Inside View Jul/Aug 2018
I recently had the privilege of spending several days in Israel with new Jewish arrivals to the land. They varied in age from teens to older adults, but the same theme defined their testimonies. They had an innate desire to return to the land of their ancestors, and I’m convinced it was put there by God.
God told Israel,
Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, “Give them up!” and to the south, “Do not keep them back!” Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory (Isa. 43:5–7).
God says those He brings back will be “called by My name” and were created for “My glory.” When we acknowledge the Jewish return to the land, we give God glory.
The name of this publication, Israel My Glory, was chosen by the founders of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry with great care and forethought. It, too, comes from the book of Isaiah. God declares He is the one who “will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory” (46:13). The men who chose this title more than 75 years ago did so to remind us that, as believers in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, all our blessings—past, present, and future—come through God’s uniquely Chosen People, Israel.
Many Christians today doubt Israel is the conduit of our future blessing and do not see modern Israel as a partial fulfillment of God’s promises to bring the Jewish people back to their land prior to the coming of the Messiah. Not only do I hear such doubt from people who hold to Replacement Theology—who believe God has replaced Israel with the church in His covenants and plan for the ages—but I also hear it from many who do not.
It seems to me we should exercise great caution before we deny that the Jewish people’s return reveals God at work fulfilling His promises. For if the return is scriptural (and I believe it is), then we fail to give God the glory due to Him when we deny that it is a partial fulfillment of prophecy.
It is a special privilege to witness Jewish people return to their land. One person told me, “As a Jew, I must live in the Jewish land!”
Another said he “dreamed of living in Israel, where it is easy to be Jewish.” Many come from countries where Jewish persecution has increased dramatically.
The Jewish Agency for Israel hosted my visit. It is the sole organization empowered by the Israeli government to handle Jewish immigration, referred to as aliyah in Hebrew, meaning “to go up, to ascend.” Said Yehuda Scharf, the Jewish Agency director of the Aliyah, Absorption and Special Operations Department, “Our dream is simple: to support every Jew to return to Israel.”
It’s a simple dream but a huge undertaking. It involves helping immigrants settle in Israel, learn Hebrew, and find a job and housing. The Jewish Agency hosts approximately 20 percent of the new arrivals in absorption centers. That’s about 7,000 of the 30,000 who come each year. The cost is enormous.
At The Friends of Israel, we collect funds for aliyah to help Jewish people realize their dream to come home. When we give to aliyah, we give glory to God as He draws His Chosen People back to their land—just as He promised.