In June, at the invitation of the Israeli Knesett, I had an incredible opportunity to speak along with former Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman and several Israeli leaders at the National Prayer Breakfast in Jerusalem. I was so honored to be selected to participate in this four-hour event to pray for God’s blessing on Israel. The Bible clearly instructs us in Psalm 122:6 to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” This trip was such an encouragement for me to see a room of over 700 Jews and Christians praying in one accord, for one purpose – Israel!
My message, Reaching the Next Generation, was timely, especially in light of waning support for Israel by young evangelicals. Recent polls by Lifeway Research revealed that 32% of young evangelical “millennials” do not care about or support Israel. This is a significant drop from previous generations of evangelicals who whole-heartedly believed Israel was back in the Promised Land in fulfillment of God’s purposes.
I based my message on Elijah casting his mantle on Elisha and calling him to lead the next generation in Israel centuries ago. I challenged all of those in attendance who were under 40 to “pick up the mantle” in support of the nation and people of Israel for their generation. The response was overwhelming. Young people shouting “amen”, standing, waving. It was overwhelming. One young man named Christian, an Israeli messianic believer, even asked if he could have the prayer shawl I used to demonstrate my message.
Then, a few days later, I spoke at the Jerusalem Assembly to nearly 300 messianic Jewish believers. This is one of the oldest messianic congregations in Israel. I am continually amazed to see what God is doing in Israel today. Thousands are coming to faith in Jesus (Hebrew, Yeshua) as their Savior and Messiah.
The Bible makes it clear that Christians should be supportive of Israel. Israel as a nation is clearly identified as being special to God. The prophet Zechariah indicated that God considers Israel – as a nation –as “the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Moreover, Israel has a very special role in God’s eternal – salvific – purpose and plan.
God’s eternal purpose is to bless the world through Israel. He has already done so in Jesus’ incarnation that resulted in “salvation” being “from the Jews” (John 4:22). However, the fullness of Israel’s future blessing to the world is indicated in the wondrous promise of Isaiah 27:6: “In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.”
Importantly, the Bible also records that God has promised that whoever blesses Israel will be blessed by God and whoever curses Israel will be cursed by God (Genesis 12:3). Therefore, we should take our support of Israel as a mandate from God.