"The Times of Israel" internet article also had a short video clip attached to it (1) and my curiosity got the best of me. So I looked at about the first 30 seconds of it. And I was totally disgusted at the flamboyant displays of this abominable behavior. Of course, I realize that many such events are also held in various cities here in the US. But Israel??? The land of God's "chosen people"???
Then, as a link from that first article, I saw that there was a similar event held in Jerusalem! I mean... come on!!! In the Holy City??? Is there nothing sacred anymore???
This started me to thinking about how we should view the modern state of Israel and the Jewish people. I know that there are some people who point to such disgusting sin in Israel as proof that God has cast the Jewish people aside and has no connection to them anymore. Their "replacement theology" asserts that the New Testament Church has replaced the Jews and whatever promises that God made to them has now been transferred to the Church.
Well, there is no doubt that the Jews in Israel (as a whole) are living in outright rebellion against the God who brought them out of Egypt, established them as a nation in Eretz Israel, and rebirthed them again nationally in 1948. But, we in America are quick to try to take the speck out of Israel's eye when we have a BEAM in our own eye! (Matt. 7:3) Yes, it is certainly true that the Jewish people have been regathered in their land in UNBELIEF. But God has NOT given up on them! He still intends to ultimately bring a remnant of them into an everlasting relationship with Himself (Zech 13:9). But in the mean time, how should we Christians view the sinful and rebellious Jewish people? And, how should we look upon the modern state of Israel?
Notwithstanding that America is also sin saturated and turning more against God every day, there is much more in the answer to this question than just our own pious hypocrisy.
Some 3800 years ago, God made an UNCONDITIONAL covenant with Abram (his name was later changed to Abraham) in which God, in His sovereign authority, promised to give Abram and his descendants the land in Israel for an EVERLASTING possession. And in part of that same covenant, God promised to forever protect Abram and his descendants.
Gen. 12:3a - And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee...
To show that God meant what He said, His Word immediately records in the same chapter an incident that happened to Abram and Sarai, his wife.
A great famine fell on the land of Canaan (where Abram lived), so he took his family down to the land of Egypt to procure food. As they neared their destination, he told Sarai that since she was such a beautiful woman, he was afraid that the Egyptians might kill him to take her from him. So, he told her to say that she was his SISTER instead of his wife (Gen. 12:11-13).
It turned out just as Abram expected. When they got to Egypt, the Pharaoh desired to have Sarai, so he paid Abram a huge dowry for her and took her from him with the intention of making her one of his wives. But then, God stepped in to fulfill his covenant promise. He would not allow Sarai to be taken from Abram.
God sent a severe plague upon Pharaoh and his household. And, although the Bible does not tell us how he came to realize that this calamity was because he had taken Sarai from Abram, when he did realize it, he gave her back to Abram and commanded them to leave the country.
An interesting part of this story is to note that Abram lost Sarai to the Pharaoh in part because of his own lying scheme. It was his lie that she was his sister (and not his wife, even though she was actually his half-sister) that led Pharaoh to think that she was "fair game". So, at first, we may think that Abram deserved this mistreatment because of his own lying. But God didn't see it that way. Remember, God's promise to protect Abram and his descendants was a sovereign act of God that was not
on Abram's conduct!
To show that this promise would pass down from generation to gereration, God later repeated His Abrahamic Covenant to Abraham's son, Isaac (Gen. 26:3) and then to Isaac's son, Jacob (Gen. 35:12). In both cases, he reiterated that this covenant is an everlasting covenant that would be passed down to their descendants perpetually (see Psa. 105:8-11). And remember! The Abrahamic Covenant not only included the ownership of the land (which is being disputed today), but also God's watchcare and protection. That same promise of protection is still in effect today!
So, what we need to consider when we think of Israel is:
1. We don't HAVE to approve of everything they do!
Even though we disapprove of their sin, the Abrahamic Covenant is NOT dependent on their conduct. God still wants us to bless them and not curse them. Just as God does with us, we should love them even though they sometimes do not deserve it. That's GRACE!
2. Don't spit in your own eye!
If you value your own skin, you had better not mistreat them. Ask the Romans, one of the greatest empires that has ever existed, who tried to destroy them in 70 AD. Ask the Spainiards who horribly persecuted them during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella (AD 1492). Ask Adolf Hitler and the Nazis who tried to exterminate them completely in the Holocaust. History shows that these and others who persecuted the Jews were themselves the recipients of bloodshed, division, and national destruction. Even through multiple attempts in history to annihilate the Jews, their numbers have always rebounded and today, they are still growing... in their own country!
The Arab nations and Muslims of the world have yet to understand this. In at least six all-out wars to destroy Israel since 1948, they have been severely beaten every time! Instead of fighting Israel, they could choose to bless Israel and thereby receive the blessings of God. But as Israeli politician Abba Eban famously said, "The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
God is very clear that anyone who "curses" the Jews, or in some way tries to persecute them, will heap upon themselves the wrath of God! Don't be a fool to test God on this! He has already proven He means was He says!
3. The goal of Jewish annihilation is futile!
Is it possible to hurt the Jews? Yes. Many hateful people have said and done things to hurt the Jews. They have suffered much pain through the centuries. But, is it possible to completely destroy the Jews? NO!
The prophet Amos made it clear that once they were established in their land again after this last dispersion that lasted over 1800 years, they will NEVER be dispersed again!
Amos 9:14-15 - And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.
To think that the Jews can be utterly destroyed (as the Muslim world thinks) is deception of the highest order. God has made it clear that He will never allow that to happen!
Jer. 30:11 - For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
In other words, God says He will bring an end to all the nations where He has scattered the Jewish people. Like turning the pages of a history book, they will come into view and then, they will pass from history. BUT, He will NOT allow the Jewish people to be brought to an end.
How many Hittites do you know today? How many Phoenicians, Edomites, or Philistines do you know? Where are the Moabites, the Assyrians, or the Babylonians? They were each a powerful presence in their day, but God removed them. God told Israel that even though He will punish them for their disobedience, He "will not make a full end of thee [Israel]".
So, for those who are bent on destroying Israel, they are wasting their time! It will NEVER happen and at the same time, they are bringing down the curses of God upon themselves.
So... How should we relate to Israel and the Jewish people?
1. As with all people, we should love them with the love of Christ Jesus. That does not mean that we should love their sin, but we should love them as sinners and extend the Gospel to them.
2. We should bless them in whatever ways possible without aiding them in their sin. Obviously, speaking as a nation, that means we should aid them in defending themselves.
To attempt to destroy them is futile and will only cause God's curse to be poured out on us!