In light of everything that has been taking place in Israel over the past 2 weeks, people are asking me difficult and big questions like – Does the Bible tell us why is there so much hatred directed towards the Jewish people? And where’s God in all of this?
The truth is there’s no simple place to start. So, let me begin with what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 9:3-5 – and we’ll start unpacking it from there.
Paul said this, “For I wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, TO WHOM pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises – of whom are the fathers and FROM WHOM, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all the eternally blessed God.”
What he’s saying, is that he carries a tremendous burden for his own people that he can’t get away from, and that the Jewish people were called and set apart by God as HIS Chosen People. They were given covenant and incredible promises that were filled with His glory, to the point that when Christ came to redeem the world, he came through the Jewish people.
Deuteronomy 14:2 tells us, “For you (and it’s talking about the Jewish people) are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
That’s why Satan hates the Jewish people, because it’s through them that the Law of God, the prophets, the Scriptures, and the Messiah Jesus Christ came into the world.
NOW, you also have to understand how God feels about Israel and the Jewish people. Check this out – it’s an incredible passage - Zechariah 2:8 says, “For thus says the Lord of hosts – He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”
Which literally means “pupil” – even further this statement is a metaphor that etymologically translated means “the little man of the eye” and the picture that God is giving us, is very profound. Have you ever stood close to someone and saw your own reflection in the pupil of their eye? Well, that’s what this passage is talking about, “the little man of the eye” and whether the Jewish people recognize it or not, God is saying that He is so close to them that they are the reflection in the pupil of his eye.
And I can say with absolute certainty that God sees everything that is happening in Israel right now, and that He will not allow the Jewish people or the nation of Israel to be destroyed.
Even further, the prophet Daniel saw the supernatural deliverance and protection of Israel that God promised in the end times. You might not know this, but according to the Bible the archangel Michael has been given the task of protecting Israel, and standing watch over the Jewish people.
Daniel 12:1 says, “At that time (talking about the end times) Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation – event to that time. AND at that time your people shall be delivered…”
And despite the fact, that the Jewish people today are largely secular, God has given them incredible prophetic purpose in these last days, including the promise that ALL Israel would be saved. That’s why if we don’t recognize how deeply Israel is connected to God’s prophetic plan, there’s no way that we are going to understand the end times. The trouble is that a significant part of the modern church believes, that because the nation of Israel largely rejected Jesus when He came the first time, that God has somehow dismissed His covenant with them. Which leads people to argue that all the references in the book of Revelation concerning Israel, need to be viewed allegorically, and that they are talking about “the church” but referring to it as Israel, in a purely spiritual sense.
Which sounds spiritual – BUT it’s actually a doctrine of devils that has infiltrated a lot of “so-called” Christian teaching. You’ve got to get this in your heart, because all through the Old Testament, God made promises to Israel that directly impact the end times.
For example - Hosea 3:5 says, “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days.”
Meaning that the salvation of Israel is directly connected to the end times.
Which begs the question – why have the Jewish people throughout the centuries – and even today - struggled so deeply with their relationship towards God?
Let me answer that question through one of the most overlooked and prophetic representations of Israel’s relationship to God in the Bible. The story can be found in the Song of Solomon. NOW, I’m not saying that there aren’t other lessons illustrated in this book, or that there aren’t applications for the modern church, but the storyline of this book illustrates the critical choice that Israel still faces.
In the Song of Solomon, the young Shulamite woman represents Israel, and she falls in deeply in love with a humble shepherd. BUT because she’s so beautiful the king is also vying for her affections. Now, this is where it gets interesting, and you have to see it through the lens of Bible typology to understand it. The king is clearly a type of Christ – BUT - the shepherd is also a type of Christ. SO, as this incredible love story unfolds, the young woman eventually chooses the shepherd. Which brings us directly to the heart of what God is saying, Israel needs to accept the shepherd in order to fulfill Old Testament prophecy. The problem is that the Jewish people have always struggled with this decision.
