What Does it Mean to Stand with Israel? (Part 2) :: By Paul J. Scharf

What Does it Mean to Stand with Israel? (Part 2) :: By Paul J. Scharf

What are we really calling for when we entreat people to stand with the people, nation, and land of Israel?

We’ve been pondering that question during this period of unprecedented, frightful, and downright dangerous antisemitism—the worst that the world has witnessed since the dreadful days of the Holocaust.

We began last time by considering some of the major concepts that I am not intending to convey when I talk about standing with Israel. Now we turn our attention to how we should positively approach this objective.

At the core of this issue of standing with Israel must be—in Biblical terminology—our desire to be a blessing to the people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

When God first called Abram and made an unconditional covenant with him, He guaranteed him a future including land, descendants, and untold blessings (see Gen. 12:1-3). He included this promise which would govern the relationship between Abram’s posterity and the rest of humanity for all of time:

“I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you” (Gen. 12:3).

At the moment when God stipulated these provisions of the covenant, however, the reasons to bless the Jewish people were not nearly as apparent as they are today.

The first such reason that is evident to us is because we have “the Holy Scriptures” (Rom. 1:2)—and the Bible is a Jewish book (see Rom. 3:2; 9:4; Eph. 2:12). I say that, referring not just to the Hebrew Bible, but to the whole Bible. The New Testament, though written in the Greek language, came (humanly speaking) from the hearts and minds of Jewish men. Of course, Luke’s background is debated—but, in either case, he was thoroughly influenced by the Apostle Paul (see 2 Tim. 4:11).

My seminary language professor, Dr. John Hartog III, made Hebrew come alive for me and impressed me with the importance of understanding that the entirety of Scripture comes to us out of a Jewish mentality and worldview. Not only that, but God has used the Jewish people to carry His Word, as well as the knowledge of the Biblical world and its languages, wherever they have gone—even in the midst of persecution.

The second reason that we desire to bless the Jewish people is because we have the Savior—and He is a Jewish man (see Rom. 9:5).

Thus, it is very strange that a true Christian would ever be antisemitic! What could Christians possibly be thinking when they show animosity toward the people of Israel?

Martin Luther infamously made some appalling and vile statements about the Jewish people in the latter years of his life. But were you aware that previously, in 1523, he penned such eloquent words as these?

When we are inclined to boast of our position, we should remember that we are but Gentiles, while the Jews are of the lineage of Christ. We are aliens and in-laws; they are blood relatives, cousins, and brothers of our Lord. Therefore, if one is to boast of flesh and blood, the Jews are actually nearer to Christ than we are…. God has also demonstrated this by his acts, for to no nation among the Gentiles has he granted so high an honor as he has to the Jews. [i]

The third reason that we as believers in the Messiah should want to bless the Jewish people is because we await life in Jesus’ kingdom—and that will indeed be centered in the Jewish nation (see Matt. 19:28; Acts 1:6).

Does your hope for the future include the possibility of “[living] and [reigning] with Christ for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4)? Well, start getting ready to be part of an Israelite kingdom because, in that day, the undisputable center of power for the globe will be none other than Jerusalem (see Zech. 6:12-13).

Israel is distinct from all the other nations in the history of the world (see Ps. 147:19-20). This remains true even in her times of disobedience (see Num. 23:8)—even during her dispersion, in light of all that God has planned for her in the future (see Ezek. 36:24-28). Satan hates all of these things and desires to destroy the Jewish people (see Rev. 12:13-17)—as he has since the beginning (see Gen. 3:15).

Therefore, when we implore people to stand with Israel, we are really inviting them to bless the Jewish people and thank God for all that He has accomplished through them—to bring blessings to the entire world.

What are some practical ways in which we can bless the Jewish people—next door or halfway around this Earth? We’ll work on compiling that list in the next installment.


Paul J. Scharf (M.A., M.Div., Faith Baptist Theological Seminary) is a church ministries representative for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, based in Columbus, WI, and serving in the Midwest. For more information on his ministry, visit sermonaudio.com/pscharf or foi.org/scharf, or email pscharf@foi.org.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.

[i] Martin Luther; “‘That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew’ (1523) – excerpts;” Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations; https://ccjr.us/dialogika-resources/primary-texts-from-the-history-of-the-relationship/luther-1523; Internet; accessed 8 May 2024.

The post What Does it Mean to Stand with Israel? (Part 2) :: By Paul J. Scharf appeared first on Rapture Ready.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *