Is God finished with the Jewish people? Or, as a people, do they still have a purpose in God’s plans as we look to the future? How should the Church relate to Israel and the Jewish people?
Is Islam a religion of peace? What are the goals of Islam? How do we understand this religion and what can we expect in the generation ahead?
Both of these topics are of great concern to us as American Christians. We cannot afford to stick our heads in the sand and wait for all the controversy to blow over. We find ourselves in the midst of the cosmic spiritual battle of our age. It is imperative that we understand these issues so that we will know how to pray with confidence and respond with courage. In a series of articles we will explore these pressing questions. May the Lord give us His heart and His wisdom.
Is God Finished with the Jewish People?
What does Scripture tell us about God’s relationship to Israel? What exactly did God promise to Abraham and his descendants? What is the nature of the covenant God made with Abraham? Does it still stand today? Is God finished with the Jewish people? What about the modern state of Israel? Is its founding the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy? Or is it merely a coincidence that Israel is back in the land?
To answer these questions, we must first look at the Abrahamic covenant. In Genesis 12, God called Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees and travel to a land that the Lord said He would show him. The Lord said in Genesis 12:7 that He would give Abraham that land as a gift.
In Genesis 13 Abraham offered Lot what was then the choice land. (It was later burned up in the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah.) Abraham then took the less-appealing land, from a natural perspective. The Lord then spoke to Abraham again, saying,
Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give you and your offspring forever…Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.
Genesis 13:14-15, 17 [Emphasis added]