By Courtney A. Crowley, M.A. – The nation of Israel is a marvel. Small as it is, Israel is nonetheless home to a thriving economy, incredible technological advancements, and inexplicable military might. What’s more, it is a place where antiquity and modernity have converged and seamlessly entwined themselves, thereby creating a culture both unique and beautiful. Israel’s success is a testament to the tenacity of the Jewish people, who were expelled from their land by the Romans and thus made subordinate to the whims of myriad inhospitable nations. Defying all odds, though, they safeguarded their faith and culture throughout the ages, inwardly yearning to one day reclaim their heritage and homeland. This they did in 1948 when the Jewish state of Israel was reborn.
Wondrous as this story is in the natural, the supernatural miracle that is Israel ought to stir feelings of immense pride and awe in the hearts of Christians everywhere. The reason for this is really quite simple – Israel’s existence is tangible proof of God’s incredible loyalty and fidelity. Through His covenant with Abraham He vowed to honor and defend the Jewish people, blessing them with a land and nation all their own. The Lord constantly reaffirmed this covenant, declaring it everlasting. As God neither changes nor forgets, His covenant held firm and was made manifest in the modern era. How faithful is our God!
Deeper still, in His covenant God promised to make Abraham a blessing to the world; through the Jewish people we have the two greatest blessings of all – the Scriptures and the Messiah. God’s desire is always to bless and love, and His covenant was designed for just such a purpose. Without the faith of Abraham and the endurance of the Jews, Christianity would be nonexistent, and we would not have access to the truth and redemption of Christ. Indelibly linked as we are, Christians should emphatically defend both Israel and the Jewish people.
Such defense can come in many forms, ranging from political advocacy to heartfelt prayer, but no matter its form, it must stem from a place of love. Though genuine love for Israel and the Jewish people is important, the ultimate source of our support should be a deep and abiding love of and for the Lord. To love God is to love what He loves, to honor what He honors, and defend what He defends. God loves Israel unconditionally and eternally; the prophet Hosea beautifully captures this bond by saying God considers Himself married to Israel. Intimate and unbreakable, the marriage covenant captures the gravity of this issue and underscores just how critical it is for Christians to tirelessly defend God’s beloved.
Such being the case, it is vital that Christians treat the Jewish people with honor and respect, combatting anti-Semitism in all its forms. To be sure, this especially vile prejudice is on the rise, and if left unchecked, will assuredly bear dreadful results. History has repeatedly proven this to be true; to remain silent now is both evil and irresponsible. What’s more, Israel finds itself beleaguered by military, economic, and political harassment at every turn. Indeed, their legitimacy as a nation is contested, and their right to exist challenged. Thankfully, we serve a God much greater than nations and kingdoms; as His ambassadors it is our duty to steadfastly uphold both His chosen people and land.
Simply put, Christians should concern themselves with Israel and the Jews because God does. From beginning to end, the Bible describes a passionate love story between God and Israel, and because His love is so profound, we Gentiles were welcomed to share in that love through the Messiah. This love is neither passive nor complacent, but rather fierce and devoted; it can be neither silenced nor denied. Let us then be active partners with God, watching as His name and nature are glorified through the marvel of Israel.
Courtney A. Crowley is currently an Instructor of History at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX, where she teaches courses on Israeli and contemporary history. She received a master’s degree in history from West Texas A&M; her graduate research focused on Israel during the Cold War period. While her love of academia is undeniable, Crowley’s greatest passion is sharing God’s love for Israel with the Christian community. As such, she developed a curriculum for churches that explores the intricacies of Jewish-Christian history. Her hope is that through the study of the past all can see just how loyal and worthy of trust the Lord is.
By Star Franklin - What an extraordinary time I had in Israel at the Alliance of Christian Women for Israel Inaugural summit. Rebecca and her team did a fabulous job choosing beautiful hotels, the food was totally amazing, the King David room where we met for worship, teaching and fellowship was spectacular and the view of the old city in Jerusalem was absolutely breathtaking.
There’s no way I can describe the sights, the sounds and even the smells as I walked through the old city of Jerusalem.
By Lisa Stringer – I was doing some cleaning this morning and found a purple pouch that was given to us as we traveled to one of our scheduled stops. We were told we could pick up things that were already on the ground, just not to break any branches, leaves or flowers from any tree or plant. We were reminded that if every tourist tore off a branch or leave from a tree, the trees would be left with only the trunks. It made perfect sense. As I felt led, I would pick up withered leaves, fallen olive branches, and rocks from various biblically historical sites. This would be a perfect gift for some special intercessors. A gift that would be accompanied by a letter of explanation of what God was speaking to me during the journey.
Occasionally we post inspirational stories from the courageous women of ACWI.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips." Isaiah 49:22