Many Protestant Evangelical churches say they morally support the modern nation of Israel. They want the United States government to do the same with its money and military. Supporting Israel is also a factor in some congressional leaders’ political campaigns. Those leaders who don’t value this factor may not receive the Evangelical vote. Why has America, its government and churches, supported Israel all these years? Should they?
Many pastors and churchgoers like to refer to Genesis 12. God blessed Abraham, the father of Israel, and said, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (12:2-3, NKJV).
World history seems to confirm this truth. Around 1440 BC, Egypt’s Pharaoh tried to destroy Israelite slaves before they became a nation. Instead, God used Moses to free Israel and destroy Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Forty years later, King Balak of Moab hired Balaam to curse Israel. Because of his love, God turned the curses into blessings. Still, Moab was soon destroyed. God used ancient Babylon to destroy faithless Israel in AD 586. Babylon was later overrun by the Medes and Persians, while Israel eventually returned home. Haman tried to destroy Mordecai and other Jews under the reign of King Ahasuerus of Persia. He was hanged while the Jews were saved. In modern times, Germany tried to wipe out European Jews during the Holocaust. Yet Hitler’s dream of a 1000-year Reich became just twelve years. At the end of World War II, he died, Nazism was destroyed, and the Final Solution received judgment at Nuremberg. Three years later, modern Israel was born.
Seeing these national disasters in history, Christians reason that if America wants to receive blessing from God she must support Israel. Otherwise, she will end up like Egypt, Moab, and Germany. The fact that Egypt and Germany exist as nations today demonstrates God’s mercy.
Since 1948, America has used modern Israel as a rabbit’s foot. Regardless of sin in our churches, government, and culture, we think that if we bless Israel with our money and military God will bless us with money, power, and fame. He will wink at sin if we evoke Israel. In every election, we pull out and stroke this rabbit’s foot and expect our politicians to do the same.
However, God won’t wink at our sin – our dishonesty and disregard for both marriage and life. He never passed over the sins of other nations. Why should America be different? We’re blessed as families and as a nation for obedience, and cursed for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28). Using Israel as a rabbit’s foot makes us spiritually indifferent and morally lazy.
Even worse, American pastors have misinterpreted Genesis 12 and led their congregations to do the same. “In you shall all families of the earth be blessed” actually points to Jesus Christ. The Bible declares that all who are in Christ – and only those who are in Christ – are the spiritual children of Abraham, both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 4:9-13, Galatians 3:7-9). Believing Gentiles, those wild olive branches, have been grafted into the natural olive tree with believing Jews (Romans 11:17). All those American Christians who want to support Israel are in reality blessed with faithful Abraham (Galatians 3:8-9). Genesis 12 applies to them.
By contrast, Genesis 12 does not apply to unbelieving Jews – the natural children of Abraham – or modern Israel. Does she support Abraham’s spiritual children, both Gentile and Jewish Christians? No. Israel’s government and military have physically persecuted Arab Christians in Gaza and Bethlehem, Jewish Christians culturally. When Christian America supports Israel with her money and military, she is supporting Israeli persecution of fellow believers.
Through unbelief in Jesus Christ, Jews have been cut off from their natural olive tree. For the sake of the gospel, they are Christians’ spiritual (not physical) enemies (Romans 11:28). We cannot support and align with our enemies and expect the blessing of God. However, He is able to graft in the Jews again – after the church age when all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25-26).
If America wants to receive spiritual blessing from God, she must not use modern Israel like a rabbit’s foot. Instead, America must bless and support the spiritual children of Abraham, both Jews and Gentiles – wherever they live. She must also seek to obey God. America’s downfall won’t come from abandoning Israel. It will come from spiritual and moral decay within.
Do NOT support political organizations like Christians United for Israel. They don’t like Christian missions to Jews. Instead, support evangelistic organizations like Jews for Jesus. I met them at a Rosh Hoshanah service in 2004. They’re good people, Jews who love Jesus!