I was in Washington D.C., standing in a worship time – and the Lord met me. It was one of those unexpected encounters…quiet, clear and life altering.
God said, “New Zealand has a weight in relation to Israel in the end times and in the United Nations that is above what it’s geography or population would show, take responsibility in the spirit.” Take responsibility in the spirit, that’s a strong message. I took a deep breath, and said, “Father I’ll do whatever you want, but you will have to help me, I haven’t really been thinking of Israel.”
I wonder if that isn’t how it is for many of us. We’re involved in the mission and ministry that God has called us into, there’s multiple relationships and demands on us daily. We’re gripped by our nation’s need for revival, real transformation in lives and change in our communities…and what’s happening in Israel seems distant, complex, and contentious. So why Bless Israel? Why take responsibility in the spirit?
Speaking and living out of blessing is powerful. The tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21, James 3). We want our communities and nation to live in blessing. We are committed and choosing to be agents of blessing. God spoke to Abraham a covenant and a call – he and the nation that would come from him were being blessed to be a blessing. ‘I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ Genesis.
Over many centuries Christians have not always blessed Jews. In pogroms, purges, in direct persecution or in silence – Christians have taken part in cursing Jewish people. We are taking responsibility and standing in agreement that every curse would be broken and that blessing be released.
We have seen the testimony of faith and faithfulness of the Jewish patriachs and matriachs. They gave us the precious gift of the scriptures. We’ve been given so much. Jewish apostles and disciples, who followed the Jewish Messiah, carried the good news from Jerusalem, Judea to the ends of the earth. They grappled with going outside their culture, and they took the gospel to the gentiles…they gave their lives.
Jewish apostles were imprisoned, beaten, stoned, beheaded and crucified…they were martyred in Italy, Greece, India…but they brought light to the nations and salvation to the ends of the earth. We have so much to be grateful for – the price paid by Jewish believers to bring us the good news is worthy of honour and of our gratitude.
The Jewish people are loved, called and chosen by God for His own purpose.
We’ve received such richness from the Jewish roots of our faith – and we want to bless.
We are not a new tree, we are grafted in – we are connected. Romans 11 tells us that we are part of the olive tree, wild branches grafted in. We are blessing and protecting the roots. We are seeking their best – praying fullness and the fulfilment of all that God intends for them.
We hear Romans 11:29, ‘the gifts and call of God are irrevocable…’ and apply it to ourselves and to ministry, but this scripture sits in the middle of Paul’s discussion of the salvation of Jew and Gentile and the call upon the Jews. There is a call on the Jewish people and Paul clearly says in Romans 10 – they have not been rejected or their call been removed.
We are awakening to the significance of Israel as God’s time clock. The more we investigate we see the connection between Israel’s times, dates, feast and church revival and world events. However, whatever we may understand about this, we can certainly see that Israel is very significant in end time events.
Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah and Revelation point to events yet to come. Events that centre and are connected to Israel and to the Jewish people. We are blessing and we are joining our prayers that God will be God, His kingdom come and His will be done.
Israel and Jerusalem have a place and a calling that we cannot afford to treat lightly. Jerusalem is called the city of the great king. It the only city on which He says He has placed his name. God watches how nations respond to Israel and what they do to Jerusalem.
Genesis 12:3 It is God who will bless those who bless, and He says ‘I will curse those who curse you’… Zechariah 12:3 And it will come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all nations that come against Jerusalem.’ These are two of many scriptures which show that God takes note and will call into account how nations and people treat Israel.
Does this mean that Israel can do no wrong? Israel may be the apple of God’s eye but this does not mean that He turns a blind eye. The scriptures show that God has always and will continue to hold Israel and the Jewish people to account for their actions. God sees all things, and it is God who will judge all things. The judge of all the earth is just. He will call Israel to account, and He will call every person and nation to account for our attitudes and actions – He will weigh us all with the same scales. We are not called to judge.
God loves all people – we are all made in His image, for His purpose. Our Father who is in heaven wants all of His children to live in blessing. Isaiah 19:23 -25 speaks of Egypt, Assyria and Israel together as a blessing on the earth. ‘The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying “blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” (v 25).
When God established that He would bless those who blessed Israel, He also established the ultimate reason – that through Israel all nations of the world would be blessed. Blessing Israel and blessing other nations are not in opposition or mutually exclusive. Blessing Israel is part of seeing blessing flow to all nations.
Nations Bless Israel is a tremendous opportunity to build unity and to stand for blessing as a body of Christ around our nations. We invite you to be part of joining or hosting a gathering to bless in your nation and city.