We want to imitate Paul in his zeal for the salvation of Jewish people, and therefore, we are setting a priority to pray and reach out to Jewish people everywhere including in Israel. We see that Messiah’s love will control our hearts and make it a priority to serve Israel because of His promises. Often our heart’s concern for the Jewish people is, understandably, that individuals would see Yeshua through the prophets, like Isaiah 53. Yet, the more immediate Jewish concern has been to survive and thrive as a people—a value which is often summed up in the phrase Am Yisrael Chai (the people of Israel live).
The survival of the Jewish people is the lynchpin of God’s future activity and victory, because the return of the Lord is tied to the repentance of Israel. Yeshua said: You will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39).
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).
Just as David could not rule over all of Israel and remove the adversaries until the people accepted him as king (2 Samuel 5:1-5), Yeshua will not return to reign on the Davidic throne and remove the adversary, Satan, until the Jewish people acknowledge Him as King. Peter reiterates this point when he proclaims to the Jewish people:
“Repent and turn to God, that your sins might be wiped away, in order that the times of refreshing might come from the Lord, and that He might send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you - even Yeshua. He must remain in Heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised…” (Acts 3:19-21).
The return of Yeshua will “restore everything” and bring “the times of refreshing.” Messiah’s reign on earth is tied to the Jewish people “repenting and returning to God.” Therefore, Satan is desperately trying to avoid his own demise by preventing the return of Messiah. He is doing all he can do to destroy Israel and the Jewish people now; at the same time he is trying to make faith in Yeshua so alien and repugnant that no self-respecting Jew, let alone the nation, would ever desire to repent and turn to Yeshua!
Thus Messiah’s return to planet Earth is linked to Israel’s repentance and faith in Him as Savior and Lord (see Matt. 23:39, Zech. 12:10, Acts 3:19-21). Hence Satan’s desperate strategy is to destroy the Jews before they recognize Yeshua as their Messiah. Understand, all of this pictures the spiritual battle in which we are all called to fight the good fight:
“For we battle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces…” (Eph. 6:12).
As we celebrate Israel’s 66th anniversary, let us never forget the reality of spiritual warfare.
Let us study to show ourselves approved in understanding these issues. Let us not only rejoice that God has sustained Israel for these sixty six years, but actively proclaim Good News to Israel and all people while we can. Happy Israel Independence Day!