Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Love for Israel: A Jealous Love

Star of David

Last time: "Why care about those who have rejected the Messiah?"

I'm continuing on the theme of Romans 9, where Paul is writing of his heart for Israel. He writes, "my grief [for Israel] is so great, the pain in my heart so constant..."

A thought creeps in... "But Paul is Jewish! Of course he is concerned for his people!" But Paul was also an Apostle to us Gentiles, and he is a major model of Christianity. Also, Jesus is Jewish, and wept over lost Israel. If we cannot, even as Gentiles, model ourselves after Christ and Paul, we might as well give up and go follow Zeus or some other pagan god. We are to be in-grafted into the Root of David, this is our identity. The in-grafted branch must not become arrogant.

Ok, so that was a sidetrack. So, this heart for Israel, how does it work? What does it look like to have a heart for Israel? Some say God doesn't love them, because they have rejected Him. Nothing could be further from the truth.

God is jealous for Israel, and he will not give himself rest until he can fully delight himself in them as his people. What is our part in this as Gentiles? We are to be watchmen on their walls, praying for them without ceasing! (Isaiah 62)

We are supposed to remember how we too, were once lost, and without hope, but he has shown us mercy, and extends that same mercy to his people Israel. God has a plan for Israel, and it involves us Gentiles! (Rom 11) This excites me. Maybe I'm odd, but I want to help God get what he desires with such zeal. I think it's a glorious calling, even though it starts with something so mundane and unexciting as prayer.

I might continue on this topic some more, but first, any questions or comments?


Brenna said...

wow......craziness...youre talking about Israel and I specifically came to your site to post something about Israel...you see I have an assignment in one of my classes at FSU that concerns Israel and I thought that you might be interested in it..and here you are posting about Israel.

well here is the assignment verbatim...

This week's topic is the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict

The main questions to address in your weekly write up are:

- Why hasn't the situation changed for so long?

- Why is it so important to bring a resolution to this conflict?

- How can peace be achieved?

Remember the most important thing is to state your opinion. What do you think should be done?

Peace talks have been occurring for more than a decade; however, several thorny issues are difficult to negotiate. These issues are listed below. Understanding these issues will help you develop your own stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. You do not have to address all of these issues in depth in your write-up, but you should use them when relevant, to sustain your arguments.

Territory: Palestinians want Israel to relinquish all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but is reluctant to return the rest of the disputed land.

Should Israel return the land? Why or why not?

Jewish settlements: Palestinians believe that all Jewish settlements in the West Bank or Gaza Strip are illegal because they violate UN resolutions and international law. Israel is reluctant to withdraw.

Are Jewish settlements in violation of UN resolutions and international law?

U.S. Support: Palestinians argue that the United States has unilaterally supported Israel in this conflict, creating a power imbalance in the conflict. Some believe U.S. support to Israel has promoted hatred among the Arab countries.

Has the U.S. supported Israel? Why?

Security issues: Palestinians officially favor peace and disarmament. While the images of kids throwing stones at Israeli tanks are common, Palestinians also have access to arms, and extremists carry out attacks. Meanwhile, Israelis have an impressive armed force that is regularly used aggressively against Palestinians.

How does the military prowess of both countries compare?

Jerusalem: In 1947, when the UN voted for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, it designated Jerusalem as an international city. In1949, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital city. Palestinians say that Israel must return all of East Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian holy sites in the Old City. Israelis believe that a united Jerusalem must remain under Israeli control.

What could be done to make Jerusalem an international city?

Palestinian refugees: Palestinians say that Israel must accept responsibility for Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled as a result of the creation of Israel. Refugee camps often become semi-permanent and develop their own communities and informal economies, however, the social costs are high.

What are some of the problems encountered by Palestinians in refugee camps? What has been done to alleviate these problems?

Water: Palestinians say that Israel must relinquish all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including the Jordan Valley. Israel believes that it must have access to the Jordan Valley. The construction of the wall has also created concerns on the access to water reservoirs.

Are water resources presently allocated based on population size and agricultural use? How water is allocated? How it should be allocated?

David Andrew Gagne said...

That's a tall assignment. I haven't studied the current state of Israel/Palestine in depth enough to cover all of that, and my position would be a bit biased based on my eschatology...

But I'll give it a go. Keep an eye out for my next post.

Meanwhile, I'd like to hear what you've got on this! If you're studying it for a class, you've probably got more information than I do.

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Kansas City, Missouri, United States
I'm a full-time lover of Jesus. I work, learn, and pray at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I live simple, and seek God with all my heart.

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