What about Israel?

“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”
Isaiah 41:8-9

It has been suggested among some Orthodox Rabbis that the State of Israel is not actually of God, and that to accept it, never mind live there, is contrary to God and His Law. Their reasoning behind this relates to their belief that when Messiah comes, He will establish for Himself a kingdom miraculously, and Jewish people will be invited to live with Him. This is, they believe, the future redemption that God will bring for His people. The way they interpret the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 is man-made, an a direct sin by not living in obedience to the Government of the nation.

God is the Author and Creator of life. He Himself has declared the Land of Israel to be the Promised Land for His people. From the time He led Joshua into battle to claim the Land, through to every battle which ensued, God directed Israel against her enemies. When we were exiled under the Babylonians, God ensured there was a remnant of people who remained in the Land (Isaiah 1:9, Jeremiah 40:11), until such a time as He would bring our people back together again - as witnessed under the guidance of Ezra and Nehemiah.

"Nevertheless, I will leave a remnant, some who will escape the sword among the nations, when you have been scattered throughout the countries."

As God is the same God yesterday, today and forever, He didn’t change His plan, even when we continued to sin. The Land He promised to Abraham was and is ours. Sure, we were dispersed once again among the nations, as a punishment for our disobedience to Him; but even after we had to leave the Land under Roman rule, God kept for Himself a remnant of people there: Ezekiel 6:8 (CJB) "Nevertheless, I will leave a remnant, some who will escape the sword among the nations, when you have been scattered throughout the countries." This remnant lived under the rule of the Romans, Christians or Turkish Muslims, until God decided the time was right to bring His people back together again. Just as He prophesied through our Prophets, “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase." (Jeremiah 23:3) At a time when it seemed like this would never happen, God caused it to happen. Just as He has always use human leaders to accomplish His will in Joshua’s lifetime, God used the world’s leaders to re-establish Israel once again in our lifetime. His chosen Land for His chosen people. And we found that rather than being so few in number, God had kept a great number of us, “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.” (Micah 2:12 (CJB))

God had not forgotten about us! God had not forgotten His promises to us! God has restored us! Halleluyah!!!

We will continue to pray that God will protect the people of Israel who have made their home in the Promised Land

With this in mind, CMJ is pleased to have been involved in seeing Jewish people returning home since our birth in 1809, and rejoiced with those who returned to Israel. CMJ was used by God to provide education at the CMJ school - this continues in Jerusalem and Tiberius, and healthcare in the CMJ hospital which has since become a Guest House in Jerusalem’s Old City. The work of CMJ in Israel continues today. So our staff has seen first hand how important it is for Israel to find peace within her borders and with her neighbours. There are some really big players surrounding the small Jewish nation the size of Wales. We will continue to pray that God will protect the people of Israel who have made their home in the Promised Land, until the time that Yeshua returns to take up His throne in His Holy City Jerusalem.

At CMJ we believe that God is faithful to His Word and to His promises. I can see you’re nodding agreement with this statement. So when God called Israel His chosen people, we believe this holds as true today as it was when God first made the Covenant with Abraham. God’s promises are "yes and amen" in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20) and His Word cannot return to Him void, both accomplishing and prospering the purpose for which God spoke (Isaiah 55:11). It is not revocable (Romans 11:29) meaning that the Church can’t grab for ourself that which God promised to Israel. The Nation of Israel. The people of Israel.

If Israel ceased to exist after God had said it wouldn't, how could the Church believe in a God who revokes His promises?

God Himself states in Jeremiah 31:35-37, that Israel can never cease to exist from before Him. Some within the Church argue that Israel stopped being a nation because of their sin and disobedience, and was re-birthed as a modern state in 1948 because of man’s interference. If this was true, that would make God a liar. But God is not man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). If Israel ceased to exist after God had said it wouldn’t, how could the Church believe in a God who revokes His promises? How could we preach on the faithfulness of God, if we don’t ascribe to the truth that God is faithful to His original promises, His original covenant to His chosen people?

The truth is that God is faithful. The Covenant He made with the people Israel through Abraham remains true. We know from Genesis 15 that God’s Covenant with Abraham concerned the number of descendants (v5) and the Land as an inheritance (v7); and it was when Abraham questioned God, "How do I know I will inherit the Land?" that God made the blood sacrifice to confirm the Covenant, saying, "To your descendants I have given this Land…" (V18). That Land was Israel.

If we know and believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God, then it logically follows that nothing can separate the chosen people of God from His love either.

"God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew." Romans 11:2 (NKJV)

If we know and believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God, (Romans 8:38-39), then it logically follows that nothing can separate the chosen people of God - the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32:10, Zechariah 2:8) - from His love either.

So what does that mean for the Church? It means exactly what Paul says in Romans 11, that we have been "…grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree…" (Romans 11:17 (CJB)). We have become partakers with Israel of the promises and Covenant that God made with them, that we may also enjoy abundance of the relationship with our Father God, offered through Jesus the Messiah. We haven’t replaced Israel in God’s heart or affections, we have been brought in alongside them to benefit from the amazing lovingkindness and faithfulness of God.

We haven't replaced Israel in God's heart or affections

So if it’s important to God, then it should be just as important to His Church. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), blessing the nation and the people whom God blesses (Genesis 12:2-3), praying for the salvation of the Jewish People (Romans 10:1) and believing that one day, "…all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26). For a nation the size of Wales which has faced fierce opposition we need to stand alongside them knowing that one day, Jesus Himself will return to Jerusalem and take His place on the throne of that great city. We need to offer support and love to our "older brother" wherever they live, especially in the face of the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Sure the battle belongs to the Lord, but "Whom shall I send. Who will go for Us?" (Isaiah 6:8) to stand alongside the chosen people of God and demonstrate His love and faithfulness toward them. If not the Body of Christ, then who?

Further Reading