Standing With Israel

by | Nov 30, 2000 | Frontline


When I first took my post as an American reporter for a news magazine in Jerusalem many years ago, I was advised to talk with officials in neighboring Arab states before I settled down in Israel. It was good counsel. I learned a lot from that trip, and I think it helped round out my reporting.


But on the way back to Israel, I had a driver take me from Amman, the capital of Jordan, to Mount Nebo amid the hills of Ammon. It was from here, by tradition, that Moses gazed down on the promised land at the end of the long exodus from Egypt. I wanted to capture in my imagination what it was the ancient Hebrews sensed they had come to.


The view, even in the late 20th century, was breathtaking. Stretching to the left in the haze of mid-summer was the Dead Sea. To the right lay the Jordan River, snaking to the salt sea from the Sea of Galilee to the north.


The ancient Hebrews originally entered Canaan around the 14th century B.C. It took them a long time to conquer the land, and they never entirely drove out the original inhabitants. But from the time of King David onward–from about 1000 B.C.–the stamp of the Jewish national character and the unique relationship of the Jews to their one true God seem to have become permanently associated with the landscape of Israel.


Hundreds of years and dozens of conquests later, the Jews started on their prolonged wandering among the nations after the Romans expelled them from Jerusalem in A.D. 135. Though a handful of Jews always managed to remain in the land, the Jewish imprint was eclipsed by that of the Muslim Arabs, who conquered Palestine in A.D. 636. The Arabs lived there permanently afterward, even after the Turks conquered them in 1517.


Yet in their exile, the Jews never forgot their longing to return to their ancient homeland. For centuries they would repeat the words of the Passover seder: “Next year in Jerusalem.”


Strange as it may seem, many Christians from the Reformation onward shared that longing, believing that if it were fulfilled it would be a harbinger of other Messianic prophecies from the Bible. When Zionism–the Jewish movement to return to Palestine–took form in the late 19th century in Europe, Christians again encouraged the Jewish aspiration.


Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, was greatly helped by a devout Anglican cleric interested in prophecy,
the Rev. William Hechler. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the Russian Jew who resurrected the Hebrew language, was profoundly encouraged at key moments by an earnest Polish Roman Catholic.


The British general Sir Edmund Allenby, a devout Christian who ousted the Turks from Jerusalem in 1917, was so humbled by where he was that he refused to ride a horse into Jerusalem. Instead he marched on foot. In 1948, President Harry Truman overruled State Department officials and recognized the infant state of Israel.


Was God behind modern Zionism–and is He still–or was the movement just a romantic aspiration based on national historical nostalgia?


As Israel and Jews around the world enter another perilous time in their history, Christians will again be challenged to address this question. In Gaza, Islamic clerics have been calling on the Muslim faithful in televised sermons to murder Jews on sight, along with “those Americans who like them”–presumably, American Christians.


It is thus both an encouragement and a blessing to recall Genesis 12:3, “‘I will bless those who bless you [the Jews] and whoever curses you I will curse,'” or Psalm 122:6-7: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels'” (NIV).


We Christians in past eras often mistreated Jews terribly, or stood aside when others did. But now we may have a new opportunity to make up for this. I tremble for our country if our nation’s leaders ever forget the words of Genesis 12:3.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

RECENT ARTICLES

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding...
God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

We spend a lot of life figuring out if we “measure up,” a phrase someone coined in the mid-1800s. Even in childhood, we begin comparing ourselves with siblings and kids at school, and it never seems to stop. The problem goes back to Cain and Abel, doesn’t it? Most of...

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

”Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Rom. 2:4). Looking retrospectively at my past as an atheist, I can see where God...

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why speak with tongues? There are many reasons for speaking in a spiritual language. Primarily, though, the Scriptures require it. The apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Pray in the Spirit always” (Eph. 6:18). Jude commanded it in verse 20, saying, “Pray in the Holy...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]