Israel Through the Prophets’ Eyes
Israel’s economy is booming. Every year thousands of evangelicals around the world contribute to that economy by traveling there. Israel’s demography is growing. Every year evangelicals donate millions of dollars to organizations that help thousands of Jewish people make aliya (immigrate) to Israel.
Israel’s allies are dwindling. Yet their most faithful and loyal friends are probably evangelicals who are not afraid to speak up on their behalf. Many evangelicals love Israel, and Jewish people wonder why.
Evangelical support is driven by Scripture, which is why some Jewish people question Christian motives. They admit to being limited in their knowledge of the “Christian” Bible; but what they know—or think they know—is that, in the last days, they lose.
Here is a typical Jewish explanation of the Christian view of Israel’s future: A massive, worldwide Jewish aliya occurs, bringing all Jewish people back to the land of Israel. Soon they are slaughtered as punishment for their rejection of Jesus when He came the first time. Jesus returns a second time, and all the people left on Earth convert to Christianity.
Consequently, many Jewish people believe Christian support for Israel is a ruse to expedite Jewish aliya and see them annihilated. That is also why Jewish people often think, Christians want to complete what Adolf Hitler and the Nazis began.
Setting the Record Straight
Christians are shocked to hear that anyone would think such things. First of all, most evangelicals believe Israel’s future, as well as that of all humanity, was determined by God in ages past and recorded in the Bible: “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done….Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” (Isa. 46:9–11).
Second, God’s plans cannot be hastened by human action. Israel’s future is prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures—the same Scriptures read by both Bible-believing Jews and Bible-believing Christians. And events will transpire when, where, and how God dictates.
Differences center on the identity and arrival of the Messiah. Teddy Kollek, late mayor of Jerusalem, put it this way: “When the Messiah comes we will ask, ‘Sir, is this your first time here or your second?’”
Third, and perhaps most important, is the fact that the Messiah is not coming to destroy the Jewish people at His arrival; He is coming to rescue them. Both Old and New Testaments speak of a vile anti-Semite disguised as a popular, smooth-tongued politician who will rule the world in the last days. He will be evil incarnate and use every means available to rid the earth of God’s Chosen People and establish his own demonic throne for eternity.
God, however, will not let that happen. Great tribulation will fill the earth during this time, and more than 50 percent of the world’s population will perish (Rev. 6—19). Such is the price of worldwide war, famine, and pestilence.
When the Jewish people need Him most, God the Father will send the Messiah back to Earth to rescue them and reestablish the throne of King David of Israel, which will endure forever: “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the [Messianic] king-dom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these [Gentile] kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).
Israel’s Messiah, who is the world’s Savior, will sit on King David’s throne. His abilities will exceed David’s, and His wisdom will exceed King Solomon’s. He will establish world peace and replace poverty with prosperity, disease with good health, and famine with plenty. Humanity will finally enjoy peace, long life, and abundance.
Our eschatology is driven by the belief that the Jewish prophets accurately foretold Israel’s future, as they were told it by God. Scripture points to a Messiah who would be the “seed” of a woman (Gen. 3:15). Since only men are spoken of as having seed, this prophecy implies no man would be involved in His conception. He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14) as a member of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10) and as a descendant of David. He also would become the only acceptable sacrifice for the payment of man’s sins (Isa. 53:5, 8), be raised from the dead (vv. 10–12), and become the only Intercessor between man and God because He would be the God-Man (9:6). Someday He will return to sit on an eternal throne (2 Sam. 7:16); and that is good news indeed.
The prophet Zechariah explained that when the Lord (the God-Man) returns to fight for Israel, His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). He will come “with power and great glory” (Mt. 24:30) and with fire in His eyes and judgment in his mouth (Rev. 19:11–12).
He will come as the Lion of Judah to destroy Israel’s enemies. King David wrote prophetically about Jesus coming to rule:
Lift up your heads, O you gates!And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lᴏʀᴅ strong and mighty, the Lᴏʀᴅ mighty in battle. Who is this King of glory? The Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts, He is the King of glory (Ps. 24:7–8, 10).
The future of Israel and the Jewish people is not a lost cause. It is, rather, a glorious certainty guaranteed by God (Jer. 31:35–37). Christians can do nothing to hasten Christ’s Second Coming; we can merely wait prayerfully and expectantly for Him to come, while we communicate the truth about Christ to those around us.