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Daily Thought - "israel Worship And Christian Responsibility

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, "May you have peace." For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem. - Psalm 122: 6-9 (NLT)

    When the nation of Israel bulldozes over a Christian village, which side is God on? I posed this question a few years ago during Israel's war with Lebanon, to try and have people see the larger picture beyond the canned political talking points which are used to co-opt well intended Christians. To some Christians Israel worship has become as much an idol in their lives as anything else and it is simply not Biblical. As the rockets rain down on the Promised Land today, what is the responsibility of Christians? To hear that answer from pseudo-Christian political groups such as "Christians United for Israel" it is to write a blank check to Israel to do what they please. That myopic view discounts large swaths of the Old Testament where it is quite clear that Israel was not walking within the will of God at all. The primary verses used to defend this view is found in the call of Abram:

    The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." - Genesis 12: 1-3 (NIV)

    To some they take these verses to mean that the only way you can bless Israel is to side with whatever action they undertake and if you do not then you are somehow "cursing" them. Realize beloved there are and always have been peoples that absolutely hate Israel. Those are the people that "curse" Israel. Scripture makes it clear that they are the apple of God's eye and His chosen people. We as Christians should absolutely be concerned with what happens to Israel and we absolutely should pray for that nation daily. What is at issue here is not whether or not we should support Israel - the issue is what we should be praying for. Thankfully God never leaves us uninformed. The key verses today make it abundantly clear that we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and not the wars of man. I know this rattles the cages of the pro-war Christians but the truth is the truth.

    I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. - 1Timothy 2: 1-4 (NLT)

    There are always two sides to every war. There are always real people on both sides. We focus so much when we hear these verses on that fact that we should pray for all leaders that we overlook the "why." The "why" is quite simple - God wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. EVERYONE. Even the Muslim beloved. Even the Hamas militant. Not possible you think? Don't tell that to Mosab Hassan Yousef, born as a son of one of the most influential Hamas leaders. Yousef now resides in San Diego where he attends an Evagelical Church, having given his life to Jesus Christ. Sometimes we can fall into the "us four and no more" mentality in Christianity. That God is only concerned with America. That certain people are beyond the saving grace of Jesus Christ. These are all lies from the pit of hell. The Bible is quite clear:

    Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. - Romans 12: 17-18 (NLT)

    Do everything we can to live at peace with everyone. Not just those who agree with us. Not just those who look like us or talk like us. EVERYONE. Live at peace with everyone. Pray for leaders so that we can live lives of peace. Pray earnestly for the peace of Jerusalem. That is what God requires of us when it comes to His people. I defy anyone to say that praying for the peace of Jerusalem equates to "cursing" Israel.

    Think back to the days of Jesus. The control of Jerusalem was under the Pharisees. Jesus spoke against them all the time. Was He "cursing" Israel? Of course not. At that time they were under the oppression of the Roman Empire and in fact many of the followers of Jesus believed Jesus would deliver them from this oppression. Jesus in fact did nothing to remove that oppression because He knew the plan of God was more important. He knew that delivering the world from their sins was far more important than that one sliver in time. The Roman Empires of history fade into obscurity before a God that transcends all time. Yet no one would dare accuse Jesus of cursing His own people.

    Do I believe that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews? Absolutely because God gave it to them. But I also understand that wars have been fought over this small stretch of land for centuries and will continue to be fought until we hear the trumpet call and Jesus comes back. Until then we have a responsibility as Christians to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Prayer is more powerful than any political action group. It is more powerful than any rocket grenades. Realize that the war we see played out with the weapons of man will be won in the spirit realm. It will be won on our knees before God. That is how you bless Israel.

    Rev. Anthony

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