Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Part 4
Christians should have a heart for Israel because God promises to bless every believer who blesses Israel by Rev. Jerry Marcellino with Yochanan Ben Yehuda
Is it imperative that all believers everywhere have a heart for the salvation of Israel? Yes! It is clear in Scripture that we should, as we have already abundantly observed. Secondarily, we should have a heart for Israel because of the spiritual blessings with which God intends to bless His church, whenever it has a heart for His Covenant People of old (Rom 11:1). Take note of Moses' words in Genesis 12:3:
And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will
curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
Even King David himself uttered the same sentiment in Psalm 122:6 when he said:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you....
Of course, as believers we know that it is only the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6; Luke 2:14) who is our peace (Eph 2:14-15), who can speak true peace to them (Eph 2:17; see also God's warning against having a false/superficial peace toward Him – Jer 6:14). Paul spoke about this true peace when he said in Romans 5:1:
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord (Yeshua) Jesus Christ.
This is the peace of Jerusalem for which we can plead to God (Isa 62:6-7)!
Surely as believers we all understand that there will be no true peace (i.e., civil, national, regional, political) in the Middle East crisis, especially in Jerusalem, until the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the land of Israel. Such prayers for Israel will assuredly bring spiritual blessings to all believers that cry out to God in this way. Consider the following principle from Scripture — obedience brings blessing (Deut 28). We are also taught this principle by Samuel when he said, "...to obey is better than sacrifice..." (1 Sam 15:22). Simply put, God blesses an obedient people. We see this elsewhere in 2 Samuel 6:10-12 when God blessed the house of Obed-Edom because they housed the ark of the Lord, and we also observe this principle in action in the example of the Hebrew midwives (in Exodus 1:15-21) and the blessing that followed. Thus, in our reading of Romans 1:16 ["For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."] we notice that we are to give gospel priority to the Jew first, then to the Greek (or Gentiles). Again, this is not merely a recognition of historical priority, but indicates a permanent Jewish priority in all Christian missionary efforts (Acts 1:8). Simply put, obedience to this principle will bring untold blessing to both Christians individually and the body of Christ universally! Therefore, at a very minimum, this lasting priority refers to our responsibility to pray for the salvation of Israel. Oh, let us not forget that this priority is seen most clearly in how often Paul presses this truth home to the mostly gentile congregation at Rome (Rom 2:1-29; 3:1-20; 4:21-31; 9:1-11:36). We, therefore, call all believers everywhere to obey this divine mandate. Watch and see if God will not bless your glad obedience (Psa 122:6; 1 John 5:3)!
Oh, hear the insightful words of that great Scottish preacher and lover of Israel, Robert Murray M'Cheyne: "But, your souls shall be enriched also, and our Church also, if this cause finds its rightful place in your affections."
My friend, do you have a heart for Israel?
Epilogue of Should Christians Have a Heart for Israel?
A Heart for Israel Prays for Israel
Rom 10:1: Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
Dear friend, quite possibly you have been wondering after reading this series whether the Jews need Christians to specifically have a heart for their salvation. Some readers may be thinking, if the salvation of Israel is so certain, why then is a "heart for Israel" needed? Since their future salvation is going to happen anyhow, why pray? The reason behind such concerns is that Israel will not be saved apart from our prayers (Eph 6:19; Col 4:3; 2 Thess 3:1-2) and our witness (Acts 8:1,4; Rom 10:17). God has so ordained that He works through human means to accomplish His purposes (Eph 1:11). Thus, let us begin to aim for the salvation of Israel through our prayers, by praying for:
The body of believers throughout the land of Israel:
- Their congregations and leaders
- The doctrinal purity and maturity of these congregations
- Unity within and among the evangelical congregations
- The protection of persecuted believers in Israel (including Palestinian Christians).
God's wisdom in the Israeli government
- The Prime Minister
- The Knesset
- The Israeli Defense Force (IDF)
- Concerning the Israeli/Palestinian peace process
The salvation of Israel including:
- Secular Jews
- Religious Jews
- Ultra-Orthodox Jews
- New immigrants including Russians, Eastern Europeans, Ethiopians, etc.
- Jews throughout the world (the Diaspora)
And let us also remember to pray against the attacks of the enemy through:
- Persecution of believers by fanatical anti-missionary groups
- The secularization of Israel
- Rampant atheism
- Widespread abortion
- Occult practices
- Idolatrous lives
- Fanatical terrorist attacks
- The frequent warfare in the Middle East