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

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

Read Time: 4 Minutes 28 Seconds While all of the stories we read in the Torah are meaningful, sometimes the events we read about can seem to hold more relevance, especially for those of us who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. One such event is the calling...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Church’s Role in Preserving Freedom of Speech in America

Read Time: 3 Minutes 17 Seconds The controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving and his post of a tweet that claims the Jews in Israel are not the real Jews—that Black Africans are the real Jews—raises...
Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Read Time: 4 Minutes 42 Seconds Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away for U.S. Americans. It is a favorite holiday—perhaps only exceeded by Christmas—to gather with family and friends to watch parades, play (American) “football” and eat delicious food—often from...

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFbfS03JkKY&t=1s Read Time: 3 Minutes, 10 Seconds Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are murderers, pedophiles and cannibals walking along the streets of gold? We are taught in the book of Romans, "That if...

Pin It on Pinterest