It is easy to look at world events and shudder for the future of Israel as a nation. The satanic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again came to America, spewed his hatred for Israel at the United Nations and appeared on American television and refused to acknowledge the Jewish Holocaust. The Iranian President once again before the UN General Assembly said that Israel will be eliminated. Looking at the rise of Islamic fundamentalist governments in the nations surrounding Israel, one could easily see Israelâ€™s end could be at hand, if not at least a violent war ahead. Let us look through a Biblical lens when looking at Israelâ€™s future.
â€œâ€˜If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,â€™ let Israel now sayâ€”â€˜If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul; then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.â€™ Blessed be the Lord, Who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.â€ (Psalm 124)
The psalmist acknowledges that it is God Who has saved Israel from extinction. This is no small matter to Jews and it was a theme of the Apostle Paulâ€™s:
â€œWhat then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against Godâ€™s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: â€˜For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.â€™ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.â€ (Romans 8:31-39)
As a people and a nation, when we act in fear we usually make rash decisions. We do things in our own power because we place our confidence in ourselves and others instead of God. If we are truly of God, then why do we not trust in God? Our national motto may say â€œIn God We Trust,â€ but our actions show otherwise. It is when calamity comes we as a people should declare as Job did:
â€œThough He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.â€ (Job 18:15)
King David faced certain death from the hand of his own son Absalom and yet he was still able to write:
â€œBut You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.â€ (Psalm 3:3-6)
I do not write this to say no calamity may befall Israel, or even America for that matter. What I am trying to say is that if we are Godâ€™s people then we can face whatever may come with the full confidence that God will save us. Why? Because I am born again, blood-bought by the Lord Jesus Christ. And the nation of Israel will survive because she is Godâ€™s Chosen people. If famine should come, God will rescue:
â€œThough the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stallsâ€”yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.â€ (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Tonight begins the high holy day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement where devout Jews deny themselves â€œfood and drink, do not wash or anoint their bodies, do not wear leather footwear, and even abstain from marital relations.â€
This may seem harsh to us who do not practice Judaism, but it is actually a day of joy for the Jewish people. It is a very solemn day but there is joy because there is a â€œconfidence that G-d will accept their repentance, forgive their sins, and seal their verdict for a year of life, health, and happiness.â€ (Source: http://tinyurl.com/7j6lw8d)
We who put our faith in Jesus Christ also put our confidence in God, believe our sins our forgiven because of the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and know that our eternal future is sealed by the blood of Christ. But perhaps we could learn something about devotion and sacrifice from our Jewish cousins by denying ourselves and focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ, rejoicing while fasting knowing that our hope is in Him.
Whether Jew or Christian, we need not fear for Israel. We should most certainly pray for her and her people, but we know how the story of mankind and this earth ends.
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers