Why is Israel so important to God, and so important in Scripture?
Blog by Michael Riggs
Israel is God’s chosen nation. But chosen for what? And chosen why? And does that make Israel more special than any other nation?
These are great questions, and there are many reasons and even more possibilities; but I want to address some 3 or 4 specifics as to why Israel is so important in God’s mind and in Scripture.
Rest assured, Israel does affect you and your family and those you love – her existence and the state of her existence affect your life.
In 2013 the Lord downloaded the song to me that I call Shalom Israel. The song addresses three things:
- First addressed is the fact that we’re supposed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, thus Israel. We find this principle in Psalm 122:6. We are to pray for the shalom of Jerusalem. Shalom is a word that refers to a life that is in order and complete, thus it is a life of peace. Shalom refers to a state of well-being that include safety, prosperity, health, relationships in tact, contentment, a complete life the sum of which equals peace. We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel, of which Jerusalem is the capital city. The word prayer is a Hebrew word that actually means to inquire of, wish for, or to demand or require. It means to pray earnestly for. We are to literally stand our ground at the throne of God expecting Him to bring peace to Jerusalem – praying for that, believing for that, decreeing that of the Lord. When we are diligent to inquire about and require and pray for the peace of Jerusalem God honors that because it’s near to His heart, and He will reward us with the same peace … the same shalom that we are praying over Jerusalem and Israel.
- In my song, Shalom Israel, I stated in the second verse that the whole world is blessed when Israel is blessed and therefore we should pray for the shalom of Jerusalem and Israel. That comes from several places in the Word of God but it comes first and foremost from Genesis 12:3. There God makes a promise to Abram And told him that He would bless those who bless him, and that his descendants would be blessed. He also said that through him all people of the earth would be blessed. The Bible also teaches that great blessing will come out of Jerusalem and go to all the world. God promised Abraham that in him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Those who take it upon themselves to hate Israel are hating the very source of life and blessing that God, their Creator has designed for them. Psalm 83 talks about this and about the devastation that comes upon those who hate and curse Israel and want to see her demise. The opposite is true also.
- Then in the last verse of the Shalom Israel song, I talk about what Paul says in Romans 11:15. He simply stated that Israel being received as excepted by God and by God’s people, was like life from the dead. God has intended to establish His throne and His government on earth in Jerusalem and have Jesus and His servants rule and reign from Jerusalem ultimately, and touch the whole world with the life and economy of God. It is a true statement that Israel’s blessing is like life from the dead for all the world. When we bless Israel – when we pray for and expect and decree the shalom of God over Jerusalem and Israel – we are helping to secure the resurrection life and power of Jesus in our own lives and the lives of the people we love and care for, and the whole world.
There is great division among Christian people about the appropriate stance toward Israel. Should we be for them or should we be against them. I will be first to admit that I think some Jewish people are guilty of religious persecution. I think there is prejudice among those people against people who are not Jews. I’ve experienced it myself personally as a child, and I’ve witnessed it recently as an adult. However, there is no excuse for a hatred of or stance against Israel. There is no Scriptural standing for it and there is no room for it in the body of Christ among those who want to be filled with the Spirit of Jesus. Paul wrote about this very plainly in his epistles saying that we are too pray for Israel and long for the day that Israel as a whole comes to know Jesus as Messiah.
Why? Why are the people of Israel God’s chosen people? Malcolm Hedding, the former president of The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem has an excellent teaching series on this. I’ll use his teaching to summarize why Israel is a special nation. It’s because they are Abraham’s descendants. And because God made covenant with Abraham. God is a covenant keeping God who will not break His promise or go back on His Word. God promised to bless Abraham and his descendants and all the world through them.
It is in your interest and in the interest of your family and those you love and your nation, whichever nation it might be of, to bless Israel and to pray for the shalom of Jerusalem and Israel.
Why is Israel special? Because God made promise to Abraham and because Abraham submitted to God and made covenant with him.
- That resulted in all the promises of God given His Word (Gal. 3:6; Heb. 7:16).
- That resulted in the Word of God coming through Abraham’s bloodline.
- That resulted in Messiah – the living Word of God, the Light of the world, and the Resurrection and the Life … coming through Abraham’s.
Pray for the shalom of Jerusalem. Pray for the shalom of Israel. When you do, you are praying Shalom upon your own life …
Michael David Riggs