FIRST PERSON: Why should America care about Israel?
MONUMENT, Colo. (BP)--Middle East politics is a knot that seems to defy unraveling. Extremist Muslims kill innocent civilians in their quest to destroy Israel, which in turn takes decisive action to protect itself. Palestinians suffer as the Israeli government cuts them off from jobs and markets.
The international community protests as Israel stubbornly persists in strengthening its borders and deterring its enemies. Arabs claim Israel’s measures are unreasonable. At times, it is difficult to stand by Israel against so much international criticism.
Why should America care about Israel?
America often has been the sole friend of the nation of Israel. God has lavished rich blessings on our country as a result of our honoring His people, Israel. His promise to bless those who bless Israel and to curse those who curse Israel still affects the destiny of nations today. America is no different, and we will pay a very high price if we ever turn our backs on Israel. It will be our greatest national disaster.
Judaic, Christian and Islamic roots run centuries deep in Israel, and even more so in Jerusalem, the spiritual capital of the world. Religion, politics, culture and history have collided head-on in the Holy City of God. These four disciplines -- individually or corporately -- have no chance of solving the region’s conflict. They just don’t have the right solutions to defuse the lit powder keg.
Since the problems essentially are spiritual, sorting out the Middle East maze demands spiritual answers. Satan uses radical Islam to stir up as much Jewish resistance as he can. But in Exodus 34:24, the God of Israel promised: “For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory. No one will covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the Lord your God” (HCSB).
God fulfilled His promises to Israel, but Satan desperately tries to undo them today.
The answer to the Middle East puzzle is Jesus and His church. Scripture promises that Israel will one day repent and embrace Jesus as Messiah. Israel needs to turn to her Savior. The church should be Israel’s best friend. Believers can and should be the people who help move Jews toward their destiny. God calls the church to influence Israel.
While supporting Israel, the church should not disregard Palestinians. The church also is the answer to their problems. Radical Islam will not deliver what it promises to the Palestinian people. The radical Muslim leaders will continue to make guarantees they have no ability to keep. Palestinians need to abandon leadership driven by fanatical Islamic dreams, such as the destruction of Israel.
Christians must support the awesome Palestinian believers who make a major impact in the world of Islam. Palestinian believers are powerhouses for God. Palestinians desperately need to be assured of the American church’s support as well.
The mission heart of God brings revival in Israel and the Middle East. God uses the growing prayer movement with a concerted focus on Israel and the entire Middle East. Palestinian and messianic Jewish believers experience true reconciliation in the volatile land of Israel. Jesus and His church prove to be the answer to the centuries of war and conflict.
As followers of Jesus in the Western church, we must be involved in the biblical heartland. In doing so, God will rouse the church in the United States. He wants both Israel and the United States to have a vibrant church today.
The moment to maximize our impact is now. Israel and America need you for strategic intercession. Prayer is the only real hope for both lands that are called to be two nations under God.
Tom Doyle served for 20 years as a pastor in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico before launching into missions in the Middle East. He speaks frequently about Israel, the Middle East and the global threat of radical Islam. This is adapted from his recent Broadman & Holman book, “Two Nations Under God.” The book can be purchased online at www.lifewaystores.com.