Our Hedge of Protection
Wars, threats of wars, rampant sin, murder, persecution, famine, earthquakes, and deception…
Written thousands of years ago, these words of prophecy from the New Covenant have become today’s headline news…
- SOLDIER FROM MASS. KILLED IN IRAQ, Providence, Rhode Island
- DEBATE OVER CALIFORNIA’S GAY MARRIAGE HEATS UP, Atlanta
- 4-YEAR-OLD’S BODY PULLED OUT OF TEL AVIV RIVER, Jerusalem
- ECONOMIC MELTDOWN, The Associate Press, Oct. 20, 2008
- TRUCK BOMB IN ISLAMABAD A MESSAGE TO GV’T, cbsnews.com
- STUDENTS FACE PUNISHMENT FOR ‘HIT A JEW DAY’, msnbc.com
- CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED IN INDIA, Washington Times, Oct. 16, 2008
With the above headlines, many approach this new year with uncertain steps. The unknown has cast an ominous shadow upon the future... The mysteriousness of a fresh year once carried a sense of joyful expectancy; but the recent past doesn’t, according to current events and headlines, necessarily guarantee bright hope for the unknown of tomorrow.
Some ask: “Will my family endure a catastrophic event?” or “Will I survive an economic meltdown?” These are great questions that deserve sensitive answers.
The famous Matthew 24 portion of Scripture gives us a glimpse of end time events:
And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved (Mat 24:6-13).
No one knows when the end of the end will happen, so modern times demand wise choices as Bible believers sense the season of the end approaching. Notice the last part of verse 13: But the one who endures to the end will be saved. With all the uncertainty of the future, this gives hope that we can endure to the end, no matter what faces us.
Now balance that Scripture with a tested truth from Gen 12:3: And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse… History is replete with examples of Gentiles who have blessed the Jewish people—Corrie and Betsy ten Boom, Oscar Schindler, Andre Trocme, Basilea Schlink—and the list goes on. Some of these did more than “bless;” they laid their lives down and endured to the end. The action of this promise became serious business—life or death. Only heaven will reveal the reward of these great saints who loved the Jewish people.
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Germany has made an incredible recovery—rebuilding a strong economic state—although it was the birthplace of unthinkable atrocities. Who can explain such a paradox? Germany has been blessed because a few humble Christians, like Basilea Schlink and others, repented for the sins of the German people during WWII and chose to make a lifestyle of blessing the Jewish people. God has poured out favor upon the whole country because of the decisions of a few.
For decades, Ukraine has remained in abject poverty. After the fall of Communism in the 1990s, Ukrainians struggled for economic breakthrough—living on $50 a month. On September 26, 2006, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko stated publicly at the Babi Yar Memorial, where thousands of Jews were killed, “I clearly and straightforwardly promise that there will never be ethnic intolerance and religious hatred in Ukraine. Like all Ukrainians, I refuse to accept and tolerate the slightest manifestation of xenophobia and anti-Semitism.”
Ukraine is making a comeback. The average monthly income has risen between $500-$1500. Again, God’s blessing for the whole is evident when a few make steps to bless Israel.
History reminds us the Jews were blamed for everything that came down the pike from the Black Plague to the economic downturn in Europe before WWII. Just recently during the economic crisis last fall, many began to blame the Jews. On October 2, 2008 the ADL reported a surge in anti-Semitic slurs on the Internet on finance sites.
Comments like these were posted on the Internet at the close of 2008:
“Jews infiltrated Wall Street and Government and have ruined our country.”
“What is a GS Jew? Goldman Sachs? Jews are greedy, rotten slime balls.”
“They (Jews) love money, nothing else, no faith or religion can be so heartless to their victims.”
America has experienced the unprecedented blessing of God over our 230-year history, in part, because of our treatment of the Jewish People. The Lord refers to Israel as “the apple of His eye” and warns that anyone who touches her will be punished. (Zech 2:8) Bill Koenig, in his book, “Israel: Blessing or Curse,” has documented case after case of God’s judgment on America each time our government has attempted to force Israel to give up Land to the Palestinians.
As Bible Believers, we need to look at Israel through God’s eyes, and understand that God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish People as an “eternal possession.” As Christians, we must believe, accept and set ourselves in agreement with what the Scriptures teach. God, in His sovereignty, gave this Land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—who are we to question His decision?
