Friday, 20 February 2015

Abraham's Blessing - now in and through Jesus Christ

We are told by some leading Christian Zionists that you must bless the State of Israel to be blessed, and if you don't you will be cursed. This seven-fold blessing to Abraham and his descendants is found in Genesis 12. But what is wrong with this analysis?

In effect it is offering a very simplistic view of Scripture, and ignores Paul's interpretation of the blessing. In Galatians 3:14 we are informed that the blessing of Abraham has come upon the Gentiles because of what Christ has done, so that we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. This New Testament verse seems very clear to me, so why do Christian Zionists overlook it? Paul further elaborates that Christ is the promised seed of Abraham and the blessing flows through Jesus. Those who are in Jesus become Abraham's seed and off-spring.

The claim that we must bless the State of Israel to be blessed is turning away from sound Christian Reformed teaching. It is turning the gospel into one of works and not one of grace, a grace freely given to those who are obedient to God. It seeks compliance through fear, not love.

It ignores the fact that Jesus has become the universal king of Israel, seated on David's throne (Isaiah 9:7). This well known passage needs no introduction. It reads "Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne   and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever." Is that not clear enough where "The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."? The kingdom of Israel under the Messiah is to be known as one of justice, righteousness and peace! Scripture knows nothing of a secular Republic of Israel without a king, that rejects the teaching of Jesus, which is what the modern State of Israel is and does.

The belief that divine blessing comes through our thoughts about a modern secular state also overlooks what we are told in the Beatitudes, that: 'blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called son's of God.'
Of course our approach to the State of Israel should be one of love, but Israel needs to hear the voice of its prophets and its king if it is to survive and prosper. We see throughout the Old Testament that when Israel ignores the prophet's voice then there follows a period of exile. God never promised to allow Israel to remain in the land whatever they did, but that it was conditional upon obedience to Him. In love we need to call the Jewish people and the State of Israel to turn to their own Messiah, King Jesus (as well as calling Muslims and Arabs to turn to Jesus), so that there might be peace in the land between the divided communities.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Brother.

    I agree with your central thrust about not confusing God's promises to Israel with unquestioning support for the modern State of Israel. I'd just say it's important to remember that the State of Israel deserves our support for its continued existence in the face of its enemies. That should be our bottom line when we discuss the problems that poses for the Arabs in its midst or who were exiled at its creation.

    We democracies failed to protect the Jewish people in their exile, so we have no grounds to object to their return to their homeland in search of such protection.