(Genesis 12:1-3 KJV)
1. Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2.And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
The first question is why Israel? Israel has a special place in history above other nations. God promised the land to Abraham and then his descendants: Isaac and Jacob 4000 years ago. God led the Hebrew captives to the land from Egypt through a series of miracles and a Messiah was promised to the nation of Israel which was fulfilled in Jesus. Although Israel is a tiny sliver of land in the middle east, it’s impact on the world is still felt today.
Even from a secular standpoint, it can be argued that Jesus is the central figure in world history. Even with our calendar, time is measured before Jesus came and after Jesus. There are about 300 prophecies through-out the Torah and Tanakh about the Messiah that Jesus fulfills. The Old Testament points to Jesus, the Gospels tell what Jesus said and did and the epistles say why He did it. This all took place in Israel.
In Israel you can see the sights where this history took place and walk the same steps where Jesus and the prophets walked.
In today’s world, Israel and Jerusalem in particular still takes center stage. The UN and many other nations support dividing the only Jewish nation and the only functioning democracy in the middle east up. The world would go to war over this tiny nation even though it is only 1/145 of the middle east.
By watching Israel, you not only see the history of the Jewish nation, but see how things are lining up with Israel on God’s prophetic time table. The Day of the Lord, Daniel’s 70th week and the Revelation of Jesus are all central to Israel.
On a personal level, in addition to understanding the historic and prophetic significance of this tiny nation, there are Jewish people who feel the world is against them. They have daily struggles and fear as anti-semitism is rising again throughout the world.
As I write this from Christ Church Guest House in Jerusalem, I’ll have a chance to serve the Jewish people with Koinonia Institute on the Talmidim tour which provides the opportunity to paint bomb shelters, as well as other projects that serve the Jewish community.
The Jewish people are skeptical of Christians motives as there was rampant anti-semitism under the Catholic church and Protestant denominations largely feel that the Church replaced Israel which is a false teaching.
Our goal is to act in such a way that the Jewish people ask the question: “what makes you different?”