Sermons

Summary: A Biblical study considering whether or not modern Israel holds any significance in the eyes of God.

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Throughout my life, I have noted that our Nation's foreign-policy has been to support Israel in its struggles with its Arab and Palestinian neighbors. Nearly a half trillion dollars of humanitarian and military aid has been given to Israel to defend the territory of the Israelis but, routinely, that aid has been used to expand the borders of the Israeli Nation at the loss of the Palestinians.

This American foreign policy has been strongly promoted by the powerful Jewish lobby in Washington but, also, by the majority of the evangelical and fundamentalist churches in our Nation. The root of this support from these churches is the misguided belief that the Bible holds modern “Israel” as being special in the eyes of God. This simply is not the case.

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A key Scriptural passage that is often alluded to that suggests that we need to support modern Israel is the promise to Abraham, in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.” It has often been said: “Politically speaking, this statement is God's foreign policy to the Gentiles in their relationship with the Jewish people.”

This interpretation is easily debunked by simply considering the biblical context: this promise was given to Abraham before he had any children. If we are to take just this verse, at this point of time in Scripture, as the basis of blessing nations in relation to “Abraham,” then we must apply it equally to all of Abraham’s children. This includes his son, Ishmael, the father of the Arab nations.

But one might assert that this is absurd from a biblical view point, because later Scripture qualifies and narrows the definition of Abraham’s seed for us. In this, I am in total agreement. Later Scripture qualifies the promise as not to Ishmael, but to Isaac, and then not to Esau, but to Jacob, who is later renamed “Israel.”

What is overlooked or ignored is that the means of qualifying who actually inherits the promise becomes the very means of disqualifying modern-day Israel. Paul, himself, uses this very method of argument, in Romans 9:6-7, to prove that Israel also shall be redefined in light of Christ, "They are not all Israel who are of Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants." Paul goes on to say, in Romans 9:8, “It is not the children of the flesh [ethnic blood line] who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”

Both John the Baptizer and Jesus, Himself, tried telling the Israelites of their day that they cannot rest their spiritual laurels based on the fact that they are genealogical descendants of Abraham. Luke 3:8, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.” John 8:39, “They answered and said to Him, 'Abraham is our father.' Jesus said to them, 'If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.'” Jesus told them in John 8:24, “You will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He [the Messiah], you will die in your sins.”


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