But it is not just a matter of understanding the Jewish People own the Land of Israel as a physical and spiritual inheritance. As long as there are Jews living in the Diaspora, they remain God’s Chosen People. Genesis 3 instructs the nations to bless them or face the consequences. There are many reasons to bless Israel. Here are a few:
- Yeshua, the Messiah, was born and lived as a Jew.
- God’s Word was penned by Jewish authors, except possibly Luke.
- The Bible is the most popular book in the world.
- The Ten Commandments are the moral code and foundation of Western society.
- The roots of Christianity are founded within Judaism.
Since I travel extensively, I am constantly hearing the testimonies of those who have made decisions to bless Israel and how God has kept His word to reward them in return. Let me share a few:
“God is always concerned with our heart. In looking back, it was when I caught God’s heart for Israel that the biggest blessings began to be poured out on my life. His heart for Israel equals His blessings in my life.” –George Grubbs, Southlake, Texas
“The revelation of God’s love for Israel and my active participation in their return to the Land, their coming to acknowledge their Messiah Yeshua, encouraging them in their faith, is the most satisfying work I have ever encountered in my 78 years. The spiritual, emotional, relational blessings are grander than anything I had ever encountered or anything I would dare to have dreamed. I am a very blessed man, and I attribute it all to this continual walk with the Lord, loving His closest blood family and watching prophesy being fulfilled both in Israel and among the nations, exactly as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Paul and others foresaw. And I’ve read the Book. There are better days ahead, even if amidst great distress.” –Don Finto, Memphis, Tennessee
“Sometimes we walk through life and we don’t know what we don’t know, so we don’t even ask. I feel that simple statement best describes the years when I knew Yeshua HaMashiach as my Savior, but I didn’t know His brothers. For many years, I was indifferent toward the Jewish people. And I didn’t know it, but I was also impoverished in my knowledge of the Scriptures that came to us through them. The words of Yeshua are so much richer when understood in their Jewish context. Not only has God forgiven my own sin through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, He has committed Himself to world redemption through Him, the Jewish Messiah. I care about world redemption on a completely different level than was true years ago. My life is so much richer, so much fuller because I love the Jews and am blessed by their loyal friendship. I have learned from their scholars and have been blessed by their wisdom. I rejoice with them in their blessings, and I weep with them in their losses. When we love the Jews, we draw closer to the heart of God, who will always love, and will never forsake His people Israel.” –Arlene Stucki, Estes Park, Colorado
“In 1975 supernaturally, God touched my heart and gave me an unexplainable love for the Jewish people. I prayed for Him to pour out that same love for the Jews on the people in our church. For three decades, I have watched as this happened and now transformed people, all over the world, are making a significant difference in the lives of families, work places, communities, and churches. I am convinced that the stand our church has taken to love and serve the Jewish people resulted in the answer to my prayer.” –Pastor Olen Griffing, Grand Prairie, Texas
“Several years ago while living in Budapest, Hungary, I had the privilege of meeting a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, who had come to faith in the Messiah. Her testimony of forgiveness towards her adversaries pierced the depths of my heart. My experience with her helped me understand that God alone can replace bitter sorrow with faith and love. This champion of God, blessed my life and has encouraged me to bring Messiah’s love to unbelieving Jewish people in the lands of the Holocaust.” –Jeff Serio, Berlin, Germany
On the outset of a New Year, when everyone is turning over a new leaf, it is an excellent time to make a sure step toward the support of Israel. The state of the union and world may rise and fall a dozen times in the next twelve months, but it does not change this tested truth: I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you.
Yes, the unknown of a New Year looms before us—the threat of nuclear war, economic meltdown, the deterioration of America’s Judeo/Christian values, and things we haven’t even imagined yet... But it is possible to defuse the unknown because this promise remains constant and sure: “I will bless those who bless you…” This is truth you can bank on—and it’s not a backup guarantee in case things go wrong—it’s foundational.
You can choose God’s blessings by choosing to bless Israel with your prayers, gifts, and support. Your reward will be Messiah’s continued blessing, unprecedented favor, peace, prosperity, and the promise of hope for a bright future. Your out stretched hand will mean her salvation.