Paul writes the following in the book of Romans (Chapter 9:3) — For I wish that I myself were accursed for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
What an amazing summary of the purposes of God with the people and nation of Israel!
Israel, as a unique nation, is mentioned over 1 700 times in God’s Word and Jerusalem 806 times. The majority of the scriptures encompass God’s dealings with the people and nation of Israel. Clearly this nation is important to our Father!
We should understand that Israel is a practical picture, in the natural, of the working of a spiritual God with a physical people.…a practical example for us, of what it looks like to be His people and for Him to be our God too.
Paul says that we are to learn the lessons from His dealings with Israel…
1 Corinthians 10 v 11 — “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
The Jewish people and nation have been this example to us, during their obedience and their unfaithfulness, to their God and Father.
Let us take heed of this instruction, which is more relevant today than ever before…and may the persecution and suffering that our Jewish family have gone through, to be this example to us, not be in vain. May we truly learn the lessons.
The story of Israel started with a calling… God called a man, Abram, whom He knew would hear, respond and obey… all for His Name and His kingdom’s sake!
Genesis 12 :3 —
Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your fathers house;
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you and make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed!
Two different meanings of ‘curse’
God’s Word is clear as to His response towards those who either bless or curse His people (the descendants of Abram – Gen 12v3). He uses two different words for the word translated as “curse”, to make His point. We curse (Hebrew word “qalal”) Israel by hating, insulting, devaluing, minimising or even by just being dismissive about her.
God’s promised response to those who curse (“qalal”) Israel in this way is to truly curse (“arar”) them. The meaning of this word “arar” is to cut off. Those who “qalal” Israel will be “arar” by God as they have become abhorrent to Him!
The outworking of this reality on families and nations has been well documented through the ages.
A few clear examples from Africa:
Uganda: during the 60s PM Obote visited Israel, opened the nation’s doors to Israelis and had strong relations with Israel. Their economy was one of the fastest-growing and their GDP was similar to Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea. Uganda was known as the “Pearl of Africa”. In 1970 PM Obote moved to socialist/communist policies and turned on Israel. In 1971 – PM Obote was overthrown in a bloody coup, Idi Amin became president. Amin expelled all Israelis by March 27 1972 and closed the Israeli Embassy, which was handed over to the PLO. The country went into a massive decline and by 1974 the whole economy had collapsed. The Church started praying actively in the 90s and today Uganda has a government which is picking up ties with Israel again and the economy is rapidly turning around.
Ethiopia is another radical example…During the 60s they had great relations with Israel. Ethiopia was a significant trading partner with Israel and they experienced excellent economic growth. Arab nations influenced Emperor Haile Selassie to turn against Israel during the 70s. Israelis were deported in October 1973. In February 1974 Selassie’s regime collapsed and its leaders were mostly imprisoned. From then on the nation experienced a curse and was plunged into communism, repression, famine and suffering. In 1989 diplomatic relations with Israel were re-established.
Israel has in fact been a blessing to the nations of the earth and God has blessed many nations throughout the ages who have dealt kindly to the Jewish people and Israel.
For a nation to downgrade its embassy in Israel, as our nation continues to threaten to do, is a very practical way of saying to Israel…”We do not value and consider you worthy of us having an embassy in your nation.”
We know that God keeps His word and we should pray that our present government understands the blessing that Israel is to the nations and does not downgrade but rather upgrade and relocate our Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish people and nation of Israel! That would bring about a needed blessing on our nation.
God says that Israel is the apple of His eye…Zech 2:8 — For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye”.
He judges the nations through the lens of Israel!
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) was called by God to be a comfort and a blessing to the nation of Israel in 1980 when all 13 nations who had an embassy based in Jerusalem moved to Tel Aviv, due to pressure from the Arab states, under threat of an oil embargo.
The ICEJ has been operating since 1980 as an embassy representing Christians around the world who stand with Israel and who also recognise that Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of Israel!
Join us as we pray together with Christians from around the world on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at 3pm SA time during this crucial time in the world’s history, from Jerusalem. The links to the online Zoom prayer sessions, for the current crisis and for Israel, can be found on the website http://icej.org.za/pray.