What Can We Do to Support Israel?

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Here we go, gang!  We’re into our last summary of week 2’s lesson, entitled We Stand with Israel.  This is part of the study, Why Israel Matters, a live study I am summarizing for you online.  I hope you are enjoying it and I would love to hear your feedback!

We’ve answered some key questions about why it is important to stand with Israel, so if you have missed the past few days, scroll back through them to glean what has been discussed so far.  Today, we’ll finish off our key questions and wind down week 2.

Was Israel’s Founding Legal?

Great question to begin our day!  Some question Israel’s legitimacy, stating that they somehow stole the land from the Palestinians.  That is certainly what the liberal media would like for us to think.  But is it true?  Of course not!  History and international law are both on Israel’s side…not to mention God promised the land to His people as an everlasting covenant!  (Psalm 105:8-11, and many other places)

There has been a continual Jewish presence in the land for 3,000 years (which is not true of any other people group claiming rights to Israel).  After WW1, the land was controlled by the British, and a Christian man proposed the Balfour Declaration, suggesting the land be designated as the homeland for the Jewish people. The legal declaration was made later at the San Remo Conference and ratified in 1922 by the League of Nations (which preceded the United Nations), making the Jews claim to Israel legal.  In 1947, the UN ratified the UN Partition Plan which put into motion what was already legal.  In 1948, Israel declared statehood just as the British were withdrawing control of the land.  All was legal according to the world bodies entrusted to make such declarations.  (Israel was attacked the next day by 5 Arab nations!)

What Can We Do to Support Israel?

This is perhaps the most important question, now that we know why it is important.  Here are some ways to support her:

  • Get educated!  That is part of the objective of this blog and the Bible studies I write and teach.  However, there are dozens of other reputable sources, including Behold Israel, IsraelAnswers, and One for Israel.  (One warning: there are lots of “off the wall” websites, and several “big names” who’s theology regarding Israel is amiss.  Be careful…and be a Berean!)
  • Support Israel politically.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run for office…though you should do so, if called to by God!  However, all of us are able to communicate with our leaders and express our positions regarding matters pertaining to Israel.  Here is a great resource: How to Contact Your Elected Officials
  • Bless Israel financially.  There are ministries who do fantastic work in Israel and around the world on behalf of Israel…just be careful that you know what they do and what they believe!  Here are a few I know to be Biblically solid and have great missions: International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, The Joshua Fund, One for Israel, Behold Israel.  Each of these has incredible leadership and solid missions to bless Israel.
  • Above all…PRAY!  Prayer is vital to the Lord’s work.  It is our way of “seeing where God is at work and joining Him there.”  He puts desires in our hearts and, if we pursue those desires in prayer, He will lead us to understand what more we can do to follow Him in those desires.  Pray for Israel and watch Him grow your faith!

Supporting Israel is more than “just a good thing to do,” it is imperative in order to live in the blessing He promises to those who bless Israel!  As Christians, our roots are firmly planted in Judaism and it is in our best interest to grow in understanding of how we are to relate to Israel.  Stick around…we’re going to spend some time examining that thought in days to come!

Thanks for studying with us!  Though I post almost every day, we’ll pick up the study again next week.  See you then!

We Stand with Israel

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Today we’re diving into week 2 of the Bible study, Why Israel Matters.  If you are finding this site for the first time, “Welcome!”  Our study is happening live at CalvaryPHX (in Phoenix AZ) at 11:00 am on Sunday mornings.  However, for those outside the Phoenix area, we’re summarizing teachings here.

Week 2’s study is entitled We Stand with Israel.  Having spent last week laying the foundation of why Israel matters, it is only natural to move into the reasons Christians should stand with Israel.  So, let’s get going with today’s mini-study!

First, one of the key tenets of the study is development of the habit of praying for Israel.  I hope you are doing that!  ICEJ’s Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative is a great aid in guiding you through regular prayer.

Approximately the size of New Jersey (or my home county, Maricopa County AZ) and population less than New York City, Israel’s presence confirms God’s Word.  Her rebirth is a testament of His faithfulness, and today, Israel is prosperous and the only true democracy in the Middle East.

The Abrahamic Covenant (which we will study in a few weeks) is foundational to Israel’s existence and God’s plan.  Thus, if we are to understand God’s plan, Israel is important!  Indeed, Israel matters!  God gave the land of Canaan to the Jewish people, then told us in Genesis 12:3 that those who bless Israel will be blessed.  Israel has a special role in God’s plan!

So, why should Christians support Israel?

