Ties That Bind
Have we forgotten, or pushed out of mind, a phrase often quoted and fondly embraced in other days?
I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 12:3).
Well, if we have, the twin commemorations of Israel at 65 and The Friends of Israel at 75 will jog our memories. Israel and Bible-believing Christians are joined in clearly defined programs that can never be altered. Among the most consequential proclamations ever directed to spiritually impoverished humankind was this one: “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” In the parlance of our pop culture, it was a game-changer.
Over the past few years an unfortunate slippage has occurred in the thinking of some evangelicals. They’ve moved from staunch support for Israel and the Jewish people to a not-so-sure-anymore posture. A portion of the redefinition can be credited to a new wave of theologians who invalidate Israel’s future and Old Testament promises. Their vocalized and often mean-spirited put-downs of people who believe God’s plan for Israel is intact and vital to deciphering the future seem to intimidate some members of the evangelical clergy into silence or into skirting prophetic teaching.
Such should not be the case. To be sure, preachers face many issues today—some subtle, some aggressive, and still others that are potentially lethal. But there is an unavoidable bottom line. In the spiritual/biblical realm, commitment to truth in its entirety must be a priority. We should believe God means what He says and ask ourselves, “How does that apply to me?”
The Bible says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
This statement means simply that everything transmitted to us through the whole of Scripture, Old and New Testaments, is profitable and has something to say that we can ill afford to disregard, reject, or minimize.
The question is often raised, Why has America prospered and been such a favored nation? Ingenuity, energy, and an entrepreneurial spirit have played their part. But undergirding all of these positive attributes has been the foundation of compassion and commitment to faith. America’s Christian heritage was based on biblical standards of truth, morality, justice, and tolerance.
A second factor was that the United States has opened its arms, as few countries before it, to the Jewish people and staunchly supported their right to a home in the land of their fathers. America was the first nation to recognize the legitimacy of the newly born State of Israel in 1948 and was at the front of the line in standing with Eretz Yisrael in defense of the country.
The fact that history’s landscape is littered with the remains of nations that cursed Israel and its people should be sufficient warning against endorsing the anti-Semitic enterprise.
America is in the throes of an all-out revolution. Politics and ideologies foreign to our republic’s moorings are taking hold. And foremost among them is the dismantling of biblical foundations. God is out, Christianity is anathema, and anti-Semitism is a growing menace.
Americans were promised “change.” But if that change degenerates into full-blown, godless extremism, it will produce a transformation the nation cannot survive.
Israel and true Christianity are inseparably linked, bound together by the same God who made the rules—set down in the Scriptures—and provided the means for blessing to be opened to “all families of the earth.” The question is not whether God is finished with Israel and has replaced it, giving all rights and privileges to the church. Israel has in no way been replaced. God will deliver every promise, in every aspect, in its time and in full measure.
The primary division today between Christians and Jews is over the identity of the Messiah, which will be conclusively resolved for Israel at His appearing.
The material question is this: Does God keep His word? When He said “forever” to Israel about giving the Jewish people a land, a people, and a King, did He change His mind? If He did, then we Christians cannot have a single shred of assurance that He won’t change His mind about us.
“Standing on the Promises” is more than a song. It is the bedrock of our security.