Israel is going through what could easily become a pivotal time in history. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress recently warning of the threat of a nuclear Iran. “The days when the Jewish people remain silent in the face of genocidal enemies–those days are over…We must all stand together to stop Iran's march of conquest, subjugation, and terror.” (Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speech).
What is the Christian’s responsibility in this issue? How should we view Israel’s problems with their neighbor, Iran? More than ever, now is a time to be in prayer for Israel.
First, Israel is, always has been and always will be God’s chosen people.
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 NLT , “For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be His own special treasure. The Lord did not set His heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and He was keeping the oath He had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.”
2 Samuel 7:23-24 NLT, “What other nation on earth is like Your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have You redeemed from slavery to be Your own people? You made a great name for Yourself when You redeemed Your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way. You made Israel Your very own people forever, and You, O Lord, became their God.”
The Jews were to be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth. And they fulfilled that, in that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was born through the line of David. And Israel will a part of our future as believers, “Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because My heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth. The Lord will hold you in His hand for all to see—a splendid crown in the hand of God. Never again will you be called ‘The Forsaken City’ or ‘The Desolate Land.’ Your new name will be ‘The City of God’s Delight’ and ‘The Bride of God,’ for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as His bride” (Isaiah 62:1-4).
“I ask, then, has God rejected His own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not rejected His own people, whom He chose from the very beginning” (Romans 11:1 NLT).
God’s Word tells us to pray for Israel. The battle’s going on in Israel are not just their battles, they are ours as well. The enemies of Israel are our enemies too! And the battle is not just with rockets and mortars, tanks and aircraft, it is a spiritual battle. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT).
When the 21 Egyptian Christians knelt before their ISIS executioners on a Libyan beach, the condemned men, wearing orange jumpsuits were already acquainted with grief. Most hailed from a handful of poverty-stricken villages in Egypt, where Christian communities face harassment, threats, and difficulty finding jobs to provide for their growing families. After the ISIS killers cut off the heads of the Egyptian men, the narrator says, “And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet, peace be upon him.”
God’s promise to Israel: Psalm 18:3;16-19 NLT, “I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and He saved me from my enemies…He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me.”
Our Prayer: Pray for Israel’s strength and resolve in the imminent threats from Iran, and the threats of missile attacks on its borders.
Pray for Israel’s salvation: As a nation they are God’s chosen people, but individually they are responsible to accept Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus the Messiah as their own personal Savior and Lord. Romans 10:1-4 NLT, “Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with Himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love You.”