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Israel & Jerusalem

Israel’s Legal Right to Exist

The saga of Israel’s standing under international law began long before the United Nations was a player on the global scene. As early as the turn of the 20th century, a number of Bible-believing statesmen and politicians, many of them British, were adamant in their support of the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

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The Scriptural Basis for Supporting Israel

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Does God have some special relationship with the Land and people of Israel? Well, the word “Israel” is mentioned more than 2,300 times in the Bible. How does that compare to other topics on God’s heart? Sin is mentioned 380 times. Love is mentioned 280 times. Actually, the only words I’ve found to be used more than Israel are the various names for God Himself. Maybe there is a clue about the passion of God’s heart in this frequency. I would suggest that He talks most about Himself because His first priority is for us to know Him and understand His heart toward us. Perhaps His frequent references to Israel reveal that His second priority is for us to know and understand His heart toward the Land and people He has chosen as His own.

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The Museum at the Heart of the Universe

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On July 26, Israel’s largest cultural institution, the Israel Museum, reopened after undergoing a three-year-long, $100-million renovation.

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1948—Who Recognized Israel First?

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Even among Israel supporters, there are few who recognize November 29, 1947 as an important date. It is, in fact, the anniversary of the United Nations vote to partition Palestine, laying the groundwork for the creation of the state of Israel. May 14, 1948, however, is readily recognized by many as the founding of the state. The prophet Isaiah spoke of a nation being born in a day (66:8), fulfilled it. Even though the UN vote happened months before, plans for the declaring of independence did not begin in earnest until May 13, and less than 24 hours later, the nation was born. It seems apparent that it happened at God’s sovereign direction.

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Israel—God’s Modern-Day Miracle

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The very existence of the small democratic Jewish nation of Israel thriving amidst a sea of Islamic dictatorships is truly a modern-day miracle. Emerging from the ashes of the Shoah(the Holocaust), this ragtag group of people was to ascend to the heights in every area expertise and professionalism ranging from entertainment to cosmetology to science.

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The Hurva Rededicated

{image_1}After four years of construction, the Hurva Synagogue, in the center of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, was rededicated on March 15 and 16. Since 1977, the ruins of its destruction by the Arabs in 1948 have been marked by a single memorial arch. Now it stands again, reconstructed in its original design, both outside and inside. As previously, its 82 foot (25 meter) high dome is once again a distinctive part of the Old City’s skyline. The date of the dedication was carefully chosen—the first day of the biblical month of Nisan, the day the tabernacle was erected in the wilderness (Exod. 40).

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Israel Through Four Lenses

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In Romans 9–11, Paul, Jewish apostle to the Gentiles, treats his mostly non-Jewish audience to the most fully developed theological passage in all of Scripture. And what is he talking about? Israel and the Jewish people, of course! Perhaps there is some importance the Gentile reader of today should ascribe to so weighty a work. Yet, it persists that this very passage is one of the most ignored and misunderstood parts of the Bible. Perhaps this is because there is a mystery going on—the mystery of amazing Israel.

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Why Stand with Israel?

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In my travels around the world, I have the opportunity to meet Christians from widely diverse church backgrounds. Bridges for Peace is an interdenominational organization, and so we are invited to speak in many different denominations. Fairly often, someone will come up to me and be honestly puzzled as they express the fact that they don’t understand why they should be interested in the nation and people of Israel. In this teaching letter, I want to give you a few thoughts about why all Christians should care about Israel.

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Israel: God’s Oaks of Righteousness

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“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1–3, NASB).

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JERUSALEM, My Home

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What do you think of when you hear the word “Jerusalem”? Perhaps you think of the Mount of Olives splitting in two, when Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) returns. “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4). Perhaps you think of wars––past and future. Maybe you think of the prophecy in Zechariah (12:3), which says all nations will come up against Jerusalem. “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”

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