Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why I Stand With Israel

For a week now, Israel has been defending itself against continued Hamas terrorist attacks. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that Israel would defend its citizens against such hostile and senseless attacks. I've noticed, however, that some people don't share that opinion, and I have actually been personally attacked for my position on the subject. When I say "attacked," I mean bludgeoned with obscenities, name-calling, and insults by someone whose position that we shouldn't stand by Israel is supported by nothing more than the statement that "the Jews hate us" and a few anti-Semitic videos found on YouTube. I was attacked for defending Jews by someone who knows nothing about me, let alone the reasons behind my views. I was blown away by the hostility this person expressed over my so-called "stupid" and "uneducated" views.

What I realized, once I got over the initial shock and anger of being attacked in this way, is that these particular people don't understand my position because, sadly, they have never experienced Salvation and the love of Jesus as I know it, so they have no appreciation for it whatsoever. They're blind and cannot see what is so clear to me. It's sad that some folks are blinded in that way. Sometimes, no matter how respectful you try to be and no matter how heart-felt your convictions, they will be trampled on by those who are blinded to the Truth. All you can do is share your heart, pray for them, and leave the rest to God.

And so I did. I could have remained silent and met their attacks without commentary, but I'm a little tired of feeling like I can't speak my heart out of fear of offending others, so I shared my ideas as straight-forward and respectfully as I could. I want non-believers to know why I believe what I do and I feel like it's my duty as a follower of Christ to share that with them when the opportunity presents itself.

I know full well that hostility has always existed between Jews and Gentiles -something I was accused of being ignorant of. Obviously, not everyone believes in Jesus, in the Truth of the Bible, or even in God. One of the many great things about living in the United States is that it's your right to believe what you choose. God gave you that right. God wants all people to come to Him, Jew and Gentile alike, but He doesn't force it on us. That's our own individual choice to make.

I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. In it, God designates the people of Israel as His chosen people. He says that anyone who blesses Israel will be blessed and anyone who curses Israel will be cursed. (Genesis 12:3). It also says in the Bible that not everyone who is physically born in the land of Israel are His because not all of them will choose to believe in Him. (Romans 9:6). Just like Gentiles, some Jews will turn away from God, their words and actions flowing accordingly. And just like Jews who believe, the promises that God made regarding the land of Israel spill over to believing Gentiles, as well. Believing Gentiles are grafted into God's promises by virtue of our faith in God and belief in Jesus as the Messiah. In that respect, we are spiritually the same as the believing Jew in God's eyes and thus we are a part of Israel. (Romans 2:29). Neither Jew nor Gentile is greater than the other, but through faith in God there is no difference. (Romans 10:12)

There are a growing number of Jews who have begun to realize that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, and the gap between Jew and Gentile is narrowing. It's the love of Jesus shown to them through Jews and Gentiles that brought them to that realization. Jesus is the key to eliminating that gap all together. Yes, there are prejudices, but the prejudice lies on both sides, not just with the Jews. It simply is not fair to a whole nation of people to hate them simply because some of them supposedly hate Christians. Or to hate them at all, for that matter.

I feel it's my responsibility to love the Jews and to bless Israel because I have been graciously adopted into the Kingdom of God, and I am one of them. That's why I stand with Israel. And I always will.