They say the two topics to avoid in polite company are politics and religion. As a follower of Jesus, I cannot keep quiet about my faith. Furthermore, religion and politics often cross paths forcing believers to take a stand. This is true of Israel. Last week Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, visited the White House and spoke to a joint session of Congress. The question under debate was: Should Israel return to its 1967 borders as a step toward making peace with the Palestinian Arabs? His answer was an unequivocal “No!” The 1967 borders are indefensible and would put the survival of Israel at risk. I believe he is right and want to spend the next several blogs explaining why Israel belongs to the Jews.
The first reason is difficult for those who doubt the Scriptures to appreciate, but Bible believing Christians embrace it readily. God gave the land of Israel to the Jews. In Genesis 12, God promised Abraham, Israel’s grandfather, that if he left the idolatry of his father’s country and followed Him to a new land, God would give him descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and whoever blessed him, God would bless; and whoever who cursed him, God would curse. Believing God’s promise, Abraham moved to the land of Canaan, and the Bible says God credited Abraham with righteousness because of his faith.
Then in Genesis 15, God expanded on His promise, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, Euphrates” – a much larger area than Israel enjoys today, taking in many of the Arab lands. Then, to signify the certainty of His promise, God sealed it in blood. He had Abraham slaughter a ram, a goat, and a heifer and lay their bodies on the ground. What happened next in this ancient ritual was that both parties involved in the covenant would walk between the carcasses as if to say, “If I break this covenant, may the fate of these animals be my fate.” But verse 12 says Abraham was asleep when God passed between the carcasses, signifying that the covenant was dependent on God alone for its fulfillment, not the goodness of Abraham’s descendants. That is good news for the Jews who have repeatedly broken God’s Laws.
That also underscores two facts we must understand. Israel’s right to the Land is rooted in the faithfulness of God who never changes or breaks His promises. So, even though Israel has made mistakes in administering justice in Palestine (and as the only democracy in the Middle East, its rulers can be held accountable for their mistakes), mistakes do not invalidate Israel’s right to the land, because the promise is based upon God’s righteousness, not that of the Jews.
Next time – “9 Reasons Israel Cannot Return to Its 1967 borders.” But before you return to the other duties demanding your attention, take 3 1/2 minutes to watch the following video called “Israel Belongs to the Jews.”