  1. It is a spiritual assignment!  We are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 1226-9), to be watchmen on the wall (Isaiah 62:6-7, principle in Ezekiel 33:1-6), and to honor, bless and stand with the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3, Isaiah 40:1, 41:11-12, 60:10-12).
  2. We share common values.  Freedom, democracy, human rights and coming to the aid of those in need are equally important to Christians and Israel.
  3. Israel is the protector of Christians in the Middle East.  In fact, Israel is virtually the only safe place for Christians in the Middle East.

Furthermore, America as a nation should support Israel as well!  Not only do we share common democratic values, but we work together militarily.  Most of us are aware of the military hardware, including the new F-35 fighter jets, sold to Israel.  But did you know Israel shares their technological advances (such as specialized helmets, targeting technology and more) with the US?  That cooperation helps make the US and Israeli military capabilities the best in the world!

For these reasons and more, we stand with Israel!  We’ll examine other reasons as we progress through the study this week.  Be sure to stay tuned.

Meanwhile, open your Bible to Isaiah 62 and consider verse 2 your key prayer verse this week!

See you tomorrow!

Israeli Air Force: Taking Care of Business in Syria

Western intelligence sources said there was an attack on an Iranian military compound, located about 10 miles south of Damascus.

Reported Israeli attack on Iranian base in Syria (SANA via AP)

Following detection of “irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria,” the Israeli Air Force wasted little time taking care of business.  About one hour after President Trump’s announcement that America will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, the IAF attacked a Syrian military facility occupied by Iran.

The military compound is believed to have housed a stockpile of Iranian missiles.  Additionally, at least nine military personnel, including perhaps a high-ranking Iranian general, were killed in the attack.

So, what are we to think of these developments?  Here are some thoughts:

  • First and foremost, God is in control!  Things are not falling apart, they are falling into place.  As Christians, we have read the book…we know how it ends!  The prophets of old told us what to expect in the last days and we are seeing the pieces fall exactly into place.  No need to fear…our God is on the throne, and we can trust Him.
  • Secondly, Iran has been dealt severe blow after severe blow and is not likely capable of launching a full-on offensive against Israel on its own.  Though we don’t hear much of it in the news, the Iranian economy is crumbling and the people of Iran have been protesting in the streets of most Iranian cities for weeks.  Furthermore, since the Iranian drone incident (an armed Iranian drone shot down in Israeli territory), Iran has suffered major attacks in Syria, including destruction of the significant T4 base, as well as others.  To add insult to injury, the Mossad sent a “we know your every move” message when they waltzed out of Tehran with Iran’s “secret” (though not really secret!) nuclear plans.  Iran is currently beat down and in need of assistance to mount any kind of game-changing challenge to Israel.
  • Yes, the action in Syria may heat up once again, but Israel is serious about its “red lines,” and has vowed not to allow Iran to establish military presence in Syria in an effort to destroy Israel.

Believers, we must continue to put current events into the context of Scripture.  We must not live in fear, but in expectation of our redemption drawing near.  (Luke 21:28) As we look for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13), we can be certain of the crown of righteousness that awaits those of us who love His appearing! (2 Timothy 4:8)

Meanwhile, we have work to do!  It is time to:

Rather than get caught up in the hype, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith!  (Hebrews 12:2)

Guatemala’s Embassy becomes First to Move to Jerusalem

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Though not yet an official embassy opening, the Guatemalan mission became the first to open and raise its flag in Jerusalem on Tuesday.  Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales, an avid supporter of Israel, made this announcement at the AIPAC Policy Conference in March:

“In May of this year we will celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary, and under my instructions two days after the U.S. will move its embassy, Guatemala will return and permanently move its embassy to Jerusalem. This decision strongly evidences Guatemala’s continued support of Israel, and we are sure that many other countries will follow in our steps.  I would like to thank President Trump for leading the way.  His courageous decision has encouraged us to do what is right.”

Morales wasted little time!

In response, Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted:

“I was moved to see the flag of Guatemala waving in Jerusalem in advance of the opening of the Guatemalan embassy later this month. Dear friends, welcome back to our eternal capital!”

Following the US Embassy’s move on May 14, the Czech Republic, Honduras, Paraguay and Romania (in addition to Guatemala) are all expected to open their embassies in short order.  Tanzania also just announced the opening of their first Israeli embassy in Jerusalem.  More are sure to follow!

All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.
~Psalm 86:9

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go.”  So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.’”
~Zechariah 8:20-22

Indeed, may many “come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord!”