From Bill Sutter’s Desk Sep/Oct 2003
Recently The Friends of Israel joined the Jewish community in a solidarity rally for Israel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. By our presence we sought to demonstrate that, as Bible-believing Christians, we are loyal friends of Israel and the Jewish people when many other voices are either silent or hostile. And we will continue to join with Israel for many reasons.
Israel is a mere sliver of land in the midst of twenty-two Arab countries. It is sandwiched between Arab populations fifty times greater than that of the Jewish state, and it is surrounded by Arab territories eight hundred times the size of its land.
Does anyone care? Does anyone care that Israel is fighting for its very survival? Does anyone care that the world stands ready to carve up this tiny country yet again and give it away to Israel’s enemies, one piece at a time?
Yes, we care. And God cares. According to Genesis 15:18, “The LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land [Israel].” And seed is defined as coming through Isaac:
And God said, Sarah, thy wife, shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him (Gen. 17:19).
Then, in Psalm 105, the Lord further describes the seed of promise: “O ye seed of Abraham, his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen . . . Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance” (vv. 6, 11).
Could anything be any clearer? Undoubtedly, Israel is the land of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and, also undoubtedly, He has chosen to give that land to His people Israel.
We care about Israel because God cares, because God has said the Jewish people are the “apple of his eye” (Zech. 2:8) and that He loves them with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3). He has made irrevocable promises to His ancient people and will keep each and every one of them.
In addition to being motivated by vital biblical considerations, we also see much to commend Israel for on an everyday level. Israel’s unshakeable commitment to democracy is well known. She promotes a society of fairness and equity with participation and inclusion. Even Israel’s Arabs vote in Israel’s free elections and are represented in the Israeli Knesset.
Israel has worked tirelessly to integrate Jewish refugees, providing all kinds of help and financial support, a response so lacking in the Arab countries of the Middle East.
And here in America, our hearts were filled with gratitude for Israel’s reaction following the shocking events of September 11. Israelis grieved with us by hoisting American flags and lowering their own nation’s flags in mourning. Streets in Israel received new names, such as Pentagon Road and New York Street.
Israel stood with us. And we stand with Israel.
Ironically, and against all logic, the Jewish state probably has more enemies than any other nation in the world. Every day Palestinians labor to fill their children with a consuming hatred for the Jewish people. Palestinian television and textbooks overflow with chilling images that violently slander the Jewish people. Radical sermons from mosques around the world denounce the people of God. And news commentators shamelessly draw a moral equivalence between suicide bombers who target Israeli civilians and Israel’s attempts to protect itself.
We live in a degenerate world, where God is scorned and evil exalted. As Isaiah said, “Woe unto them who call evil, good, and good, evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (5:20).
The beast of anti-Semitism is rising again. Organizations, including the United Nations, that should be protecting good and restraining evil are, in fact, doing the opposite.
What can we do? We can proclaim Israel’s message far and wide using media opportunities, such as letters to the editor, opinion columns, talk shows, and interviews. We can purchase Israeli goods by buying from Israeli merchants who travel to the United States, by shopping online, and by visiting Israel.
But most important, we can pray. Psalm 122:6 urges us, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Our prayer support for Israel is a living reality, not merely a figure of speech. We have a hope beyond ourselves. We have a mountain of strength who towers over our adversaries. Our hope is in a person—the true and living God of the Bible. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And it is in Him we trust.