When Jesus came, declaring that the Kingdom of God was upon them, they were looking for the Messiah to come as a conquering king AND they were looking for him to overthrow the Roman Empire and deliver them from their political oppression. Essentially, they were looking for the Messiah to take his seat on David’s throne, and restore the political might and wealth of Israel.
And this expectation came from their understanding of the Old Testament prophets. For example, Ezekiel 37:24-25 says, “David my servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them – Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, where your father’s dwelt; and they shall dwell there, their children, and their children’s children, forever – and my servant David shall be their prince forever.”
Interestingly, the stumbling block that we were just talking about from the Song of Solomon, is also in the passage that we just read from Ezekiel - THE shepherd and the king are the same person. Look at it again, “David my servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them – THEN they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob…”
SO, before Christ returns to reign on David’s throne, Israel has to accept Him as the shepherd, and that’s why when Jesus came, He was largely rejected because they were looking for a king, not a shepherd. The difficulty, is that many Jewish teachers in that transitionary period between the Old and New Covenant had selectively read, and contextualized passages like Ezekiel 37:24-25 to fit their social, cultural, and political desires, and as a result, they ignored any picture of the Messiah that they didn’t like, which caused them to miss salvation when it was standing right in front of them.
The Apostle Paul talks about this in Romans 10:1-4 which says, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, BUT not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. FOR Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
AND if I’m being honest, that doesn’t sound remarkably different than the largely secular society in Israel celebrating the Feasts of the Lord or observing Shabbat. The problem is that when anyone contextualizes the Word of God to fit their own form of cultural, political or social righteousness, regardless of their motivation, sincerity or passion, they miss seeing Jesus for who He really is.
In fact, no other writer in the New Testament talks more about the relationship between the church and Israel than the Apostle Paul.
Romans 11:1-2 says, “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.” So, as Paul is helping to build the New Testament church, he’s also adamant that God has not rejected Israel – AND if you follow the text through verse 5, he goes on to use the ministry of Elijah as an example, that God will always have a remnant in Israel, regardless of how the spiritual condition of the nation looks outwardly – AND this still applies today.
Now, go to Romans 11:7 which says, “What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Paul was saying that the Jewish people of his day, tried to receive the favor of God by following manmade traditions and pursuing a legalistic righteousness, which hardened a lot of people’s hearts and caused them to reject Christ. However, on the other hand, there were also some who saw Jesus for who He was – and as a result, God gave them grace and made them righteous through their faith in Jesus Christ.
WHY – because according to Acts 4:12, “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
See, it’s through faith in the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross that we are saved – and there is no other way.
Which brings us to Romans 11:8-10 which says, “Just as it is written: God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day. And David says, let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block, and recompense to them. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always.” In other words, the table of self-righteousness that they’ve set (talking about the Jewish people in Paul’s day) is going to become a heavy burden, that only becomes heavier through time, and that this burden of self-righteousness will eventually become an obstacle in their lives - that hardens their hearts towards God even further.
Paul continues by reminding the believers in Rome that this hardness of heart, and spiritual blindness was a reoccurring theme throughout the Old Testament. At this point in Romans 11:11-24, Paul brings it all together by declaring that Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ isn’t final, and that as the gospel continues to spread throughout the world, that the goodness of God working through those who believe is going to stir something in the heart of Israel – BUT as the church we have to see that the root of salvation came to us through the Jewish people. Even further, he uses the picture of an Olive Tree to represent the kingdom of God and its blessings, and to illustrate that we’ve been grafted into their covenant with God, through faith in Jesus Christ.
NOW, he concludes by saying in Romans 11:25-27, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in – AND so ALL Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob – FOR this is My covenant with then, when I take away their sins.”
And in verse twenty-nine, Paul tells us that “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”
Which is why this brutal attack on Israel that’s taking place right now is such a demonic thing. It is a direct attack on God’s Chosen People, and it’s another attempt of Satan to destroy their prophetic destiny – and stand in opposition to God’s declared purpose for the Jewish people.
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These articles cover current events and world issues from a Biblical and prophecy based perspective, with an eye for showing the believer how to pray, and live victoriously in these prophetic times.