The State of Israel, along with the Jewish religion, stands as visible proof of God’s faithfulness and desire that the Jewish people will survive. The history of this people begins with the Land being promised to Israel through Abraham, preceding both the religious and national history of Israel. In Genesis 12:1 God commands Abraham, “Go forth…to the land which I will show you.” Therefore, the foundation of the Jewish state is much more solid than any United Nation resolution and is far older than the mission of Jewish settlers to take possession of Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel).
One of the difficulties with regard to the State of Israel is that it does not fit any of the normal categories or notions of what a state should be. Israel is an anomaly among the nations. When will the world come to understand — and Christians, who should know their Bible, admit — that Israel is more than just a piece of land covering just over 1,000 square miles? First and foremost, Israel is a spiritual reality; it is the visible fruit of divine promises.
Even for many Israeli Jews, the biblical promises regarding the Land are a problem. Polls show that no more than 57 percent of Israeli Jews support the ideology of the settlers. Yet the settlers continue to possess the Land, despite international opposition, because they are convinced that God has promised it to them.
Further proof of the faithfulness of God to the Jewish people is the fact that they have survived. From the very hour that the nation was born in antiquity, when Pharaoh wanted to destroy the Hebrew slaves in Egypt, God continued to keep them alive. Beginning with Israel’s many enemies including the Amalekites, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Greeks and the Romans, and through the persecutions of the Crusaders, the Inquisition, the expulsion of the Jews from 15th century Spain, and the ultimate manifestation of anti-Semitism in Hitler’s “Final Solution,” which resulted in 6 million victims of the Holocaust, the Jewish nation has always reawakened to new life. This led to the triumphant cry, Am Israel chai! — “The people of Israel live!” when the Jewish State of Israel was established in 1948.
Following statehood, when Israel was forced again and again to defend itself in the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 against vastly superior Arab forces which called for “Death to the Jews,” Israel always emerged victorious. Yet Israel did not win because the Israelis were so courageous; it won because God has promised that He will never forsake His people. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself” (2. Timothy 2:13).
God’s faithfulness to Israel is its anchor on the world’s tempestuous seas. In the course of history it seems that God has meted out double punishment to Israel for her sins (Isaiah 40:2). Israel’s long journey is a combination of God’s judgment and mercy: “You were a forgiving God to them, and yet an avenger of their evil deeds” (Psalm 99:8).
But in contrast to the teachings of the Church Fathers, God never forsook Israel. Paul makes that clear: “I say then, God has not rejectedHis people, has He? May it never be! …God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew” (Romans 11:1-2). God has always regarded Israel as His people and His own possession.
Many people regard Israel as a “people of sorrows.” But Israel is first and foremost the “people of life.” The Jewish people may have suffered a thousand deaths, but they have been resurrected every time; not because the Jews are better than other peoples, but because God has stood by the people of His choosing so that they will never perish. His anchor is eternal.
God says to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:6, “For you are a holy [separate] people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” And in Jeremiah 31:37, He confirms, “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done.”
This is Israel’s anchor—and foundation.
By Ludwig Schneider – israeltoday – electronic issue june 2012