On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, rode down Rothschild Boulevard, walked into the Tel Aviv Art Museum, and read the declaration that proclaimed Israel to be a state.
Within minutes of Ben-Gurion’s declaration, United States President Harry Truman recognized the state of Israel, and America became Israel’s immediate ally.
This week, Israel celebrates her seventieth anniversary as a modern state.
Why do Christians celebrate Israel’s statehood and believe we should stand as her ally? Here are three reasons:
We Celebrate the Keeping of God’s Covenant to Abraham
Although this week marks seventy years since the birth of the modern state of Israel, it is simply part of a five thousand-year history of the nation of Israel as a people.
The true birth of Israel goes back to God’s promise to Abraham:
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.—Genesis 12:1–3
Bible students refer to this promise as the Abrahamic Covenant. Through it, God made a specific promise to Abraham in three areas: the land, his seed, and a blessing.
God promised to bring Abraham to a land he had never seen and to make of him a great nation. In Deuteronomy 30:1–10 (called the Palestinian Covenant), God reconfirmed His promise to give this land to Abraham’s seed forever.
In 2 Samuel 7:12–16, God again confirmed this promise through the Davidic Covenant. He specifically promised to perpetually bless Abraham’s seed through David.
These covenants promise special blessing to Abraham’s seed and to other nations who bless Israel. The promised blessing also shows that God chose to bless the entire Gentile world through Abraham and his seed. He promised to bless those who bless Israel and to bless all nations through Israel. (This promised blessing is why I am thankful that the United States of America continues to stand as Israel’s ally.)
We Celebrate the Accuracy of Bible Prophecy
God’s covenants to Israel are the hinge on which the door of future events swings.God’s covenants to Israel are the hinge on which the door of future events swings. Click To Tweet
One of the common points in all biblical prophecy is the fact that Israel will exist as a nation and will occupy the land that God promised to Abraham years ago.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. —Ezekiel 36:24
A mere seventy-five years ago, Christians who studied Bible prophecies involving an organized nation of Israel scratched their heads in confusion; for at that time, there was no nation of Israel. The Jews had been long scattered.
The establishment of modern-day Israel was truly a significant event that sets the stage for the ultimate fulfillment of Ezekiel 36–38. In Ezekiel 37, God graphically pictures the nation of Israel as dry bones scattered across an open valley. This accurately describes about nineteen centuries of Israel’s existence—lifeless, vulnerable, and dispersed.
But through a miraculous revitalization, God brought these bones together and gave life to them, raising out of them a great army. This is exactly what God began in 1948.
We Celebrate a Coming Revival as Israel Turns to Christ
The focus on Israel, from God’s perspective, involves far more than the land of Palestine. God’s primary focus is people. Jeremiah 31 reveals God’s heart to bring revival to His people, to see them turn their hearts back toward Him.
The focus on Israel, from God’s perspective, involves far more than the land of Palestine. God’s primary focus is people. Click To Tweet
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.—Jeremiah 31:31–34
God has foretold of a coming revival, often referred to in Scripture as the New Covenant. This New Covenant will bring complete fulfillment to the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants. It revolves around the coming of Christ, the shedding of His blood, and ultimately, Israel acknowledging Him as their Messiah.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus declared to the unbelieving Jews, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The Jews rejected that life and were soon scattered by the Romans. In the final days of history, however, the Jews will be gathered again to the land of Israel (as is already taking place), and God will bring the revival of the New Covenant.
Global Focus, God’s Focus
The current global focus on Israel is a reflection of God’s focus on His people. He has a plan for Israel, and the changing times around us are being used by God to bring fruition to His purpose.
Though Israel has rejected Christ, she is still God’s focus. According to biblical prophecy, she will eventually have not only the land of Palestine, but she will have a heart for God as well.
As we celebrate the amazing fulfillment of biblical prophecy in the rebirth of the state of Israel, let us never forget the larger picture—that this is but a foretaste of the revival God will bring to His people.As we celebrate the amazing fulfillment of biblical prophecy in the rebirth of the state of Israel, let us never forget the larger picture—that this is but a foretaste of the revival God will bring to His people. Click To Tweet
Meanwhile, let us never forget our opportunity—and responsibility—during this in between period to bring the Gospel to every corner of the globe (Mark 16:15).
For a more in-depth look at the significance of Israel and a biblical understanding of coming world events, I invite you to read Understanding the Times: Living Courageously in Prophetic Days.