“For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” 1Samuel 12:22
God promised Abraham and Jacob that their descendants would be like the sand on the seashore. The waves on the shore have been stirred up, they have roared and have tossed the sand to and fro. Nevertheless, the sand is there. God’s word is being worked out. The rage of man and demons has unleashed countless onslaughts against the Jewish people in many different areas and at many different times; but like the sand on the shore, they are here.
It is so important to understand that the Jews did not choose to be God’s people. It was God who chose them. It cannot be a wrong choice because the Creator of the universe is the One who made that choice. No matter how contrary circumstances may seem, God will not forsake His choice, His people. It is not because the Jews deserve His faithfulness, but rather it is for God’s own name’s sake. It is God who is faithful whether we are or not. God’s name is committed to Israel, the Jewish people; His honor is at stake.
In the New Testament, Jesus Himself gave us the same assurance: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). At times we may not be in any way conscious of His presence, but by His Holy Spirit, He is with us. No matter where we go, God is present by His Spirit; invisible, often imperceptible, yet inescapable. For the unbeliever this may be a terrifying thought; but for the believer, it is a comforting, strengthening assurance.
Several thousand years ago, Jeremiah proclaimed: “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock’” (Jeremiah 31:10). This scripture has been and is continually being fulfilled today. God is gathering the Jewish people into the nation of Israel and will keep Israel as a shepherd would do.
These are days when absolutely no one knows, in the natural, what will happen tomorrow in Israel. A war could break out at any time without warning. But in the midst of it all, God’s protection of Israel is guaranteed, no matter the political pressures. We have His word on it and God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).
In Psalm 147:1-2 we read: “The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” This scripture is being fulfilled as you read this. It is taking place in Israel today, as the descendants of Nazi victims rebuild the land to which God has called them. This is good news not only for the Jews but also for the church as well. God is bringing His people, Jew and Gentile, into their inheritance, healing wounds and binding up broken hearts.
It is important for us all to acknowledge the truth of what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well: “Salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). Without the Jews, we would have no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no Bible, and most importantly, no Savior! The Bible makes it clear the God requires the Christians of all other nations to acknowledge their debt to the Jews and to do what they can to repay it. In Romans 11:30-31, Paul summed up what he had been saying about the debt and the responsibility of the Gentile Christians toward Israel.
For just as you (Gentiles) once were disobedient to Got, but now have been shown mercy because of their (Israel’s) disobedience, so these (Israelites) also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you (Gentiles) they (Israel) also may now be shown mercy.
In other words, because of the mercy that has come to the Gentile Christians through Israel, God requires the Gentiles in turn to show mercy to Israel. How can this be done? First, the church can cultivate and express an attitude of sincere love for the Jewish People. The church can seek the good of Israel through prayer as Romans 10:1 exhorts. Finally, the church can seek to repay their debt to Israel by performing practical act of kindness and mercy.
The Lord says that the regathering of Israel in our day is a banner raised by Him for the nations to see. Events in Israel and Middle East today are at the center of world attention and media coverage. This period of Israel’s regathering at the end of the age was marked out clearly on God’s prophetic calendar 3000 years ago.
Thou wilt arise and have compassion on Zion; for it is time to be gracious to her, for the appointed time has come. Surely Thy servants find pleasure in her stones, and feel pity for her dust. So the nations will fear the name of the Lord and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. For the Lord as built up Zion; He has appeared in His glory…This will be written for the generation to come; that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. (Psalm 102: 13-16, 18)
Now is God’s appointed time to have mercy on Zion and to show favor to her. This is not something that Zion or the Jewish people have earned, but something that comes from God’s sovereign grace and mercy. The main purpose here is to bring glory to God’s name in the sight of all the nations by fulfilling His promises to Israel. We have the privilege of living in the time that the psalmist foresaw. It is the church’s duty to bring praise to God by showing mercy and love to Zion, the Jewish people.
It is of tremendous importance that we grasp the fact that when God makes a covenant, He will never break it. We need to know that. “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of my lips” (Psalm 89:34). The essence of divine revelation is centered in covenant. If God were to break His covenant, we would have no hope. If He were to break His covenant with Israel, why would anyone think that He would not break His covenant with the church? You may say, “Well, Israel failed God.” No doubt. But can you honestly say that the church has not also failed God? Frankly, in my own eyes, I see Israel receiving a covenant and failing dismally. However, I also see the church receiving a covenant and failing even worse than Israel.
The Bible is true, relevant, and up-to-date. God keeps His covenant and promises. He is sovereign. In restoring the Israelites to their land, God has set the stage for the last act of the drama of this age. Every prophecy that relates to the close of this age is predicated on one important factor—the presence of Israel as a sovereign nation within its own borders.
All of this requires a response from God’s church, His believing people. We are not permitted to remain neutral, apathetic, or indifferent. God demands a response. God commanded us through the prophet Jeremiah: “For thus says the Lord, sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chiefs of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel.’ Behold I am bringing the from the north country and I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and she who is in labor with child together; a great company, they shall return here” (Jeremiah 31:7-8).
God is asking us to intercede for Israel. He is saying, “I am restoring My people. I am regathering them, and I am asking you to unite with Me and My purposes.” When God intends to do something, He tells us we need to pray it into existence. It’s one of those mysteries of God. In other words He says, “This is My intention but it will not happen until you pray.” The church has a tremendous responsibility to be totally committed to the outworking of God’s purposes in history. Are you part of that church upon which God is relying?