It is no secret that Israel’s neighbors oppose Zionism. In fact, the Muslim world has never acknowledged Israel’s right to exist-- hence, the continuation of war and terrorism with which we are all too familiar. Recent movies and books from even so-called evangelical perspectives have sought to critique “Christian Zionism,” which is the phenomenon of fervent Christian support for the state of Israel.
Yes, there is always a danger of prioritizing the politics of Israel over proclaiming Good News to the Jewish people. God’s Good News expresses His love in Yeshua which is for the redemption of all people, and this certainly includes Arabs. However, most evangelical critics of Zionism parrot an extreme anti-Israel viewpoint, a perspective which often descends into anti-Semitism and madness. Theologically, they push the notion that Israel continues only as “the Church” and that the Jewish people as such are no longer relevant to God’s plan. Thus, they fail to consider that even as there are Arabs who are believers, God has done a work in raising up Messianic Jews in the Land. Both are a part of God’s redemptive purposes as they reach out to all with ears to hear.
God is a Zionist. He is committed to and concerned with the return of the Jewish people to Zion. Let us consider what the Scriptures say.
“Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths’” (Isaiah 2:2).
“Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, They shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes when the LORD restores Zion” (Is. 52:8).
“Again, proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”’” (Zechariah 1:17, Isaiah 14:32, 35:10, Jeremiah 31:6)
The prophets are clear that God will restore His people in their land. His love never fails.
He Hasn’t Changed His Mind
In light of all the troubles that Israel has endured, including the many hundreds of years the Jewish people had gone without a state, one might think that perhaps God has changed His mind and forsaken Israel as a nation. Not so. The Scriptures are clear that even if the Jewish people themselves would think this, it is never the case that God could let go of Zion.
“But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you ... Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49:14, 16).
“‘For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her”’” (Jer. 30:17).
God actually chose Zion (not Mecca, Rome, or Salt Lake City) as the place where He would dwell with His people.
“For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation.” (Psalm 132:13) “Blessed be the LORD from Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem.” (Ps. 135:21).
He never changed His mind on the matter (Romans 11:1,2). In fact, the Lord’s future headquarters will again be Zion.
“‘Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,’ declares the LORD” (Zech. 2:10).
When Yeshua returns, it is to Zion: “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zech. 14:3,4). Therefore He will dwell there in the Kingdom age:
“Thus says the LORD, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain’” (Zech. 8:3).
All of the seething anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism we see today is but a foretaste of a future war by the nations united against Israel (Zech. 14:2). In this attack, God is giving over the nations to their own evil desires and wicked ways (Romans 1:24-28). This “giving over” reveals the truth that the anti-Semitism of these nations is really anti-God:
For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ For they have conspired together with one mind; against You they make a covenant. (Psalm 83:2-5)
Again, the Good News is God’s priority and must be ours as well. The Lord’s Return to planet Earth is linked to Israel’s repentance and faith in Him (Matthew 23:39; Zechariah 12:10; Acts 3:19-21). Part of the enemy’s strategy, then, is to prevent believers from “praying for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps.122:6). The enemy does this by obscuring
1. Israel’s Biblical right to Israel and Jerusalem,
2. the only means of obtaining peace, through the Prince of Peace (as opposed to political solutions), and
3. God’s provision for the true spiritual need of Israel: forgiveness of sins through Messiah Yeshua.
Let us not be deceived by the schemes of Satan to destroy Israel, but rather pray and proclaim Good News to Israel and the Jewish people around the world, while we still can.